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Essential Skills, Rubrics, and Content Areas

Throughout successful completion of the UNM General Education Curriculum, students develop the following five skills. 

1. Communication [Click for Rubric]

Courses in this area should begin to prepare students for communication in subsequent college courses, the workplace, personal and social spheres, and civic life. The courses should prepare students to become versatile communicators who can respond to a diverse range of situations with appropriate texts and performances in various media.

2. Critical Thinking [Click for Rubric]

Critical thinking is the intellectual process of evaluating information, explanations, and arguments. Proficient critical thinkers are able to apply informed and reasoned thinking to problems in their respective fields.

3. Personal & Social Responsibility [Click for Rubric]

It is suggested that a course designated as teaching personal and social responsibility skills include outcomes related to two of the rubric's component skill areas. The rubric is intended to provide guidance to faculty members designing courses and assessment tools for evaluating student learning of personal and social responsibility skills; it should not be viewed as establishing expectations for a certain level of achievement at the end of a single general education course.

4. Information & Digital Literacy [Click for Rubric]

Courses that include the skill of information and digital literacy should begin to prepare students for upper division college courses, the workplace, and civic life. Informational literacy spans across genres and content within the general education core, and as such is not tied to a specific media or format. 

5. Quantitative Reasoning [Click for Rubric] 

Quantitative reasoning involves representing and communicating quantitative information, analyzing and formulating quantitative arguments, and solving quantitative contextual problems. Contextual problems are “word problems” situated within a context relevant to the course content (e.g. economics, psychology, chemistry) or otherwise accessible to students. They may model aspects of real-world problems while maintaining an appropriate level of complexity for general education students.

The figure below should help faculty and staff to situate their content area within the appropriate essential skills.
Figure showing content areas to skills 
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