Cluster One is the
cornerstone of The Human Community at JMU. This cluster emphasizes
competencies in the areas of oral and written communication, critical thinking,
and information literacy used for interpersonal communication, information
retrieval and evaluation. The broadly stated goals for Cluster One are:
competency in information literacy.
critical thinking skills.
effective oral presentation skills.
effective writing skills.
self-analysis and self-directed learning
in these goals is fundamental to general education and to subsequent study in
major and professional programs. Therefore, all students complete all Cluster
One requirements in their freshman year. The specific learning goals for each
area of Cluster One are included in this section.
Cluster One Requirements
course in each grouping of courses, Critical Thinking, Human Communication, and
competency in information literacy skills by passing the JMU technology test
(Tech Level I).
competency in the information literacy skills of information retrieval and
evaluation by passing the JMU Information Seeking Skills Test (ISST).
GWRIT Placement and Exemptions
may receive credit or exemptions for GWRIT 103 under the
credit for GWRIT 103 for:
an AP minimum
score of 4 on the English Language and Composition or the English Literature
and Composition test
IB English score of 5
dual enrollment credit for GWRIT 103
an exemption for GWRIT 103 for:
a SAT II
Writing score of 670 or higher
complete their nine credits for Cluster One by completing one course in each of
three groupings of courses representing the main content disciplines of the
cluster, Critical Thinking, Human Communication, and Writing. Students complete
one course in each area and the courses may be taken in any order. Students are
required to complete course work and the information literacy competency exams
during their first year at the university.
One requires completion of one of four courses offered in critical thinking.
Students study various techniques and approaches for analyzing and evaluating
information, arguments, premises, concepts and their relationships. Depending
upon the course, the content focuses on basic business principles or issues in
recent history or mediated communication or the functions of language.
one of the following:
GBUS 160. Business Decision Making in a
GHIST 150. Critical Issues in Recent Global
GMAD 150. Mediated Communication: Issues and
One requires completion of one of three courses offered in oral communication.
Students are introduced to the study of human communication as a process and
information literacy skills. Emphasis is on examining the role of self-concept,
perception, culture, verbal and nonverbal dimensions in the communication
process, using power and managing conflict, and applying critical listening.
Depending upon the course, the content focuses on an overview of the principles
and practices of interpersonal, small group, and public communication, or
constructing informative and persuasive speeches with an emphasis on individual
public speaking contexts, or constructing informative and persuasive group
one of the following:
GCOM 121. Fundamental Human Communication: Principles and Practices
GCOM 122. Fundamental Human Communication: Individual Presentations
Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations
One requires completion of the writing course, GWRIT 103. The
emphasis is on the process of constructing a focused, logical, coherent,
well-supported thesis, or point of view. Students employ research and formal documentation
to produce writing stylistically appropriate to its audience, purpose, and
occasion. Students edit their writing for clarity and control of conventions,
and they are prepared to use reading and writing in their personal, academic,
and civic lives.
GWRIT 103. Critical Reading and Writing
Cluster One Learning Objectives
completing Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century, students should be
able to use reading, writing and oral communication, critical thinking, and
information literacy skills for inquiring, learning, thinking and communicating
in their personal, academic, and civic lives.
Students must demonstrate competency in
information literacy by locating information and using a word processor,
presentation software and spreadsheets. To demonstrate these competencies,
students must successfully complete the Tech Level I exam and the Information
Seeking Skills Test (ISST).
completing course work in critical thinking, students should be able to:
claims in terms of clarity, credibility, reliability, and accuracy.
the ability to identify, analyze and generate claims, arguments, and positions.
evaluate theses and conclusions, stated and unstated assumptions, and
supporting evidence and arguments.
skills to one’s own work and the work of others.
completing course work in communication, students should be able to:
apply the fundamentals of audience analysis, message construction, development,
organization, and presentation.
effective oral presentations in a variety of contexts.
evaluate and employ critical and sensitive listening behaviors.
manage the verbal and nonverbal dimensions of communication in a variety of
apply the influences of self-concept perception and culture on communication.
evaluate and utilize the nature and functions of power and the strategies of
completing course work in writing, students should be able to:
support a relevant and informed thesis, or point of view, that is appropriate
for its audience, purpose, and occasion.
evaluate information to identify its argumentative, credible, and ethical
civic responsibility as it relates to written discourse (critical thinking,
reading, and writing).