The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results related to student learning outcomes for collegiate-level general education competencies of its undergraduate degree programs.




    Compliance     Non-Compliance     Partial Compliance






North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has an intentional and integrated general education program.  N.C. A&T identifies expected General Education competences and their related student learning outcomes, assesses the extent to which students achieve these, and uses the results to implement improvements. The general education program consists of 32 credit hours. In compliance with SACSCOC Standard 8.2.b, N.C. A&T’s general education program identifies college-level competencies within specific general education categories. In addition, all information regarding the curriculum, course list, guide to outcomes, as well as course addition information is published on the university’s General Education website.

Work on the current General Education curriculum began in 2008, with the revision of its previous general education program. The previous program, University Studies, in place since 2004, was discontinued. The primary motivations for the general education program revision were the results of an external review and the UNC General Administration’s request that each UNC institution ensure clear transfer requirements and curricula so that students transferring to a four-year institution would make timely progress toward a baccalaureate degree. In addition, the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) between University of North Carolina and North Carolina Community College systems requires the transferability of courses as a block to UNC institutions. A General Education Task Force was formed in 2008 to assist in developing the new curriculum, and then later replaced by the General Education Council (GEC) in 2011. The revised general education program (Table 8.2.b-i) was proposed and approved in Fall of 2011 by the Faculty Senate. The most recent iteration of the general education curriculum (listed in the below table) was approved on April 26, 2016.



Table 8.2.b-i.  The General Education Program


Student Learning Outcome

Credit Hours

Written Communication


Mathematical, Logical, and Analytical Reasoning

     (at least one course with MATH prefix)


Scientific Reasoning

     (at least one lab-based course)


Social/Behavioral Sciences*


Humanities/Fine Arts*


Global Awareness*


Knowledge of African American Culture and History*


*If a course meets requirements in two or more outcomes, the student has the option to use the course for one outcome and must select another course to fulfill the requirement for each outcome.

Student Success

(to be met through courses offered by a department, school/college, or the Center for Academic Excellence)




Additional General Education Student Learning Outcomes

To be infused throughout the curriculum (no credit hour requirement) and assessed at the program level: critical thinking, oral communication, ethical reasoning, and writing in the major.

Special Note Regarding NC Community College Transfer

Students transferring to NC A&T State University with an AA or AS degree (or completing the general education core, even without an AA or AS degree) from a NC community college will have met all credit requirements for the NC A&T State University general education curriculum.


Maintaining quality control in the General Education curriculum is largely the responsibility of the faculty, whose impact is seen through a variety of committees, work groups, and approval processes, as described below.

Student Learning Outcomes: College-level General Education Competencies


N.C. A&T identifies expected General Education competences and their related student learning outcomes, assesses the extent to which students achieve these, and uses the results to implement improvements. As indicated in the previous table, the university defines its General Education student learning outcomes in the following competency areas:

·         Written Communication (WC)

·         Mathematical, Logical, and Analytical Reasoning (MLAR)

·         Scientific Reasoning (SR)

·         Social/Behavioral Sciences (SBS)

·         Humanities/Fine Arts (HFA)

·         Global Awareness (GL)

·         Knowledge of African American Culture and History (AA)

·         Student Success (SS)

While critical thinking skills is typically included in general education, the university chose instead to place it in each degree program, at all levels.  The university’s last QEP focused on critical thinking skills, and during that initiative it was determined that the institution would develop critical thinking skills across the curriculum, because of its undeniable importance.  Therefore, each degree program, from undergraduate to doctoral, includes a student learning outcome that focuses on critical thinking skills.  In the general education curriculum, critical thinking skills are emphasized in two areas:  (a) Mathematical, Logical, and Analytical Reasoning and (b) Scientific Reasoning.


The General Education Council recommended the inclusion of the “Student Success” course in the general education core because of the critical role that it plays in helping students to transition to college and begin their journey to well-educated adults.


The General Education Council (GEC)


The General Education Council is a standing committee of the university, charged with oversight

of the General Education Program. The Faculty Senate and the Provost must approve actions taken by the General Education Council before they become university policy. The GEC revised its duties and responsibilities in Fall 2016. N.C. A&T also implemented a reorganization of departments creating four new colleges to realign program collaborations.  The duties of the GEC were updated in Fall 2016 when the University implemented a reorganization of its academic departments and created four new colleges to realign programs.  The current charge, composition, and policies of the GEC are provided below.


