What Are General Education Competencies? The Answer in This Free Essay

Published: 2017-08-08
What Are General Education Competencies? The Answer in This Free Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  College Education United States Research
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1726 words
15 min read

General Education Competencies refer to skills that individual showcases which are deemed necessary in that particular faculty in order to demonstrate quality college education (In Soven, 2013). Therefore, general education competencies are essential skills that must be possessed by college student which they expand on so that they can be able to demonstrate adeptness in areas of writing, oral expression, and quantitative reasoning. Various faculties use varying competencies to determine the quality of education given to an individual in the college. In this case, there are three main competencies that are used to analyze and assess the general education competencies of the student (Jones & Ashton, 2009). The competencies majorly focus on adept writing skills and reasoning. The three competencies are quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and reading fluency.

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Written communication competency is one of the key competencies that can be used to determine the quality of education in an English faculty (Meyer, 2011). For the faculty to be able to determine the competency of written communication of an individual an individual can be asked to write a letter. The type of letter can vary from admission letter to CV and cover letter. According to recruitment agencies, nearly half of the CVs and the cover letters that they receive through recruitment consultants contain grammatical and spelling errors. According to this research most of these CVs and cover letters come from graduates aged between 21 and 25. This raises the inquiry of the quality of written communication that students in college are impacted with (Jones & Ashton, 2009). Therefore, the education system does not prepare students adequately for life outside of the schooling system.

In America, neither the employers nor the university faculty believed in the preparedness of students in expectations they will face at the college level or in their careers. The education system is focused on building education for academicians which makes the students be poorly prepared for what is awaiting them in the other world (Williams, 2003). For instance, according to the recruitment and employment commission almost half of the CVs and cover letters that they receive from recruitment consultants contain spelling and grammatical errors (Jones & Ashton, 2009). This shows that majority of the population that is applying for employment opportunities are unable to communicate using proper grammar. As a result, the education system can be blamed for not focusing on this competency that is useful for the student in future.

Consequently, research conducted in 2004 showed that only 28 percent of college instructors were doing an adequate job in preparing their students for what came after school (In Rasmussen, In Northrup & In Colson, 2017). However, in 2015 the count among college instructors had dropped to 14 percent over the decade. Analysis of these two research shows that the college instructor and tutor committed to teaching their students about life expectations continued to decrease over the past decade by nearly half (Schaffhauser, 2015). This can be related to the increase in the number of errors that the recruitment and employment commission has been seeing on the CVs received. Furthermore, in 2004 49 percent of the employers were of the view that schools have been doing a decent job in preparing students for the challenges at work and what they would need for them be to competent employees. However, in 2015 the count had dropped to 29 percent. The decline in number among the employers can be attributed to the fact that most students felt that the schooling system had not challenged them enough hence they were not properly prepared for what may come when they got employed (Schaffhauser, 2015).

When most of the students are asked about their lack of preparedness for life after school and work challenges, part of them said that their high schools and colleges do not set academic expectations that are high enough (Wells, 2016). Students claimed that the academic expectations for most of their schools were just average. This made them complacent hence they did not feel the need to work hard for them to pass through the education system (Savery, 2015). Additionally, fifty-four percent of the students consulted during the research claimed that they were only "somewhat challenged" with twenty percent saying that they had an easy slide through the system (Schaffhauser, 2015). The lack of challenges for the students in schools makes them be poorly prepared for challenges in life. For instance, with around 20 percent saying that they had an easy slide through the education system meaning that they did not experience any challenges when in schools, these students do not have any idea of how to deal with challenges when they appear (Schaffhauser, 2015). As a result, these kinds of students are unable to confront challenges at work hence they end up being unproductive when they are employed.

In addition, although most of the schools tend to believe that they have adequately prepared they students for life after or even university education, research conducted shows that there are several major gaps in student preparation in several areas (Savery, 2015). For example, among students coming from high school, 82 percent of the instructors found out that less than half and in some cases none of the students was prepared in terms of critical thinking with around 80 percent being unable to comprehend complicated material (Schaffhauser, 2015). These gaps in the preparation of the students are the reason that majority of the students are unable to be successful in life. For instance, in the case of lack of preparedness in critical thinking, the students lacking in critical thinking fail to become leader in their careers for they are unable to critically think about a challenge or situation facing the organization in order to come up with ways of dealing with the challenge.

