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Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century

Gretchen Anne Hazard, Coordinator

Cluster 1 Cluster 3 Cluster 5
Cluster 2 Cluster 4


Cluster One Requirements
Cluster One Structure
Cluster One Learning Objectives


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. The broadly stated goals for Cluster One are:

Competence in these goals is fundamental to general education and to subsequent study in major and professional programs. Therefore, all students are required to complete all Cluster One requirements during their first academic year at JMU. The specific learning goals for each area of Cluster One are included in this section.

Cluster One Requirements
GWRIT Placement and Exemptions
Students may receive credit or exemptions for GWRIT 103 under the following conditions.

Receive credit for GWRIT 103 for:
Receive an exemption for GWRIT 103 for:
Based on the SAT Verbal exam score received, a student may be eligible to take the two-part Waiver Exam: Part I is a timed usage and grammar test taken online; Part II is a proctored essay written in response to two short articles. Eligible first year students will receive a letter inviting their participation. As college-level writing requires training and practice, JMU encourages students to take GWRIT 103. Students should only consider taking the Waiver Exam if they are not receiving credit for GWRIT 103 through AP or IB test scores, dual enrollment, or transfer credit, and believe they have the skills to pass the test. The Waiver Exam process offers students an exemption; students will not earn any university credit by completing the exam.

Students who have received credit for GWRIT 101 are not eligible to receive credit for WRIT 100. Students who have received credit for GWRIT 102 are not eligible to receive credit for WRIT 100 or GWRIT 103.

Cluster One Structure

Information Literacy
Cluster One requires completion of the information literacy tests during the first year. Information literacy is the ability to locate, evaluate and use information effectively to accomplish a purpose. Cluster One students must demonstrate competency by successfully completing:
Critical Thinking
Cluster One requires the completion of one of five courses offered in critical thinking. Students study various techniques and approaches to critical thinking such as analyzing and evaluating information, arguments, premises, and concepts and their relationships as well as fostering problem solving abilities. Depending upon the course, the content focuses on the function of language, basic business principles, issues in recent history, mediated communication, informal logical reasoning or problem solving in science and technology.

Choose one of the following:
     GBUS 160. Business Decision Making in a Modern Society
     GHIST 150. Critical Issues in Recent Global History
     GISAT 160. Problem Solving Approaches in Science and Technology
     GMAD 150. Mediated Communication: Issues and Skills
     GPHIL 120. Critical Thinking

Human Communication

Cluster One requires completion of one of three courses offered in oral communication. Students are introduced to the study of human communication as a process. 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 presentations.

Choose one of the following:
     GCOM 121. Fundamental Human Communication: Presentations
     GCOM 122. Fundamental Human Communication: Individual Presentations
     GCOM 123. Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations

GCOM class are not eligible to receive credit for a second GCOM class. Students who have received credit for GCOM 121 are not eligible to receive credit for GCOM 122 or GCOM 123. Students who have received credit for GCOM 122 are not eligible to receive credit for GCOM 121 or GCOM 123. Students who have received credit for GCOM 123 are not eligible to receive credit for GCOM 121 or GCOM 122.

Writing
Cluster 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.

Complete the following:
     GWRIT 103. Critical Reading and Writing

Cluster One Learning Objectives
After 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.

Required Competencies

Information Literacy
After completing both information literacy tests and course work in critical thinking, human communication, and writing, students should be able to:

Critical Thinking
After completing course work in critical thinking, students should be able to:
Human Communication
After completing course work in communication, students should be able to:
Writing
After completing course work in writing, students should be able to:

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