General Education at Pierce College prepares graduates to live and work in a dynamically changing world by emphasizing the development of a broad foundation spanning the five fundamental areas of knowledge and five core abilities.

The Five Fundamental Areas of Knowledge


Graduates identify, analyze and evaluate rhetorical strategies in their own and other’s writing in order to communicate effectively.


Graduates acquire skills to critically interpret, analyze and evaluate forms of human expression, and create and perform as an expression of the human experience.

Social Sciences

Graduates use social science research methods and/or theory in order to analyze and interpret social phenomena.

Natural Sciences

Graduates use the scientific method to analyze natural phenomena and acquire skills to evaluate authenticity of data/information relative to the natural world.

Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning

Graduates utilize mathematical, symbolic, logical, graphical, geometric, or statistical analysis for the interpretation and solution of problems in the natural world and human society.

The Five Core Abilities

It is the goal of Pierce College to prepare students to live and work in a dynamically changing world by emphasizing whole-student development and hands-on learning. Through experiences both in and out of the classroom, students are given the opportunity to broaden their horizons and be challenged in ways that encourage the development of the five core abilities vital to succeeding in life.

Critical, Creative and Reflective Thinking

Graduates will evaluate, analyze and synthesize information and ideas in order to construct informed, meaningful and justifiable conclusions.

Effective Communication

Graduates will be able to exchange messages in a variety of contexts using multiple methods.

Information Competency

Graduates will be able to seek, find, evaluate and use information, and employ information technology to engage in lifelong learning.


Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of diverse ideas, cultures and experiences, and develop the ability to examine their own attitudes and assumptions in order to understand and work with others who differ from themselves.


Graduates will be able to critically examine the relationship between self, community and/or environments, and to evaluate and articulate potential impacts and consequences of choices, actions and contributions for the creation of sustainable systems.