The lack of preparedness among students can also be traced to the teaching skills of their teachers and instructors (Boud & Falchikov, 2007). There is a notion/myth among many people that a teacher is born not made. According to Elizabeth Green (2015), educators and instructors who are currently responsible for imparting education to the students are not well prepared for the rigors challenges that they may face in the classrooms. The lack of prepared among teachers directly reciprocates to the students (Savery, 2015). Therefore, when the teacher is not well prepared for the rigors activities and challenges that they are going to face in the classroom, they are unable to deal with the challenges hence they are unable to make their students be more prepared to what may happen in their careers and lives after school. Most teachers tend to grasp the knowledge about the subject that they are supposed to be teaching. However, this limits their ability to deliver the knowledge to the students because they have not been prepared in the art of teaching (Green, 2015). Therefore, teaching the teachers can be a good way to start when trying to ensure that the level of preparedness among students is improved.

The schooling system also does not prepare their students on how to think outside the school or academics. In the current education system, education is pragmatic as in the teachers test their students on specific data. As a result, students learn and at times cram that specific data that they will encounter in the test. The result of this pragmatic education is that students are unable to think logically and critically through a challenge in order to find a solution, but they rely on the memorized data that they have (Akins, 2014). As a result, the students cannot deal; with real life problems and challenges as they happen because they lack in terms of logical and organized thinking.

However, other portions of the population tend to think that education prepares an individual properly for life after school. These proponents argue that school prepares a person for the future by teaching them to become everyday workers (Ring & Ramirez, 2012). According to these proponents, a school is like an everyday workplace whereby the student completes on their everyday duties failure to which they end up failing their exams which can be related to being fired in the workplace (Bettinger & Long, 2009). Therefore, the education system has done enough in preparing the students for the future outside the schools.

In conclusion, although there are people who may be claiming that the education system has done enough to prepare students for life after school; their argument is based on the routine organized by the school. Having a routine can be done by an individual in the comfort of their house hence the main argument of these proponents can be dismissed on that basis. The education system focuses on grades at the expense of the quality of the inclusive education gained hence there is need to revisit the education system so that it can concentrate majorly on aspects that the students can be able to use after school rather than just the grades they score in school. In this written report, the general competencies of education including; critical thinking, quantitative thinking, and reading fluency have been demonstrated in the report.


Akins, J. (2014). 20 Life Skills Not Taught in School. Retrieved from: http://successfulstudent.org/20-life-skills-not-taught-in-school/

Bettinger, E. P., & Long, B. T. (2009). Addressing the needs of underprepared students in higher education does college remediation work?. Journal of Human Resources, 44(3), 736-771.

Boud, D., & Falchikov, N. (Eds.). (2007). Rethinking assessment in higher education: Learning for the longer term. Routledge.

Green, E. (2015). Building a better teacher: How teaching works (and how to teach it to everyone). New York; W Norton & Company.

In Rasmussen, K., In Northrup, P. T., & In Colson, R. (2017). Handbook of research on competency-based education in university settings.

In Soven, M. (2013). Linked courses for general education and integrative learning: A guide for faculty and administrators.

Jones, E, J.& Ashton, R. (2009). Spell it Out. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/cv-mistakes

Meyer, R. S. (2011). Desired general education competencies: A corporate perspective.

Ring, G., & Ramirez, B. (2012). Implementing ePortfolios for the Assessment of General Education Competencies. International Journal of ePortfolio, 2(1), 87-97.

Savery, J. R. (2015). Overview of Problem-based Learning: Definitions and distinctions. Essential readings in problem-based learning: Exploring and Extending the legacy of Howard S. Barrows, 5-15.

Schaffhauser, D. (2015). Survey: Most Profs Find HS Grads Unready for College or Work. Retrieved from:

Wells, C. A. (2016). Realizing general education: Reconsidering conceptions and renewing practice.

Williams, P. E. (2003). Roles and competencies for distance education programs in higher education institutions. The American Journal of Distance Education, 17(1), 45-57.

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