CALS Core Competencies
Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences develop a set of knowledge, skills, and values through satisfactory completion of an integrated series of courses and academic experiences such as internships and research apprenticeships. CALS believes these competencies are essential to effectively function in society and that they foster an attitude that promotes lifelong learning and responsible citizenship.
Students develop a fundamental base of knowledge that will serve as a foundation for lifelong learning.
- Science: Students use the scientific method to understand the natural world and the human condition.
- Physical and Life Sciences: Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of two courses in subjects such as anatomy, animal science, biology, chemistry, ecology, entomology, food science, forestry, geology, horticulture, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, physics, physiology, plant biology, and soil science.
- Social Sciences: Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of two courses in subjects such as anthropology, community development, economics, geography, history, political science, public policy, psychology, and sociology.
- Humanities and Fine Arts: Students develop an understanding and appreciation for the creative process and human thought. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of two courses in subjects such as art, classics, history, literature, music, philosophy, religion, language, and theater.
Students develop abilities and use tools to effectively communicate, analyze, problem solve, think critically, and work well with others.
- Communication Skills: Students express themselves in a way that is easily understood at a level that is appropriate for the audience.
- Oral: Students show confidence and efficacy in speaking before a group. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of two courses: CALS 001 or CALS 183 (or equivalent), where the primary focus is public speaking; and an additional course or series of courses in which students present a minimum of three graded speeches to a group.
- Written: Students effectively communicate in writing. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of two courses: any English 001-099 course; and an additional course or series of courses that uses the writing process (redrafting) for a minimum of three graded papers.
- Information Technology: Students demonstrate mastery of technology for communication, data gathering and manipulation, and information analysis. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of one course: CALS 002 or CALS 085 (or equivalent).
- Quantitative Skills: Students demonstrate the ability to use numbers and apply and understand statistical methods.
- Mathematics: Students demonstrate the use of numbers for problem solving. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of one course: MATH 009 or higher.
- Statistics: Students demonstrate the use of numbers for data analysis and inference. Competency may be met by satisfactory completion of one course: STAT 111 or higher or equivalent.
- Critical Thinking Skills: Students demonstrate ability to comprehend, judge, and present written/oral arguments and to solve problems. Students learn how to distinguish between fact, conjecture, and intuition.
- Interpersonal Skills: Students demonstrate the ability to work well with other people by understanding and using skills of leadership, conflict resolution, and group process.
Students are exposed to values that are expressed through relationships with community, the environment, and themselves that are consistent with the mission of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the University of Vermont campus compact known as "Our Common Ground."
- Citizenship and Social Responsibility: Students develop an understanding, appreciation, and empathy for the diversity of human experience and perspectives. Students are exposed to solving problems for a community and contributing to the common good.
- Environmental Stewardship: Students develop a sensitivity for the interconnected relationship between human beings and the natural world and the responsibility for stewardship of the environment.
- Personal Growth: Students develop an understanding and appreciation of a healthy lifestyle and a love for learning that will lead to continuous growth and development throughout their lives. Students continue to improve themselves by developing and affirming the values of respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility.