WASC Core Competencies

In its 2013 Re-Accreditation Handbook, WSCUC outlined five core competencies expected of every graduate. These core competencies include:

  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Information Literacy

Departments and programs may approach the competencies in disciplinary-specific ways, but they must address each as part of their program learning outcomes (PLOs). For example, music or dance may include rhythm and music reading as a disciplinary-specific quantitative reasoning; social science and humanities departments might think about student ability to read maps, charts, and other data as quantitative reasoning. Mathematics might think about writing proofs as a disciplinary-specific form of written communication. There is a growing body of assessment literature that explores how the core competencies work across the curriculum.

The core competencies are aligned with the "Golden Four" GE skills outlined by the Chancellor's Office. In addition, at CSULB, the 5 competencies are embedded in the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) as well as the GE Learning Outcomes.

Departments and programs can easily align  PLOs with the outcomes for the Institution and engage in a productive assessment of them. In the summer of 2014, all departments received a letter from the Director of Program Review and Assessment listing their current PLOs and the degree of alignment with Institutional Outcomes (and by extension WSCUC Core Competencies).

If you have any questions or would like further guidance regarding the core competencies, please feel free to contact Sharlene Sayegh (Sharlene.Sayegh@csulb.edu).