WSCUC Core Competencies

What are the WSCUC Core Competencies?

All students graduating with a baccalaureate degree from a WSCUC accredited university are required to have achieved proficiency in the following five Core Competencies:

  • Writing (W)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Critical Thinking (CT)

These core competencies are outlined in WSCUC’s 2013 Handbook of Accreditation Revised and FAQs. Graduates are expected to achieve these competencies upon graduation within their General Education (GE) courses as well as demonstrate program-specific competency in each area.

Why is this important?

The WSCUC Core Competencies align Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) with General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) as well as with Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs).

The Commission is asking all universities to provide documentation on how each program conducts its assessment, practices, and outcomes.

In Component 4 of the handbook, WSCUC states that “the institutional review process calls upon institutions to describe how the curriculum addresses each of the five core competencies, explain their learning outcomes in relation to those core competencies, and demonstrate, through evidence of student performance, the extent to which those outcomes are achieved.”

Who does this apply to?

In Criterion for Review (CFR) 2.2a, WSCUC states that baccalaureate, or undergraduate, degree programs must “ensure the development of core competencies including, but not limited to, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking.”

Although these Core Competencies focus solely on learning outcomes of undergraduate programs or majors, graduate programs are expected to have programs that are “clearly . . . differentiated from and more advanced than undergraduate programs in terms of . . . standards of performance and student learning outcomes” (CFR 2.2b).

How can we assess our programs and who can help?

To learn more about assessment, please visit our Assessment website which has helpful information regarding General Education (GE) Assessment, PLOs, ILOs, and more.

For help with program assessment, the Office of Assessment is always available to assist departments. Please contact the Faculty Director of Assessment for Academic Programs for any departmental assessment needs.