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Core Curriculum

Given the rapid evolution of necessary knowledge and skills the core curriculum ensures students will develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to be successful in college, in a career, in their communities, and in life. Through the assessment of the core curriculum Texas A&M University is able to collect information about students’ ability to demonstrate this knowledge and skills and use that information to continuously improve the core curriculum learning experience.

Assessment & Recertification Cycle

Core Curriculum Recertification is the process by which the Faculty Senate's Core Curriculum Council reviews core courses for inclusion in the core based on a variety of characteristics including: appropriateness of the course for the Foundational Component Area, enrollment, and explanations of how students are informed of the core objectives, how the course fosters student development of the core objectives, and how each mandatory core objective is evaluated in the context of the course.

Recertification is a two year process, with all core courses rotating through as members of four cohorts.
 During the first year of recertification, courses collect evidence of student learning demonstrating the required core learning objectives and submit to OIEE for assessment using the Core Curriculum Assessment rubrics. During the second year of recertification, courses complete the curricular review requirements defined by the Core Curriculum Council of the Faculty Senate.

The Core Curriculum Objectives are assessed on a three-year assessment schedule rotation according to the following schedule.
Rotation 1
(AYs 19-20, 22-23, 25-26)
Rotation 2
(AYs 20-21, 23-24, 26-27)
Rotation 3
(AYs 21-22, 24-25, 27-28)
Visual Communication 
Oral Communication 
Critical Thinking 
Social Responsibility
Written Communication 
Personal Responsibility
Empirical & Quantitative Skills

    Cycle          Academic    Year    Core Objectives Assessed for Recertification Cohort
A1 2019-2020
Course List
  • Visual Communication
B2 2020-2021
Course List
  • Critical Thinking
  • Social Responsibility 
Course List
  • Written Communication
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Empirical & Quantitative Skills
D1 2022-2023
Course List
  • Oral Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Teamwork
A2 2023-2024
Course List
  • Fall 2023: Monday, December 18

Core Objectives & Rubrics

Core Curriculum Assessment

Each Component Area has a set of identified core objectives (indicated in maroon in the table below). Each core objective has a specified rubric which will be used for assessment purposes. 

Definitions of Component Areas and core objectives can be found either in the Undergraduate Catalog or in the Texas Administrative Code


Core Objectives by Foundational Component Area (FCA)

Common scoring rubrics are linked to each core objective below.

Component Area
Critical Thinking Communication: Oral 
Visual - (Interpretation or Creation)
Empirical and Quantitative Skills
(Computational or Other)
Teamwork Social Responsibility Personal Responsibility
Life and Physical Sciences            
Language, Philosophy, & Culture             
Creative Arts            
American History            
Government/ Political Sciences            
Social and Behavioral Sciences            

Core Courses by Foundational Component Area (FCA)

Texas A&M University Catalog


What assignment should I select?

Instructors should identify one assignment where students are instructed to demonstrate the core objective that will be assessed. In identifying or creating the assignment, OIEE recommends reviewing the Core Objectives & Rubrics above to ensure that the assignment aligns with what students are expected to demonstrate. 

OIEE can assess a variety of assignments as long as the appropriate core objective rubric can be applied to the artifacts. Prominent artifacts include research essays, mathematical calculations, reflection essays, response papers, laboratory/observational reports, open-ended exam/quiz questions, recorded audio/video presentations, slide decks, and portfolios. 

Instructors can submit artifacts in one of two ways: Canvas linking or file sharing. Each semester, OIEE contacts instructors of record who are teaching courses due for assessment which method of submission they would prefer. For both methods of submission, instructors will ideally submit one artifact per student enrolled in the course. OIEE encourages Canvas linking if possible, as this is the simplest method of submission. 

Minimum requirements of the assignment:

  • The assignment is worth points/contributes to the student's grade in the course.
  • All students in the course are required to submit the assignment (i.e., not extra credit).
  • The assignment results in an individual file per student or a file that can be split up into individual student submissions.

Examples of artifacts OIEE is able to assess:

  • "Assignments" from Canvas
  • Open-ended quiz/test questions from Canvas (cannot be an open-ended question from a bank of randomized questions)
  • Written work work in files types like Microsoft Word or PDF
  • Video recordings in file types like .mov or .avi
  • PowerPoint/Google Slides presentations
  • Audio files like MP4
  • Visual creations in file types such as PDF
  • URLs if saved as a link in a file (i.e., one link per file)
  • Student submissions from a third party tool like Gradescope if individual student submissions are separated into individual files
    • If the third party tool only allows a mass download for an assignment, consider using other tools (like Mail Merge) to separate the files into individual student submissions.

Examples of artifacts that OIEE is unable to assess:

  • "Discussion Boards" downloaded from Canvas
  • File types with .html or .txt extension
  • Multiple student responses in one document (i.e., one file with links to multiple student responses)
  • One file with links to multiple URLs
  • Files with response items only (i.e., spreadsheet of student answers)
  • Multiple-choice exams or quizzes
  • Illegible files/documents (i.e., scanned documents with poor image quality)

For more information about Core Curriculum at Texas A&M in general, visit