College Catalog 2014-2015

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NOVA General Education Goals

The College has established goals for each degree program to enhance student learning experiences beyond the major area of study. The following are the College’s general education goals:

Communication

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • understand and interpret complex materials;
  • assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally;
  • use standard English;
  • use appropriate verbal and nonverbal responses in interpersonal relations and group discussions;
  • use listening skills; and
  • recognize the role of culture in communication.

Critical Thinking

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data;
  • recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information;
  • evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue;
  • weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted;
  • determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided; and
  • use problem-solving skills.

Cultural and Social Understanding

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • assess the impact that social institutions have on individuals and culture—past, present, and future;
  • describe their own as well as others’ personal ethical systems and values within social institutions;
  • recognize the impact that arts and humanities have upon individuals and cultures;
  • recognize the role of language in social and cultural contexts; and
  • recognize the interdependence of distinctive worldwide social, economic, geo-political, and cultural systems.

Information Literacy

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
  • access needed information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base;
  • use information effectively, individually or as a member of a group, to accomplish a specific purpose;
  • understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally; and
  • show computer competency in discipline-specific skills necessary for successful transfer or employment.

Personal Development

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • develop and/or refine personal wellness goals; and
  • develop and/or enhance the knowledge, skills, and understanding to make informed academic, social, personal, career, and interpersonal decisions.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • use logical and mathematical reasoning within the context of various disciplines;
  • interpret and use mathematical formulas;
  • interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables, and schematics and draw inferences from them;
  • use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data;
  • estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness; and
  • represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts.

Scientific Reasoning

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument;
  • distinguish a scientific argument from a nonscientific argument;
  • reason by deduction, induction, and analogy;
  • distinguish between causal and correlational relationships; and
  • recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.