Duties and Responsibilities (Charge):


  1. Advise the Provost and Faculty Senate on matters related to the General Education Program.
  2. Assist in the development and evaluation of university policies related to the General Education Program.
  3. Review courses for inclusion on the General Education Course List.
  4. Work collaboratively with the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness to develop processes for the assessment of the General Education Program, including periodic reviews of courses on the General Education Course List.
  5. Maintain a written record of reports, recommendations and meeting minutes and make them publicly available on the university’s web site.




The General Education Council will be composed of twenty (20) members as indicated below:


Faculty, Voting Members (15)

o   SLO Representatives (8): Eight faculty members representing each of the course assessed general education category SLOs. The SLO representatives on the GEC may be elected from any department with a general education course in that category, apart from three designated representatives. 

a.      Written Communication (Department of English representative)

b.      Mathematical, Logical, and Analytical Reasoning (Mathematics Department representative)

c.       Scientific Reasoning

d.      Social/Behavioral Sciences

e.      Humanities/Fine Arts

f.        Global Awareness

g.      Knowledge of African American Culture and History

h.      Student Success (Center for Academic Excellence representative)


o   College Representatives (7): One faculty member from each of the following colleges: College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Business and Economics, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Science and Technology.


o   Alternates: Committee members should have alternates who may step in to substitute in the case of the members’ absence.  The alternate will have access to all committee materials and may attend all meetings.  If the regular committee member is present, the alternates will be non-voting.  Selection of alternate should follow the same process for selection of the regular members.


Ex-Officio, Non-Voting Members (5)

o   Director, University Honors Program

o   Assistant Provost for Student Success and Academic Support, Center for Academic Excellence

o   Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programs (Coordinator, General Education Program)

o   Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

o   Director, Office of Transfer Articulation



1.      Only tenured, tenure-track, and full-time non-tenure track faculty members are eligible to serve on the General Education Council.

2.      All full-time faculty members are eligible to nominate and vote on General Education Council members.

3.      General Education Council members serve two-year terms. Members elected in the spring begin service at the onset of the next academic year. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity across academic years.

4.      General Education Council members may serve a maximum of three consecutive two-year terms.

5.      At the start of each academic year members of the General Education Council selects a chairperson or co-chairpersons from among the continuing voting members.



The coordinator of the General Education Program will work collaboratively with the General Education Council to provide overall continuous strategic direction for the General Education Program. The elected chairperson or co-chairpersons of the General Education Council will coordinate the duties of the General Education Council in consultation with the General Education Program coordinator.




1.      The General Education Council will meet at least once per month during the academic year (September through November and January through April) unless voted otherwise by Council members at a regularly scheduled meeting.

2.      Written minutes of all meetings will be maintained and posted in a timely manner on the university web site.

3.      The Council must abide by the UNC General Administration interpretation of the (August 9, 1996) North Carolina Open Meetings Law.

Assessment of General Education:

The institution ensures that its general education program is at the collegiate level through its review by the General Education Council, which approves all GenEd student learning outcomes and the courses that deliver and assess them.  Furthermore, as part of each new undergraduate degree program, the GenEd program is presented for approval by the university’s curriculum process, as well as by the UNC new program approval process.  And, it is included in the Substantive Change Prospectus submitted to SACSCOC for each newly approved degree program.  Once the new degree program is established, changes or additions to our GenEd courses are approved by the university’s curriculum approval process, which includes the General Education Council.

Assessment of General Education Student Learning Outcomes:

Each General Education Student Learning Outcome is assigned to a General Education Student Learning Outcome Coordinator (Gen Ed SLO Coordinator).  The Gen Ed SLO Coordinator is primarily responsible for leading the execution of the assessment plan for the SLO for which they are assigned, regardless of whether the courses are offered on campus or online.  The GEC approves courses that meet one of the SLOs and the Gen Ed SLO Coordinator is responsible for ensuring there is a common assignment, rubric, data collection, review of the findings, preparing an action plan, and implementation of the action plan. 

