General Education - Student Engagement
Participating in General Education Assessment
All accredited universities share a responsibility to provide a broad education outside of a student’s concentration. This education is often referred to as institutional learning outcomes or general education outcomes. Common general education outcomes include critical thinking, creative thinking, oral communication, written communication, and quantitative literacy. Howard has also added the unique outcome of African American diaspora awareness.
Howard has partnered with Territorium to provide competency assessments to Juniors or Seniors to test some of their skills. The graded tests provide an opportunity for the University to reflect on student success in general and not specific student outcomes. This May and June, we are completing a pilot of 50 tests (10 in civic competency and engagement, critical thinking, quantitative literacy, intercultural competency and diversity and written communication). Please note that we recognize the limitations and inherent bias written into many standardized tests. While our partnership with Territorium does not ignore this fact, we hope that continued interaction with the standardized test industry and subsequent engagement with students in debriefing sessions will offer data that may push the industry towards more equitable testing.
Students who participate will be asked to complete one of the 50 tests above. After participation, they will be invited for a small one-hour focus group to discuss their experience. These events will happen in May and June. The test is online and can be taken at your convenience. By participating you will be helping Howard University and receiving an opportunity to see how you “stack up” nationally against other students. Those who receive at least a 70% score will also receive a micro-credential from Territorium attesting to competency in your testing area. Finally, participants will be recognized as Assessment Scholars in a campus-wide announcement and will receive a special gift from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
Incentive(s): Those who receive at least a 70% score will receive a micro-credential from Territorium attesting to competency in your testing area. All participants will be recognized as Assessment Scholars in a campus-wide announcement and will receive a special gift from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
Howard is interested in getting student perspectives on how they learn, develop, or master certain general education competencies across the University. This indirect measure provides the University with personal stories from students about how Howard has shaped them inside and outside of the classroom in general education areas.
The areas you can write an essay on are:
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning
- Critical Thinking and Reasoning
- Technology Competency
- Information Literacy
- African Diaspora Awareness
Students who participate will be asked to complete a short (less than 250 words) essay on one of the general education competencies and tell their story about how they learned, developed, or mastered it inside or outside of the classroom. You could write about a specific classroom experience, like developing quantitative skills in a laboratory or learning oral communication skills in a student organization. You can complete the essay as many times as you’d like for all of the competencies! Essays are due on June 15, 2022.
Incentive(s): All entries will be eligible to win one of ten $50 gift cards.
How to Participate
If you are interested in participating by taking competency assessments, please complete the sign-up form below. Please note that only 50 students will be allowed to participate. Participation is on a “first-come, first served” basis. Students must sign up by May 20, 2022.
Competency Assessment Sign-Up Form
If you are interested in participating by writing a competency essay, please click the link below. From the linked page, you will be able to write your essay and submit it. Essays are due on June 15, 2022.
Competency Essay Submission Form