Core Competencies

Core Competencies are a required, noncredit, general education component of each degree program. These competencies are central to your learning, and using them across the curriculum not only helps you apply similar skills and abilities in order to learn different course content, but also allows you to integrate your education, rather than thinking of it as a collection of separate, unrelated courses


Check in with your academic advisors to review your core competency portfolio.

Academic Advising

An Explanation

  • How Do Core Competencies Work?

    BCC faculty identify—in general education classes, electives, and other courses in all programs of study—certain core competencies that they consider key to college-level learning and that can best be demonstrated by the type of work students will do in their course. As students complete assignments in the course, they develop these core competencies, and can then apply what they have learned to their coursework in different subjects.

    Some courses have embedded core competencies, meaning that the opportunity to demonstrate a particular competency is built into the curriculum. The course description section of the catalog identifies which courses have embedded core competencies. If you don’t need an embedded competency, inquire with your instructor to see if a different competency can be achieved in the course.

  • What Are the Core Competencies at BCC?

    To help you become the best, most well-rounded student you can be, we require you to demonstrate core competencies in the following areas:

    CC-CT Critical Thinking
    • Consider information to form purposeful judgments by using cognitive skills in conscious, organized processes.
    • Demonstrate the ability to analyze information for accuracy, balance, bias, and agenda; identify inconsistencies in data and argument.
    CC-OC Oral Communication
    • Respond to complex questions in creative and thoughtful ways, considering multiple points of view.
    • Critically evaluate and cogently present researched information in an organized, effective manner as verbal presentation; develop physical control of delivery; listen actively.
    CC-WC Written Communication*
    • Respond to complex questions in creative and thoughtful ways, considering multiple points of view.
    • Write essays focusing on one main idea that has been logically developed, with detailed paragraphs; responsibly and accurately incorporate information from secondary sources.

    *This competency, which entails the use of sources, must be satisfied by a sample work from courses other than composition.

    CC-QR Quantitative Reasoning
    • Demonstrate the application of mathematical understanding either through elementary functions or algebraic equations, or by appropriate graphing or modeling requiring analysis of a given problem.
    • Show flexibility within the basis of analysis.
    • Appraise problem-solving options using sequential or systemic logic.
  • Who Needs to Demonstrate Core Competencies?

    Core competencies are a graduation requirement for all students pursuing an A.A. or A.S. degree. Students who have earned a degree from an accredited higher-education institution, who have completed 15 or more degree credits prior to 2004, or who have transferred in 15 or more credits are exempt from the requirement.

    Certificate and non-degree students are not required to complete the core competency requirement. They are, however, encouraged to do so, since they may later wish to apply their coursework toward a degree.

    Students who are required to complete the core competencies for graduation may, in extraordinary circumstances, request a substitution or waiver for part of the requirement. These requests should be addressed to the Program Advisor for Liberal Arts, who will make recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  • How Are Core Competencies Scored?

    All assignments must earn a grade of C or better in order for your core competency requirement to be met. In addition, competency requirements must be met and certified during the semester you’re enrolled in the course.

    While a single assignment can fulfill only one competency, you may ask your instructor about the possibility of fulfilling a different competency than the one assigned to a particular work. No more than two competencies can be satisfied through work in one course.

    Once you have demonstrated a competency, your instructor will notify the Registrar’s Office of his or her acceptance of your work. Completed competencies will be documented on your academic record.