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Liberal Arts Skills

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SKILLS: ability to...

  • sort data and objects
  • compile and rank information
  • apply information creatively to specific problems or tasks
  • synthesize facts, concepts and principles
  • understand and use organizing principles
  • evaluate information against appropriate standards

VALUING SKILLS: ability to...

  • assess a course of action in terms of its long-range effects on the general human welfare
  • make decisions that will maximize both individual and collective good
  • appreciate the contributions of art, literature, science, and technology to contemporary society
  • identify one's own values
  • assess one's values in relation to important life decisions

COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS: ability to...

  • listen with objectivity and paraphrase the content of a message
  • use various forms and styles of written communication
  • speak effectively to individuals and groups
  • use media formats to present ideas imaginatively
  • express one's needs, wants, opinions and preferences without offending the sensitivities of others
  • identify and communicate value judgments effectively
  • describe objects or events with minimum of factual errors
  • convey a positive self-image to others

RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATION SKILLS: ability to...

  • use a variety of sources of information
  • apply a variety of methods to test the validity of data
  • identify problems and needs
  • design an experiment, plan or model that systematically defines a problem
  • identify information sources appropriate to special needs or problems
  • formulate questions relevant to clarifying a particular problem, topic or issue

CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS: ability to...

  • identify quickly and accurately the critical issues when making a decision or solving a problem
  • identify a general principle that explains inter-related experiences or factual data
  • define the parameters of a problem
  • identify reasonable criteria for assessing the value or appropriateness of an action or behavior
  • adapt one's concepts and behavior to changing conventions and norms
  • apply appropriate criteria to strategies and action plans
  • take given premises and reason to their conclusion
  • create innovative solutions to complex problems
  • analyze the interrelationships of events and ideas from several perspectives

by Paul Breen and Urban Whitaker, from Straight Talk for Liberal Arts College Graduates