Competency Requirements

Success in college and the ability to function as an educated citizen require not only the ability to master areas of foundational knowledge, but also a series of fundamental skills that underlie and make possible the acquisition of knowledge. Since competencies or skills are preconditions for higher education, basic competencies should be demonstrated early in one's academic career. Multiple methods of demonstrating competency are available, including satisfactory completion of designated courses or earning appropriate scores on designated examinations.

Competency Requirements should be met early in a baccalaureate degree program. Students who fail to meet the specified deadline will be allowed two additional semesters (or equivalent) in which to satisfy the competency requirement. During this time, they must be actively involved in taking the appropriate course or otherwise preparing themselves to demonstrate competence. After the two-semester limit, students who have not satisfied the requirement may be barred from enrolling in courses other than those which satisfy the competency requirement until the requirement has been completed.

The following general principles apply to all competency requirements:

  1. Students who satisfy any Competency Requirement by passing a prescribed Wayne State University placement, qualifying, screening, competency or proficiency examination shall be excused from equivalent course work but shall receive NO course credit.
  2. Course credit granted for satisfactory completion of an Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate, or Departmental Examination will satisfy the appropriate Competency or Group Requirement; credit so earned will be applicable to a baccalaureate degree.
  3. Courses used to satisfy Competency Requirements shall not generally be used to satisfy Group Requirements.

Written Communication (BC, IC)

Writing ability is a cornerstone of academic studies and is often considered the touchstone of a university education. Skill and effectiveness in writing serve the individual throughout life — in career, in community, and in social and leisure activities. The ability to write well must be developed so that specialized audiences within professional fields as well as general audiences can be addressed effectively. While writing proficiency may be honed and refined in composition courses, writing is a skill that serves many purposes; one that requires constant renewal. The requirement in Written Communication is structured not only to provide training in how to write well, but also to insure that writing skills continue to be exercised and enhanced throughout the undergraduate years. The progression of the Written Communication requirements reflects the important notion of 'writing across the curriculum.' This requirement contains the following three components:

Basic Composition (BC) Requirement

All students must demonstrate competence in basic English composition prior to completing thirty credits. Basic composition competence shall be determined by satisfactory completion of a designated course, or its course equivalent or earning credit for basic composition through a national standardized test.

After successful completion of this requirement, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  1. Use reading strategies in order to identify, analyze, evaluate, and respond to arguments, rhetorical elements, and genre conventions in college-level texts and other media.
  2. Learn flexible research methods in order to effectively identify, select, evaluate, and apply secondary research that is appropriate to the scope and topic of a persuasive argument.
  3. Develop critical literacy strategies to effectively and responsibly quote, paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize secondary research sources in order to compose persuasive arguments.
  4. Learn theories and practices of written composition and rhetoric related to the writing process, including genre conventions of public and/or academic discourse communities and strategies for reading, drafting, writing, rewriting, and editing
  5. Apply rhetorical knowledge to develop persuasive research-based written arguments intended for public and/or academic audiences, including techniques of rhetorical analysis of written texts and rhetorical strategies for composing arguments.
  6. Compose persuasive arguments using a flexible writing process that includes instructor and peer feedback through multiple drafts of writing projects that incorporate varied writing media.
  7. Use reflection and reflective writing to develop metacognition on the writing and research processes to plan, monitor, and evaluate one’s own learning and writing. 

Course(s) satisfying the basic composition requirement include:

ENG 1020Introductory College Writing (Completed with a C or better)3

Students can also demonstrate competence in basic composition by:

  1. Earning credit for basic composition through Advanced Placement CLEP or International Baccalaureate; OR
  2. Transferring credit received for successful completion of a comparable course completed with a grade of C or better at another college or university.

Intermediate Composition (IC) Requirement

After successful completion of this requirement, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  1. Learn how to develop appropriate, relevant, and compelling primary research that responds to a text’s audience, context, and purpose within a professional discourse community.

  2. Synthesize primary and secondary research in order to develop ideas and compose written arguments and/or analyses that respond to issues in a professional discourse community.

  3. Investigate, analyze, and compose texts for professional discourse communities as related to a concentration of study (i.e., a student’s major).

  4. Develop and adjust reading strategies to analyze and evaluate genres within and beyond the student’s discipline and profession, including their associated professional discourse community, audience(s), rhetorical situations, purposes, and strategies.

