What Does a Program Standard Contain?
Each program standard for a postsecondary program of instruction includes the following elements:
- Vocational standards (the vocationally specific learning outcomes which apply to the programs in question),
- Essential employability skills (skills that, regardless of a student’s program or discipline, are critical for success in the workplace, in day-to-day living, and for lifelong learning. The essential areas where graduates must demonstrate skills and knowledge: Communication, Numeracy, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Information Management, Interpersonal, and Personal) and
- General education requirement (the requirements for General education courses that contribute to the development of citizens who are conscious of the diversity, complexity and richness of the human experience; and, the society in which they live and work. Specific themes for General education courses to cover are: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology).
Collectively, these elements outline the essential skills and knowledge that a student must acquire and be able to reliably demonstrate in order to graduate from the program.
The vocational and essential employability skills components of program standards are expressed in terms of learning outcomes. They are not simply a listing of discrete skills, or broad statements of knowledge and comprehension. Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement.
Expressing standards in this way ensures consistency in the outcomes for program graduates while leaving to the discretion of the individual colleges such curriculum matters as specific program structure and delivery methods.