I. Key Cognitive Skills
II. Foundational Skills

About the Cross-Disciplinary Standards

It is important to identify the cross-cutting knowledge and skills that underlie and connect the four disciplinary areas. This important need has been addressed through the addition of a section of cross-disciplinary standards.

Think of cross-disciplinary standards as tools that college instructors in all areas use to challenge, engage, and evaluate students in each specific subject area. They include key cognitive skills such as reasoning and problem solving, as well as foundational skills such as reading, writing, data analysis, and conducting research.

Academic and business leaders emphasize the importance of being able to apply these skills across a variety of contexts and subject matter. They describe 21st century learning and work environments in which the cross-disciplinary skills are prerequisites to solving many of the most important problems students will encounter in college and the workplace.

These cross-disciplinary standards enable students to engage in deeper levels of thinking across a wide range of subjects. They help high school students prepare for the transition from high school’s primary focus on acquiring content knowledge to a postsecondary environment in which complex cognitive skills are necessary to achieve deeper understanding.

The cross-disciplinary standards are organized into two major areas: Key Cognitive Skills and Foundational Skills. The Key Cognitive Skills specify intellectual behaviors that are prevalent in entry-level college courses.  Foundational Skills consist of proficiencies students need to be able to transfer knowledge and apply it across the curriculum.  The performance indicators illustrate how the cross-disciplinary standards are manifested within the subject areas.