The Interstate Passport Block at Salish Kootenai College (SKC) allows students to complete lower-level general education requirements (GERs) and, if they so choose, transfer their block to other institutions within the Interstate Passport Network to which they are admitted. Students who transfer their SKC block will not be required to retake or repeat lower-level GER courses at the receiving institution within the Passport’s nine knowledge and skills areas to meet lower-division general education requirements.
The goals, or student learning outcomes, for the general education program at SKC are known as the 4 Cs: critical thinking, cultural awareness, citizenship, and communication. In order to meet general education objectives, courses emphasize both an academic area, such as math, science, or fine arts, and development of skills in the 4Cs.
Salish Kootenai College defines the 4Cs as follows:
Critical Thinking is a self-directed process for refining thought. Critical thinkers validate and reflect on their thinking, consider the validity of information sources, context, and multiple perspectives, and apply both logic and traditional understandings to make decisions.
Cultural Understandings at SKC emphasizes sustaining and perpetuating the living cultural traditions of the Séliš, Qlispé, and Ksanka peoples. This includes the tangible forms (places & artifacts) and intangible forms (language and ceremony). Understanding these traditions helps students recognize the importance and necessity of cultural traditions to all people and their roles in intercultural relations.
Citizenship includes informed and committed participation in the life of one's community at the local, national, and global levels. Citizens recognize and address community issues, apply ethical and legal knowledge and reasoning, and respect the rights of others.
Communication is clear, respectful sharing of information guided by critical thinking and mindful consideration. Skilled communicators connect with people through spoken, written, and media methods that effectively convey content knowledge and individual values.
Service to the community is an important component of citizenship. Salish Kootenai College requires all graduates to complete a Service Learning course within their respective degree programs. In Service Learning, students participate in a minimum of 30 hours of service to the community outside of regularly scheduled class time. Objectives and service activities are designed to reflect and enhance the content of the student’s area of study.
GER courses are vetted through the General Education Committee, a sub-committee of the Curriculum Committee, and represents faculty from the social sciences, natural sciences, math, English, and Native American Studies disciplines. Initial course review for inclusion on one or more of the 4C lists includes evaluation of the course syllabus and assignments related to the appropriate “C”. The General Education Committee reviews these lists and any changes to current GER course curriculum on a yearly basis.
Salish Kootenai College is on a quarter system. Students are required to complete 43-48 quarter credits to earn a Passport.