Appendix 1

Appendix 1A
Definition of the Four Core Competencies

(These descriptions are taken from the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education’s page, “General Educational Outcomes.")


Communication means not only speaking and listening, but also writing, persuading, and knowing how to adapt communication to a specific audience. Success in life is greatly influenced by one’s ability to speak and write persuasively. All students at Baylor are required to complete courses in writing and speaking, and are expected to use these courses to strengthen their ability to communicate with elegance and power.


Critical reasoning is the ability to calculate accurately, evaluate evidence for truth and validity, justify conclusions with data, and reason through problems to arrive at solutions that are rooted in fact and truth. Science and mathematics requirements are designed to strengthen one’s ability to calculate, reason, and think critically. Many other courses, however, also nurture the ability to reason in both theoretic and practical ways. As significant as it is, the ability to reason must also be viewed within the context of community. At Baylor, we want students to learn to reason not just for themselves, but for the communities they serve.


Baylor graduates should become civic leaders in whatever field they enter. Civic leaders are the kind of people who can build consensus among diverse populations and then lead communities toward the ideals they uphold. Whether the profession is medicine, engineering, business, law, or teaching, communities need professionals who can provide civic leadership by placing the needs of communities above their own. The ideal of civic leadership is woven throughout Baylor’s curriculum, but it is particularly evident within social science and humanities courses. Baylor students are taught that they are acquiring knowledge not just for themselves, but also for the broader goal of building communities that flourish.


Baylor students have the opportunity to explore the subject of faith throughout their undergraduate experience, but one way in which Baylor promotes Christian perspective is through our core requirements. Chapel and two required religion courses have been part of Baylor's curriculum since the University's founding more than one hundred sixty-five years ago. Courses in Christian heritage and scripture provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand the Christian narrative, reflect on how this narrative has shaped human history, and consider how Christ’s message relates to each of us personally. These core requirements offer students the opportunity to grow in their faith and reflect on God’s calling for their lives.