  5. Compose written texts that respond to the expectations of audiences inside and outside of students’ professional discourse community in terms of content, claims, evidence, organization, format, style, rhetorical situation, persuasive strategies, and language effects.

  6. Develop an awareness of how written genre conventions are social, and how genre and professional discourse communities change and shape each other over time.

  7. Use reflective writing and meta-cognition as part of the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of one’s research and writing processes. 

All students must complete satisfactorily a designated intermediate, or more advanced, course in which the teaching of English composition and rhetoric is a major component prior to completing seventy-five credits. Satisfactory completion requires a grade of C or better. Courses currently approved for intermediate composition are:

AFS/ENG 2390Introduction to African-American Literature: Literature and Writing3
ENG 3010Intermediate Writing3
ENG 3020Writing and Community3
ENG 3050Technical Communication I: Reports3

Schools and colleges may also have specific requirements, such that careful course selection can lead to meeting both General Education and college requirements. Please consult the College/School listing for specific requirements.

Oral Communication (OC) Requirement 

Educated persons should be comfortable in situations which require them to make oral presentations, be able to convince others of a point of view, or make appropriate remarks in an informal setting. Along with an ability to write cogently, communicating orally is mentioned most frequently by employers and others who evaluate the preparedness of college students as a fundamental skill to be able to compete in contemporary society. Consequently, oral communication is a crucial skill needed for success in virtually every field of endeavor.

After successful completion of this requirement, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  1. Apply public speaking skills and concepts to speech presentations.
  2. Prepare and deliver four different types of well-organized, context-specific speeches.
  3. Create and present a well-designed presentational aid complementing a message in an informative speech.
  4. Employ persuasive strategies in a persuasive speech.
  5. Collaborate in a group in order to complete tasks for a group presentation.
  6. Incorporate credible research into an informative and persuasive speech.
  7. Critically reflect on the organization, content, and delivery of public speaking performances.
  8. Perform an audience analysis to create a speech that is appropriate for and respectful of a diverse audience. 

Courses satisfying the basic composition requirement include:

COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech3
ENG 3060Technical Communication II: Presentations3

Students can also demonstrate competence in oral communication by: 

  1. Passing the Oral Communication Competency Examination; OR
  2. Transferring credit received for successful completion of a comparable course taken at another college or university.

Quantitative Experience (QE) Requirement

Individuals with competency in quantitative skills possess the ability to reason and solve problems from a wide range of authentic contexts and everyday life situations. They can interpret quantitative data and use that analysis to provide support for sophisticated arguments. They can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats as appropriate. This requirement is aimed at developing those skills in all of our students.

After successful completion of this requirement, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  1. Apply mathematical models to real-world problems.
  2. Carry out and justify calculations.
  3. Draw conclusions based on quantitative evidence.
  4. Communicate arguments supported by quantitative evidence.

Competency in quantitative skills must be demonstrated by all students prior to completion of the first thirty credits taken at Wayne State University. Quantitative skills competency shall be demonstrated by: a) Satisfactory completion of any QE designated course with a grade of C or better if taken at Wayne State University; OR b) Placing into a mathematics course above the level of MAT 1000 or MAT 1070 on the Mathematics Placement Examination; OR c) Achieving appropriate scores on national standardized tests; OR d) Transferring credit received for successful completion of a course equivalent to or higher than MAT 1000 completed with a grade of C or better at another college or university.

Courses satisfying the quantitative experience requirement include:

BA 1200Personal Finance Planning3
BA 2300Quantitative Methods I: Probability and Statistical Inference3
COM 3150Science Communication3
FPC 1010Math for the Arts3
MAE 1000Detroit by the Numbers3
MAT 1000Mathematics in Today's World3
MAT 1070College Algebra5
MAT 1110Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I3
MAT 1120Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II3
MAT 1800Elementary Functions4
MAT 2010Calculus I4
MAT 2020Calculus II4
PHI 1070Reasoning and Decision3
PHY 1020Conceptual Physics: The Basic Science3
PS 1050Understanding Political Science Statistics4
STA 1020Elementary Statistics3
STA 2210Probability and Statistics4
THR 2651Introduction to Life Skills for the Creative Entrepreneur3