General Education Core Competencies
Students graduating from Thomas Nelson Community College, or any of the colleges in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), with an associate degree, will successfully complete core competency requirements. Upon completion of all requirements students will have attained knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to continue their education, to develop in their careers, and contribute to the well-being of their communities. The six competencies include:
- Civic Engagement - The ability to contribute to the civic life and well-being of local, national, and global communities as both a social responsibility and a life-long learning process. Degree graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and civic values necessary to become informed and contributing participants in a democratic society.
- Critical Thinking - The ability to use information, ideas and arguments from relevant perspectives to make sense of complex issues and solve problems. Degree graduates will locate, evaluate, interpret, and combine information to reach well-reasoned conclusions or solutions.
- Professional Readiness - The ability to work well with others and display situationally and culturally appropriate demeanor and behavior. Degree graduates will demonstrate skills important for successful transition into the workplace and pursuit of further education.
- Quantitative Literacy - The ability to perform accurate calculations, interpret quantitative information, apply and analyze relevant numerical data, and use results to support conclusions. Degree graduates will calculate, interpret, and use numerical and quantitative information in a variety of settings.
- Scientific Literacy - The ability to apply the scientific method and related concepts and principles to make informed decisions and engage with issues related to the natural, physical, and social world. Degree graduates will recognize and know how to use the scientific method, and to evaluate empirical information.
- Written Communication - The ability to develop, convey, and exchange ideas in writing, as appropriate to a given context and audience. Degree graduates will express themselves effectively in a variety of written forms.
A Thomas Nelson graduate will be able to:
- Obtain, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of resources utilizing appropriate technologies.
- Form logical arguments and distinguish between valid and invalid arguments.
- Value a diverse array of perspectives.
- Listen, interpret, create, and adjust messages to multiple audiences.
- Develop ethical relationships with people, communities, and organizations.
The links above are provided as guides to planning and are not intended to be a comprehensive summary of Thomas Nelson courses that students may use to meet general education requirements in the associate’s degree programs. For the purposes of transfer, the list includes courses most commonly accepted to meet core requirements at public four-year institutions. While transfer students who complete the associate’s degree can expect to have met their lower-level general education requirements at the four-year institution, transcripts for transfer students who do not complete the associate’s degree are reviewed by the receiving institution on a course-by-course basis. Not all courses listed will meet core requirements at all four-year institutions, but students may receive elective credit.
Although not intended for transfer, several of the College’s applied degree programs may be transferred to four-year institutions based upon guaranteed admissions and articulation agreements. Students should consult with their advisor early in the program to ensure optimal transferability of their courses.
In selecting courses to meet the general education requirements, students are expected to follow the curriculum outline for their major. While general education courses other than those designed specifically for transfer may be used to meet portions of the general education requirements, principles published by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges require that general education courses be general in nature and not “…narrowly focused on those skills, techniques, and procedures peculiar to a particular occupation or profession.” Credits transferred into Thomas Nelson from another institution may be used to satisfy these requirements, but students should request a transcript evaluation to determine which courses may be applied. With careful planning, some general education courses may also meet prerequisites for courses in the major. Students are advised to consult a Thomas Nelson advisor and appropriate transfer guides to ensure that selected courses will meet Thomas Nelson’s and the transfer institution’s requirements.