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Essay Tool

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to demonstrate: 

1. their ability to think critically

2. their ability to express themselves clearly in written and oral communication

3. their ability to express themselves effectively in quantitative terms

4. their understanding of and appreciation for the value and significance of culture

5. the scientific method of inquiry and the historical and contemporary impact of science on daily life

6. their understanding of global, political, social, economic, and historical perspectives

7. their ability to use technology to access, retrieve, process, and communicate information

        The General Education Committee and HCC Clusters worked to develop a definition of critical thinking.  Meeting in FA 2010, and considering all the definitions proposed, the Assessment Committee agreed upon the following working definition:  "Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, apply and reflect on information to support sound decision making." From this, the committee created a Critical Thinking Essay.  The link below takes you to the actual document. 

 Critical Thinking Essay - This essay requires the student to read an article and answer questions based on that article.   

Scoring method: The essay rubric was designed by the committee after a lengthy period of research, trials and refinements.  It is used by the Committee members to score the individual student essays.  Two committee members will grade the same essays.  If the evaluations differ, the members will decide upon a common score.   Members grade essays during the spring and fall terms.