OTC CORE Experiences Logo

The CORE Experiences at OTC describe a set of four broad competencies that are woven into all General Education courses.  General Education CORE Experiences classes are designed not only for students to gain knowledge in specific subject areas, but to help students obtain the essential, or soft, skills employers look for in College graduates.

Click on a CORE Experience below to learn more about it.

OTC Core Experience: Managing Information Logo
OTC Core Experience: Communicating Logo
OTC Core Experience: Valuing Logo
OTC Core Experience: Higher Order Thinking Logo

What are CORE Experiences courses?

CORE Experiences courses are General Education courses that are designed not only for you to gain knowledge in specific subject areas, but to help you obtain broader competencies that will help you with the essential, or soft, skills employers look for in College graduates.At the end of each semester you will receive a survey asking you to let us know how your classroom experiences have helped you gain skills in each of the competencies.  We’ll use that information to be sure we are continuing to provide you a high-quality educational experience.


Where did these CORE Experiences competencies come from?

We built our CORE Experiences competencies around feedback from our community, standards from state-mandated curriculum, and our own philosophy of General Education.


Why are the CORE Experiences competencies important to me?

By gaining skill in each of these areas, you’ll be ensuring you have the competitive edge employers look for in new employees.


Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You can talk with your instructor(s) or feel free to email COREExperiences@otc.edu 

I need an introduction to the CORE Experiences.


Why do we need the CORE Experiences?

The CORE Experiences serve 3 purposes:

  1. To allow us to define our general education program (see HLC Criteria 3B)
  2. To ensure we are meeting the standards of the Missouri Higher Education Core Transfer Curriculum (CORE 42) Framework and Knowledge Area Competencies
  3. To allow us to clearly define the essential role General Education plays in providing the essential, or soft, skills that our communities and employers expect from our graduates (see OTC’s Your Dreams Our Plan 2018-2025 Strategic Plan (pages 6-9) 


How will the process work?

Beginning in the FA 2019 semester, we area asking faculty in CORE Experience courses (all Gen Ed courses in the CORE 42 with the exception of all BCS courses, CHM 160&161, MTH 131 & Higher, and PHY 220), to be transparent and intentional about linking your course content to the CORE Experiences.

At the end of the semester, all students in a CORE Experience course will receive a survey delivered through the same software we use for course evaluations.  This survey will ask the student to evaluate how their classroom experiences have helped them gain skills in the CORE competencies.

Data from these surveys will be used by departments and the General Education Assessment Committee to make data-informed decisions about course content and activities.


I’d like to see a copy of the survey.

Sure!  Here you go 🙂  Survey for all Gen Ed students


What are the guidelines on how I am to incorporate the CORE competencies into my course(s)?

We have no specific guidelines – we simply ask you to be intentional and transparent.  The exact way you use the competencies is up to you and/or your department.  You are the content experts!

But, if you’re looking for some inspiration from your colleagues, please visit the pages for each of the individual competencies (links above) to see an experience gallery with sample assignments and ideas from your peers.

Can I have a copy of the artwork/logos for my Canvas site/assignments,etc.?

Of course!  We will have a physical copy of the artwork/logos in all Gen Ed classrooms at all campuses and locations, but for our online friends – or for anyone who wants digital access – we have built a page you can find in the Canvas Commons that includes the images and the same information as the syllabus template.  Just search for “OTC Core Experiences”.

Not sure how to use Canvas Commons?  Here’s a quick video to get you started.

You can also access the images directly here:


I still have more questions – where do I get more information?

You will have discussions about the CORE Experiences in your department meetings in August, and we have training sessions specific to the CORE Experiences scheduled at the Adjunct Educator Conference and Faculty Development Days.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact any of the following:

  • COREExperiences@otc.edu
  • Vivian Elder    elderv@otc.edu   417-447-8114
  • Your Department Chair
  • A member of the General Education Assessment Committee:
    • Mike Adamek, Kat Allie, Kim Berry, Richard Turner, Martha Crise, Vivian Elder, Greg French, Lisa Marks, Karla Rues, Trish White, JC Walker

One of the biggest reasons we’ve taken on the CORE Experiences project is because of the feedback YOU provided us in our work leading up to our Your Dreams Our Plan: 2018-2025 Strategic Plan. Here’s what we heard:

  • “OTC should focus on teaching soft skills like communication and time management”

As a result, we’ve built into our Strategic Plan the goal of ensuring “that employability skills are integrated into every student’s education”.  These employability skills are already a part of our Technical and Allied Health curriculum.  The CORE Experiences project is our way we are making progress toward that goal in the field of General Education.

Did you know, up to 25% of the courses completed by OTC graduates in the Technical and Allied Health fields is made of up of general education courses?

We will share our findings with you here as we implement and refine this process.  Check back often!


Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Please email COREExperiences@otc.edu 

Here are the data we have collected, so far:

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Please email COREExperiences@otc.edu 

Click a link below to learn how OTC's CORE Experiences work links to other projects and work around the college

Creating, implementing, and sustaining the CORE Experiences project is OTC’s Quality Initiative Project for our ongoing accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.  We are happy to share the details and progress of this project with you here:

Initial Proposal & Approval

Deliverables accomplished:

Fall 2018

  • Assessment of Student Learning Committee (now called General Education Assessment Committee) established
  • Initial Competency Assessment Plan created for all Competencies
    • step of adding an initial introduction and pre-survey to OTC 101 course added to plan
  • review and refinement of Initial Competency Assessment Plan by Dean’s Council and General Education Department Chairs 

Spring 2019

Summer 2019

Fall 2019

  • official introduction of CORE Experiences process to adjunct faculty
  • 1st PD related to CORE Experiences available for faculty
  • 1st implementation of 2 of 4 CORE Experiences into CORE classes and OTC 101
  • Pre- or Baseline survey given to OTC 101 students between weeks 2 & 3 of 16 week term – results available here
  • End of semester survey re-designed by committee based on responses from pre-/baseline survey – view a copy of the redesigned survey here
  • Redesigned survey given to all students enrolled in at least one Gen Ed course during weeks 15 & 16 of the 16 week term – results pending.

Spring 2020

  • pre-semester Faculty Development Days General Education Division Meeting dedicated to CORE Experiences findings and next steps