COCC General Education Outcomes

(See background and course approval criteria here).

Arts & Letters

Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Arts & Letters* courses, a student should be able to:

  • Interpret and engage in the Arts & Letters, making use of the creative process to enrich the quality of life; and
  • Critically analyze values and ethics within a range of human experience and expression to engage more fully in local and global issues.

* Arts & Letters refers to works of art, whether written, crafted, designed, or performed, and documents of historical or cultural significance.

Criteria: A course in Arts & Letters should:

Introduce the fundamental ideas and practices of the discipline and allow students to apply them.

  • Elicit analytical and critical responses to historical and/or cultural works, such as literature, music, language, philosophy, religion, and the visual and performing arts.
  • Explore the conventions and techniques of significant forms of human expression.
  • Place the discipline in a historical and cultural context, and demonstrate its relationship with other discipline.
  • Each course should also do at least one of the following:
    • Foster creative individual expression via analysis, synthesis, and critical evaluation;
    • Compare/contrast attitudes and values of specific historical periods or world cultures; and
    • Examine the origins and influences of ethical or aesthetic traditions.

Cultural Literacy (Cultural Literacy outcomes will be included in courses that meet the outcomes and criteria of a Discipline Studies requirement.)

Outcomes: As a result of taking a designated Cultural Literacy course, learners would be able to:

  • Identify and analyze complex practices, values, and beliefs and the culturally and historically defined meanings of difference.

Criteria: A course with the Cultural Literacy designation will:

  • Explore how culturally-based assumptions influence perceptions, behaviors, and policies.
  • Examine the historical bases and evolution of diverse cultural ideas, behaviors, and issues.

Each course may also do one or more of the following:

  • Critically examine the impact of cultural filters on social interaction so as to encourage sensitivity and empathy toward people with different values or beliefs.
  • Investigate how discrimination arises from culturally defined meanings attributed to difference.
  • Analyze how social institutions perpetuate systems of privilege and discrimination.
  • Explore social constructs in terms of power relationships.


Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Health courses, a student should be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between human behavior and health.


Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Mathematics courses, a student should be able to:

  • Use appropriate mathematics to solve problems; and
  • Recognize which mathematical concepts are applicable to a scenario, apply appropriate mathematics and technology in its analysis, and then accurately interpret, validate, and communicate the results.

Criteria: A collegiate level Mathematics course should require students to:

  • Use the tools of arithmetic and algebra to work with more complex mathematical concepts.
  • Design and follow a multi-step mathematical process through to a logical conclusion and judge the reasonableness of the results.
  • Create mathematical models, analyze these models, and, when appropriate, find and interpret solutions.
  • Compare a variety of mathematical tools, including technology, to determine an effective method of analysis.
  • Analyze and communicate both problems and solutions in ways that are useful to themselves and to others.
  • Use mathematical terminology, notation and symbolic processes appropriately and correctly.
  • Make mathematical connections to, and solve problems from, other disciplines.

Science or Computer Science

Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Science or Computer Science courses, a student should be able to:

  • Gather, comprehend, and communicate scientific and technical information in order to explore ideas, models and solutions and generate further questions;
  • Apply scientific and technical modes of inquiry, individually, and collaboratively, to critically evaluate existing or alternative explanations, solve problems, and make evidence-based decisions in an ethical manner; and
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies and critically examine the influence of scientific and technical knowledge on human society and the environment.

Criteria: A General Education course in either Science or Computer Science should:

  • Analyze the development, scope, and limitations of fundamental scientific concepts, models, theories, and methods.
  • Engage students in problem-solving and investigation, through the application of scientific and mathematical methods and concepts, and by using evidence to create and test models and draw conclusions. The goal should be to develop analytical thinking that includes evaluation, synthesis, and creative insight.
  • Examine relationships with other subject areas, including the ethical application of science in human society, and the relevance of science to everyday life.

In addition,

A General Education course in Science should:

Engage students in collaborative, hands-on and/or real-life activities that develop scientific reasoning and the capacity to apply mathematics, and that allow students to experience the exhilaration of discovery;


A General Education course in Computer Science should:

Engage students in the design of algorithms and computer programs that solve problems.

Social Science

Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Social Science courses, a student should be able to:

  • Apply analytical skills to social phenomena in order to understand human behavior; and
  • Apply knowledge and experience to foster personal growth and better appreciate the diverse social world in which we live.

Criteria: An introductory course in the Social Sciences should be broad in scope. Courses may focus on specialized or interdisciplinary subjects, but there must be substantial course content locating the subject in the broader context of the discipline(s). Approved courses will help students to:

  • Understand the role of individuals and institutions within the context of society.
  • Assess different theories and concepts, and understand the distinctions between empirical and other methods of inquiry.
  • Utilize appropriate information literacy skills in written and oral communication.
  • Understand the diversity of human experience and thought, individually and collectively.
  • Apply knowledge and skills to contemporary problems and issues.

Speech/Oral Communication

Outcomes: As a result of taking General Education Speech/Oral Communication courses, a student should be able to:

  • Engage in ethical communication processes that accomplish goals;
  • Respond to the needs of diverse audiences and contexts; and
  • Build and manage relationships.

Criteria: A course in Speech/Oral Communication should provide:

  • Instruction in fundamental communication theories.
  • Instruction and practice of appropriate oral communication techniques.
  • Instruction and practice in the listening process.
  • Instruction and practice in comprehension, interpretation, and critical evaluation of communication.
  • Instruction and practice in adapting verbal and non-verbal messages for the listener and communication contexts.
  • Instruction in the responsibilities of ethical communicators.
  • Instruction in the value and consequences of effective communication.

Writing and Information Literacy

Outcomes: As a result of completing the General Education Writing sequence, a student should be able to:

  • Read actively, think critically, and write purposefully and capably for academic and, in some cases, professional audiences;
  • Recognize and articulate the need for information, and then locate, evaluate, and ethically utilize that information to communicate effectively; and
  • Demonstrate appropriate reasoning in response to complex issues.

Criteria: A course in Writing should:

  • Create a learning environment that fosters respectful and free exchange of ideas.
  • Include college-level readings that challenge students and require the analysis of complex ideas.
  • Provide guided discussion and model practices that help students listen to, reflect upon, and respond to others ideas.
  • Foster students ability to summarize and respond in writing to ideas generated by reading and discussion.
  • Require a substantial amount of formal and informal writing.
  • Emphasize writing as a recursive process of productive revision that results in complete, polished texts appropriate to audience needs and rhetorical situations.
  • Foreground the importance of focus, organization, and logical development of written work.
  • Guide students to reflect on their own writing, to provide feedback on peers drafts, and to respond to peer and instructor comments.
  • Direct students to craft clear sentences and to recognize and apply the conventions of Edited Standard Written English.
  • Provide students with practice summarizing, paraphrasing, analyzing, synthesizing, and citing sources using a conventional documentation system.
  • Require appropriate technologies in the service of writing and learning.

Information Literacy outcomes and criteria will be embedded in the Writing Foundational Requirements courses.

Criteria: Writing course infused with Information Literacy should include:

  • Instruction and practice in identifying gaps in knowledge and recognizing when information is needed.
  • Instruction and practice in finding information efficiently and effectively, using appropriate research tools and search strategies.
  • Instruction and practice in evaluating and selecting information using appropriate criteria.
  • Instruction and practice in research strategies that are recursive and involve multiple stages such as modification of the original strategy and revision of the topic.
  • Instruction and practice in the ethical and legal use of information and information technologies.
  • Instruction and practice in creating, producing and communicating understanding of a subject through synthesis of relevant information.