Core Competencies FAQ
Departments and programs express their aspirations for student performance through their Program Learning Outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions – Core Competencies Assessment

What are Core Competencies?

Core Competencies are critical skills that all accredited institutions must ensure students in their baccalaureate programs develop. They include, but are not limited to, the 5 Core Competencies of Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, and Information Literacy. While undergraduate programs are encouraged to define these competencies in ways consistent with the philosophy, curriculum, and pedagogy of their programs, general definitions of the Core Competencies can be found on our Core Competencies Learning Outcomes page.

Does UCI need to assess Core Competencies?

Yes. UCI must demonstrate, through evidence of student performance, the extent to which those outcomes are achieved at or near the time of graduation.

How does UCI assess Core Competencies?

UCI has integrated its assessment of Core Competencies with the assessment protocol for undergraduate majors. Therefore, core competencies are assessed directly within the major, either via existing program learning outcomes or within required upper-division coursework. This direct assessment is supplemented by indirect assessment of core competencies within survey questions on the UC Undergraduate Experiences Survey (UCUES) and the Division of Institutional Research Graduating Senior Survey.

Who reviews Core Competencies assessment reports?

Core competencies assessment is embedded within undergraduate program assessment reports. Submitted assessment reports will be reviewed by the Academic Senate Policy and Assessment Subcommittee and the Director of Assessment. Results will be reviewed in aggregate to determine the extent UCI undergraduates are successfully achieving each of the core competencies.

How will assessment reports be used by the campus?

The primary goal of assessment is the improvement of teaching and learning, so we expect that your department will be the primary user of the assessment reports.

The Academic Senate Policy and Assessment Subcommittee will review all assessment reports with the goal of providing feedback to departments to ensure high quality assessment practices. The Academic Program Review Board will review assessment reports as part of the School review every 10 years. And reports will be reviewed by WASC, UCI’s regional accrediting body, to ensure compliance with accreditation standards and to ensure the campus (1) uses data and systematic processes to improve teaching and learning and (2) provides high quality education to its students. Assessment reports may also be reviewed by discipline-specific accrediting agencies, such as ABET, CCNE, AACSB, etc.

Learning Outcomes

View the learning outcomes of core competencies.

Assessment Process

Information about the assessment process for core competencies.

Connect with our team

We’re here to help!