Assessment Schedule:

The General Education Council worked with the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE) to create an assessment rotation schedule (Table 8.2.b-ii ).  The schedule will ensure that each SLO would be assessed at least every two to three years.

Table 8.2.b—ii: General Education Student Learning Outcome Assessment Schedule

GEN Ed Categories














































WC—Written Communication

MLAR—Mathematical, Logical and Analytical Reasoning

SR—Scientific Reasoning

SBS—Social and Behavioral Sciences


HFA—Humanities and Fine Arts

GL—Global Awareness

AA—African American

SS—Student Success


The general education outcomes assessment results, since the approval of the current curriculum in 2016, are provided in the General Education Assessment and Improvement Report. In 2016—2017 the minimum 70 percent performance target was established by the General Education Council (GEC). Assessment measures were identified, but there were challenges during the transition period.  Coordinators had difficulty implementing a standardized rubric for the assessment of each SLO, which resulted in data that were either skewed or not standardized. In 2017-18, the GEC discussed a target of 75 percent for 2017—2018 and 80 percent for 2018—2019 until 2020—2021.  Table 8.2.b-ii shows a student learning outcome (for Written Communication), semesters when assessments were done, methods of assessment, results of assessment and use of assessment results for one of the General Education SLOs.  One example is also provided for Mathematical, Logical and Analytical Reasoning and one for Scientific Reasoning. The entire General Education Assessment and Improvement Report is available for review.


Table 8.2.b--iii. Examples of Student Learning Outcomes, Assessments, and Improvements



Method of Assessment

Results of Assessment

Use of Assessment Results for Improvement

Written Communication


Students will demonstrate the ability to (1) produce written communication appropriate to specific tasks and audiences and (2) integrate the use of appropriate information technology tools throughout the writing process.

Fall 2018

Research Essay, scored with a Rubric.  The assessment was offered in the capstone course for Written Communication—ENGL 101; 95 sections, with an average enrollment of 25 students.

Of the 322 students assessed, 243 (75.42%) scored at or above the target.  And, 79 students (24.5) did not meet the performance target.

The faculty reviewed the findings and agreed to work together to ensure improved standardization of learning and assessments among the faculty who teach the ENGL 101 course.

Spring 2019

Target: 80% of the students will perform at standard (2 = Meets) for each SLO per the Research Essay Rubric.

Not Met

71.26% scored at or above target.

In an effort to improve the performance scores, we [the faculty] identified the problem area, and the course curriculum will be revised to include more intentional database instruction (e.g. use, source location, evaluation) along with an online ancillary requiring students to complete writing technology modules that utilize adaptive testing (Macmillan LaunchPad).

Fall 2019

Target: 80% of the students will perform at standard (2 = Meets) for each SLO per the Research Essay Rubric

SLO 1 – 86.72% met the SLO, Apply writing practices to specific tasks and audiences.

SLO 2 – 79.69% met the SLO, Integrate the use of appropriate information technology tools throughout the writing process.

Need to improve the students’ use of technology in the writing process. In the 21st century, it is critical that students are able to compose in digital environments and incorporate the necessary tools to ensure proficiency in locating digital sources, accurate citation/documentation, and formatting. After reviewing the findings for the outcome, it is clear that not all students possess the necessary proficiencies for composing in digital environments and accurately integrating, citing, and documenting sources.


The ENGL 101 course will include more opportunities for students to practice and apply these skills.

Spring 2020

Performance Target: 80% of the students will perform at standard (2 = Meets) for each SLO per the Research Essay Rubric

SLO 1 – 90.65% met the SLO, Apply writing practices to specific tasks and audiences (content).


SLO 2 – 79.50% met the SLO, Integrate the use of appropriate information technology tools throughout the writing process.

The Composition Director and Department Chair have begun exploring the use of Achieve, an online ancillary platform supporting the course textbook. The digital platform is designed to assist students with integrating technology into written composition. After a thorough review and testing of the product, it is anticipated to launch Fall 2020. ​

In addition, the textbook for ENGL 101 is being customized to include material directly relevant to improving the results of the SLO. The custom text is planned to be completed by Fall 2020.



