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General Education Outcomes

The general education portion of the Core Curriculum is especially important at Clayton State University because general education forms the foundation for all specific programs of study. Specifically, the University’s mission commits it to providing “career-oriented education with a solid liberal arts foundation.” After completing the courses in Areas A-E at Clayton State, students will be able to exhibit effective performance in communication and critical thinking, the learning outcomes that the faculty has identified as the essential elements of a superior general education. The abilities to think critically and communicate effectively are the foundation outcomes of general education, and these outcomes are stressed in major programs as well as in the Core Curriculum.

The Communication Outcome

Communication is much more than setting forth information: it involves an interchange of ideas or thoughts between a sender and a recipient. Whether the communication takes the form of a written paper or report, a letter, an oral presentation, or a problem-solving discussion in a small group, the ultimate goal is a clear, meaningful exchange of ideas between the sender(s) and recipient(s). Regardless of its purpose or its form, communication is characterized by the following five components:

  • Knowledge Base
  • Awareness of Recipient
  • Organization
  • Mechanics/Delivery
  • Style

The Critical Thinking Outcome

Critical Thinking is a systematic process used to find the answers to questions as well as to solve problems or reach informed decisions. The purpose of critical thought can be to reach a judgment based on careful reflection (e.g., reacting to a work of art or a poem) or to fulfill a very specific goal (deciding whether or not to administer a particular drug to a patient). It is important for each of us to develop the ability to think critically as well as to evaluate the quality of the critical thinking of others. No matter what the purpose for critical thought, it is characterized by the following four components:

  • Question/Issue
  • Method
  • Evidence
  • Conclusion