General Education Career Competencies

To best prepare students to excel in their careers and life, Excelsior College has developed general education career competencies based on findings from employer-based research. These competencies, which are transferrable skills essential for long-term success in a changing world, are the foundation of our curricula. Students will encounter these competencies by meeting the requirements for general education and their program of study.

Oral and Written Communication

Communication serves many purposes in the workplace and in society – to inform, persuade, argue, educate, and entertain. The competencies in this area will help students speak and write effectively for a variety of audiences, use communication technologies appropriately, and apply the standard conventions of the context they are in.

Related skills
Oral presentation, business writing, technical writing, data visualization, editing, interpersonal communication, persuasion, digital communication, blogging, debate, argumentative analysis, social media, advertising copy, medical reports, executive summaries, workplace correspondence, conflict resolution, team communication, inclusive communication.

Learning outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Present oral communication with appropriate content, organization, and delivery for the audience and purpose.
  2. Deliver written communication with appropriate content, organization, syntax, mechanics, and style for the audience and purpose.

Mathematical and Scientific Problem Solving

To advance and succeed in an increasingly complex workplace, professionals require stronger quantitative and scientific reasoning skills than ever before. The curricula helps students develop the ingenuity, problem solving, scientific, and quantitative reasoning skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

Related skills
Data evaluation, evidence-based decision-making, graph and chart analysis and creation, quantitative literacy, scientific reasoning, problem solving, financial literacy, numeracy, attention to detail, inference and prediction, information technology, scientific reporting, logic, ingenuity, critical thinking, big data, data science.

Learning outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to make evidence-based decisions.
  2. Apply mathematical concepts and reasoning to solve problems that involve quantitative information.

Information Literacy

Everyone interacts with information daily, via websites, newspaper articles, television, social media, business communication, or scholarly writing. As students engage in their program of study, they learn to be a discerning and effective information consumer, communicator, and creator who can use information in an effective, ethical, and legal manner.

Related skills
Source analysis and evaluation, APA style, scholarly research, legal information use, internet searching, resource gathering, academic honesty, informed decision making, evidence review, understanding bias and perspective, drawing reasonable conclusions, critical thinking, decision-making, weighing pros and cons, selecting choices from available options, implementation of a plan.

Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Locate and evaluate sources to meet an information need.
  2. Cite sources using appropriate academic conventions.

Cultural Diversity and Expression

This competency helps students develop a grounded understanding of the human condition and an appreciation of the variety of forms of human expression. In addition, this competency promotes a respect for cultural diversity, a desire for equity, and an awareness of social identity, for example, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, social class, religion, ability, and national origin.

Related skills
Cultural fluency, creativity, aesthetic appreciation, artistic interpretation, inclusive communication, self-awareness, interacting with diverse communities, valuing common purpose, cross-cultural sensitivity, collaboration, multicultural team building, interacting with diverse communities, leadership in a diverse society, emotional intelligence, mindfulness.

Learning outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze human thought, creative expression, or cultural representations within their contexts.
  2. Explain the dynamics of social identity or cultural differences within interpersonal and societal relations.

Global Understanding

To be effective thinkers and communicators, workers today need an understanding of the global forces that have shaped and continue to shape human behavior and interactions. Through this competency, students develop a better understanding of their own community and of complex and diverse global communities.

Related skills
International leadership, global civic engagement, understanding inequality and privilege, recognition of unconscious bias, cross-cultural sensitivity, international business communication and etiquette, historical analysis, contextualization, critical thinking.

Learning outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Explain how social, political, economic, or cultural forces shape relations between individuals and groups around the world.

Ethical Reasoning

Employers need workers who can find innovative, ethical, and practical solutions to a wide variety of problems. Through this competency, students learn to reflect and analyze positions and issues from a variety of ethical perspectives.

Related skills
Ethical decision making, ethical leadership, exercising sound judgement, critical thinking, integrity, comfort with ambiguity, familiarity with legal and ethical guidelines, understanding and addressing bias, upholding a professional code of ethics, identification of personal values, corporate social responsibility, business ethics, respecting differing values, recognizing and upholding personal morals.

Learning outcomes

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Explain different ethical positions in relation to a problem or issue.

Professional Presence and Self-Awareness

Successful workers are not only proficient in their roles, but also aware of their own strengths and interests, and able to exhibit the behaviors consistent with the rules, norms, and expectations of a professional setting. Surveys of employers confirm that professional presence and self-awareness are important competencies in the people they hire.

Related skills
Career management, e-portfolio creation and management, resume creation and management, understanding job market trends, personal growth, professional growth, career planning, networking, short-term goal setting, long-term goal setting, personal branding, maintaining a professional image, digital reputation management, non-verbal communication, business acumen, business etiquette, emotional intelligence, personal accountability, self-awareness, leading and managing people, implementation of a plan.

Learning outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a career planning strategy that incorporates your strengths, interests, abilities, and values.
  2. Explain the norms and conventions of the workplace for a career field.