What matters about college? What will students know and be able to do upon completing their degrees at California State University, Northridge? What difference can college make in the lives students as diverse as the pathways of their education? Fundamental Learning Competencies are the skills, knowledge, and abilities which every student can expect to have the opportunity to achieve through their college experience: from learning opportunities in their major academic programs, from breadth and connections made within and through their general education choices, as well as through co-curricular learning experiences. Major programs, general education choices and co-curricular experiences build on what the student brings to college to uniquely shape the student who emerges. California State University, Northridge is committed to Fundamental Learning Competencies as fundamental goals of the collegiate experience. Fundamental Learning Competencies define the skills, knowledge and abilities which every student can expect to have the opportunity to achieve upon completing their degrees, regardless of major. The student will find these goals embedded and inter-connected throughout the entire curriculum, in general education and major fields of study, and in the many co-curricular opportunities the campus affords.
- Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World: CSUN graduates understand the history and scope of human knowledge in the natural and social sciences and appreciate the diversity of aesthetic and cultural achievements throughout the world.
- Intellectual and Practical Skills: CSUN graduates can effectively engage in inquiry and problem-solving, critical analysis, and creative thinking; they have quantitative literacy, are information competent and appreciate the role of these as life-long learning skills.
- Communication Skills: CSUN graduates can communicate effectively through written, signed or spoken languages, through visual and audio media using text, video, graphics, and quantitative data, both individually and as a member of a team.
- Personal and Social Responsibility: CSUN graduates are actively engaged in diverse local and global communities, have multi-cultural knowledge, and use ethical principles in reasoning and action when solving real-world challenges.
The Big 5 Competencies, a subset of the FLC, are:
- Critical Thinking
- Written Communication
- Oral Communication
- Quantitative Literacy
- Information Literacy
Departments and colleges are free to assess any of the longer list of the FLC, any of the Big 5 and/or any disciplinary specific learning outcomes as they deem appropriate and relevant to the information they wish to collect.