General Education & Core Competencies

The Office of Assessment & Research assesses general education and core competencies in accordance with its Institutional Effectiveness Handbook and General Education Timeline. The Office uses both competency-based methodology to indicate student’s level of proficiency and value-added methodology to analyze pre- and post value-added in assessing general education competencies and student learning outcomes (SLO). The College follows the general education guidelines found in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Task Force Report, the VCCS Policy Manual for Education Programs, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) guidelines, and approved by the VCCS Advisory Council of Presidents (ACOP).

The college has seven general education competencies:

  1. Communication (oral and written),
  2. Critical Thinking,
  3. Information Literacy,
  4. Quantitative Reasoning,
  5. Scientific Reasoning,
  6. Personal Development, and
  7. Cultural and Social Understanding.

Six of the above make up the Virginia Community Colleges’ core competencies:

  1. Oral Communication,
  2. Written Communication,
  3. Critical Thinking,
  4. Information Literacy,
  5. Quantitative Reasoning, and
  6. Scientific Reasoning.

PDCCC administers VCCS-mandated core competency assessments and supplements these with other assessments and test administration to ensure a comprehensive cycle of general education outcome assessment. The majority of PDCCC’s general education competencies are assessed with externally developed, validated and normed instruments. All instruments were selected by the VCCS and PDCCC for their alignment with the general education competencies. The remaining competencies are assessed by the Shock-Tucker Assessment of General Education (STAGE) that was created by faculty at Mountain Empire Community College.

PDCCC also utilizes its CCSSE results and the Graduate Survey. Incorporated into the Graduate Survey is a modified version of Notre Dame University’s Wellness Inventory.

General Education and Core Competencies Report