Student Core Competencies

Student
Core Competencies

What are they?

Lethbridge College has advocated some form of student competencies for the last 12 years. Now referred to as Student Core Competencies, these areas of student development were formerly known as “21st-Century Skills” and, before that, “College-Wide Outcomes.” But what does this mean? Student Core Competencies might be described as soft skills, life skills, professional skills, or employment skills. These are skills all students will develop to varying levels during their time at Lethbridge College—in addition to the knowledge and skills gained in their areas of subject matter expertise. Core competencies are developed both inside and outside of the classroom. And although these competencies go beyond subject matter and program focus, they are essential to student success.

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    Innovation

    Innovation encompasses experimentation, creation, imagination, risk, and entrepreneurship. It involves investigating challenges, typically searching for a method, opportunity, idea or product/service where none existed before, or using something in a way it has never been used.

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    Problem Solving

    Problem solving consists of applying the skills, attitudes, and behaviours needed to effectively generate and implement ideas to address a need or challenge. A problem-solver is resilient, makes decisions, and employs creativity, flexibility, and critical thinking to deliver solutions.

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    Global Citizenship

    Global citizenship involves actively engaging with a variety of cultural, environmental, political, and economic systems. It includes acknowledging Indigenous and global perspectives when taking action on local or global issues.

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    Critical Thinking

    Critical Thinking involves the application of the skills, attitudes, and behaviour needed to effectively research, organize, evaluate, and use information from a variety of digital and non-digital sources for specific purposes.

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    Teamwork & Collaboration

    Teamwork & Collaboration involves building collaborative relationships, products, and services with others who represent diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, abilities, lifestyles, and viewpoints. Developing this competency includes working within a team structure as well as negotiating and managing conflict.

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    Communication

    Communication is the ability to effectively read, write, speak, listen to, represent, and view information. Communication may be verbal, non-verbal, formal, or informal, and is used for a variety of purposes, audiences and situations. Individuals demonstrate respect, responsibility and empathy when communicating with others.

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    Career & Personal Development

    Career and Personal Development involves setting academic, career, and wellness goals and striving to achieve them. Developing this competency includes identifying personal strengths and abilities and using them in various settings. Implementing strategies such as self-reflection, goal setting and goal meeting is also a fundamental aspect of career and personal development.

Why do they matter?

Student Core Competencies matter because they contribute to students’ academic success as well as their success after graduation. While students’ development in these areas isn’t currently measured, it’s evident that demonstrating these competencies is critical to employment success and personal development. In fact, engagement with local employers indicates that core competency development is a sought-after quality in new hires. By clearly defining core competencies, Lethbridge College provides students with a clear pathway to develop these soft skills and helps students articulate their competency development to employers.

How were they designed?

The competencies were designed using input from many college departments and staff members. A working group established in May 2018 conducted background research and met regularly to collaborate on the project. The group asked for feedback from students, staff, instructors, and employers and used an iterative design model to develop frameworks and a visual identity for the Student Core Competencies. Feedback was also sought from additional stakeholder groups, such as Lethbridge College Indigenous Services and technology experts. Several pilot phases were completed before the group moved to final revision and implementation phases, resulting in the Student Core Competencies as they exist today.

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