Acquire and Practice Foundational Skills

The range of academic, intellectual, or human experience is as varied as our fingerprints, but certain skills provide the foundation upon which higher education is built. For this reason, all education begins with the acquisition of these foundational skills. A common misconception, particularly among students, is that since these foundational skills are emphasized earliest in their required curriculum, they are easily mastered. This misconception is reinforced by the architecture of the General Education system itself. Honing foundational skills is a lifelong endeavor. Highly skilled musicians play scales to their dying day and celebrated athletes repeatedly turn back to the fundamentals (particularly when they stop winning). Our architecture of the General Education reflects this reality and stresses the importance of foundational skills.

The goal of Acquire and Practice Foundational Skills is to develop an intellectual and practical foundation, including proficiency in written, oral, and visual communication; inquiry techniques; creative analysis and synthesis; quantitative applications; information management and assessment; teamwork; and problem-solving. We have designed the General Education curriculum to encourage students to acquire skills early in their college experience and then to put these skills into practice as they continue learning.  In this way, the students will exercise and improve their foundational skills continually throughout their university educations and beyond.

Our General Education curriculum requires that students acquire and practice these foundational skills:

  • Write Effectively in English
  • Communicate in a Language other than English
  • Master Quantitative Problem Solving
  • Speak Effectively before an Audience
  • Evaluate and Synthesize Researched Information
  • Write Effectively within One’s Discipline