Students will demonstrate the application of quantitative and mathematical reasoning to solve mathematical problems.

Fall 2017

(a)       Application Quiz;

(b)      Financial Modeling Rubric;

(c)       Pre-Calculus Quiz;

(d)      Rate of Change Quiz

Target: Proficient Level


Target was not met.

Overall, the breakdown is as follows:

(a) Percentage of Students at Proficient Level 36.8%

(b) Percentage of Students at Proficient Level  or better = 89.2%

(c)   Percentage of Students at proficient or better = 48%)

67% of the students that took the assessment were proficient or better.

With the high variation across sections in both means and standard deviations, the department discussed the ways in which instruction is delivered in each section, as well as how the assessment is conducted.  They agreed to work more closely to ensure higher levels of consistency.  The course coordinator will take more care in planning when the assessment occurs. Ample time will be given to students to learn and practice the material before they are assessed on their mastery of said material.


In the case of class disruptions, the course coordinator will make a greater effort to communicate with all instructors to be sure that everyone is on the same page and administering the assessment during the same time frame. The homework assignment that covers the material on which the assessment is based will be examined to ensure that there are similar practice problems.

Scientific Reasoning.


Students will demonstrate the ability to apply the principles and process of scientific inquiry in the analysis of real-world issues and problems.


Spring 2019

80% of the students assessed will Perform at the level of "Average" or "Above Average"


Course-embedded questions.

Target was not met.  71% were either average or above. (Above Average 40%; Average 31%; Below Average 29%; n=539)

Based on the findings, faculty teaching the course have decided on methods to incorporate questions that require data analysis in assignments and exams. This strategy will provide students with more opportunities to master the material that they will see on the exam.


The faculty also think it is important to encourage students to do an on-line preparatory class in the summer prior to coming to the University.  Most publishers of general chemistry books offer such a class (average cost is $20). 

Note:  A pdf of the complete Gen Ed Assessment Report is provided.


Improvements to the General Education Assessment Process:


The General Education Council initially planned to assess the General Education Student Learning Outcomes annually.  However, the Council quickly discovered the need to change from an annual assessment schedule to a semester assessment schedule, preferring to review assessment data and implement recommendations for enhancements each semester. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the General Education Student Learning Outcomes assessments are currently completed each semester.


Gen Ed SLO coordinators and key faculty teaching the general education courses are grouped in SLO teams. Teams develop common assessments and rubrics across courses to more holistically assess the category SLOs. Assessment data are gathered and randomly selected student artifacts are collected and analyzed by the SLO teams with steps taken to ensure interrater reliability. Each program responsible for the general education course analyzed its data, reported findings, and created action plans for continuous course improvement.


The GEC understands the need to engage all general education faculty and students to build a culture of assessment at N.C. A&T. Opportunities for faculty to participate in professional development workshops supports improved teaching and improved SLO assessment. Faculty collaboration in development of assessment rubrics for SLOs and evaluation of artifacts build further community. In addition, students are involved through intentional reflection on assignments and how they relate to the general education outcomes.  The goal is for general education assessment to be understood as integral to student learning, not simply a peripheral requirement for a graduation checklist.




North Carolina A&T State University has a well-organized general education program, which is in compliance with the SACSCOC standards. We continue to improve Gen Ed, and seek enhancements to ensure that our students receive a high quality, intentional and integrated collegiate-level program.  A subcommittee of the General Education Council has been selected to participate in the 2020 Institute on General Education and Assessment sponsored by the Association of American Colleges & Universities.  Participation in the 2020 Institute on General Education will: (a) assist with approaches to general education, pedagogy and assessment; (b) promote the integration of knowledge and the development of higher-order learning skills; (c) connect with the learning goals of the major, the work of student affairs, and the goal of preparing students for lifelong learning; (d) serve as the foundation for equity in preparing current and future civically engaged leaders and (e) act as a potentially powerful tool for retention and completion.


At North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, we will continue to pursue a holistic approach to the teaching and assessment of general education.




1.      General Education Course List

2.      General Education Website

3.      General Education Assessment and Improvement Report

4.      Rubric for Assessing Writing in General Education

5.      Application Quiz—Financial Modeling

6.      Financial Modeling Rubric