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General Education Requirements - Competency

Written English Competency Requirement
Oral English Competency Requirement
Mathematics Competency Requirement

Written and Oral English Competencies for Honors Students 
Written and Oral English Competencies for Students from Other Nations

Oral English Competency Examination
Mathematics Competency Examination

General Requirements for all Competencies

Competency Requirements
CMU expects its graduates to be competent in written English, oral English, and mathematics. Prior to graduation, all students must demonstrate their competency as detailed in this section.

Written English Competency Requirement 
To satisfy the Written English Competency Requirement, students must complete three separate but related tasks:

I. Freshman Composition 
Students should satisfy the requirement for freshman composition during their freshman year. Students can satisfy the requirement in one of three ways: 

  1. Earning a grade of C (2.0) or better in ENG 101, Freshman Composition, (Students should be aware that ENG 101 has a prerequisite of ENG 100 or a satisfactory Freshman Writing Placement Score.) OR
  2. Successfully completing one of the following: CLEP English Composition General Examination with Essay, the AP English Language and Composition Examination, the AP English Composition and Literature Examination, or the International Baccalaureate English Language Examination (higher or subsidiary level), OR
  3. Earning a grade of C (2.0) or better in ENG 103, Freshman Writing (ENG 103 has ENG 099, Writing Workshop, as corequisite).

    Students wishing to fulfill this requirement by passing the CLEP English Composition General Examination with Essay must take the exam by the end of their first semester at CMU. The best place to obtain exam information is from the Computer-based and Placement Testing Center or call 989-774-1092).

Students wishing to fulfill the requirement by taking ENG 101 or ENG 103 must enroll in that course in either their first or second semester at CMU and continue to enroll in subsequent semesters until the requirement is satisfied.

2. Writing Across the University Program 
After completing the basic freshman composition requirement, students should continue to enroll in courses in the University Program. Each of the courses in the University Program requires a significant amount of meaningful writing. Completion of the University Program constitutes demonstration that the writing skills developed in ENG 101 (or its equivalent) have been sustained and developed by writing assignments in courses across the program.

3. Intermediate Composition 
Students must complete ENG 201: Intermediate Composition. This course is a sophomore-level course; it must be taken after students have completed ENG 101 or its equivalent but before they have completed 56 hours of coursework. This requirement is met by earning a grade of C or better.
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Oral English Competency Requirement
Oral competency must be completed before 56 hours of coursework.

There are two ways by which a student may satisfy the Oral English Competency Requirement:

  1. Earning a grade of C (2.0) or better in one of the following courses:
    COM 101 Introduction to Communication
    COM 267 Introduction to Debate
    COM 269 Practicum in Debate - Forensics
    COM 357 Public Speaking
    TAI 170 Fundamentals of Interpretative Reading
    TAI 302 Voice and Diction
  2. Successfully completing the Oral English Competency Examination. Students seeking to satisfy the Oral English Competency Requirement by successfully completing the Oral English Competency Examination must pass the exam by the time they have completed 56 hours of academic credit. Students who transfer 56 or more credit hours to CMU must take the competency examination on the first test date following the conclusion of their first semester at CMU.
    Main campus students entering in the fall semester must take the January exam and those entering in the spring semester must take the August exam. Contact the Computer-Based Testing Center (989-774-1092, 260 West Hopkins Court (between Robinson and Calkins Halls) for exact test dates and to make an appointment (http://www.cmich.edu/about/leadership/office_provost/AcademicAffairs/CBTC/Pages/Oral-English-Competency-Examination.aspx).
    Global Campus students: the Oral English Competency Examination is available online. Global Campus students should contact their Academic Advisor to determine eligibility to fulfill the Oral English Competency Requirement through this method.

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Oral English Competency Examination 

The Oral English Competency Examination includes the development and delivery of a ten-to-fifteen-minute public speech accompanied by a properly typewritten or word processed, detailed outline. The student will deliver the speech to a hypothetical audience and will be evaluated by a judge and videotaped.

Exam results are reported in writing to the student. Students who receive notice of unsatisfactory examination results will be allowed to retest. A student may retest only once. Students who fail the Oral English Competency Examination twice must enroll in one of the Oral English Competency courses.

For main campus students, the Oral English Competency Examination is administered twice a year on the Friday prior to the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Guidelines, registration materials, and fee information may be obtained by contacting the Computer-Based Testing Center (989-774-1092, 260 West Hopkins Court (between Robinson and Calkins Halls) for exact test dates and to make an appointment (http://www.cmich.edu/about/leadership/office_provost/AcademicAffairs/CBTC/Pages/Oral-English-Competency-Examination.aspx).

For Global Campus students, the examination is administered five times a year. Information may be obtained by contacting the student’s Academic Advisor or CMU Online at 888-688-4268.

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Screening for Speech and Hearing Disorders
As part of their Oral English Competency Course or Examination, students may opt to have a screening for speech and hearing disorders through the CMU Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education. If the student chooses this optional screening, the cost is currently $10.00 and payment is made by the student. Although the screening for speech and hearing disorders may be incorporated as a part of the competency course the student is taking, the screening remains optional. Screening may be scheduled by calling the CMU Speech and Hearing Clinic. Screening is not available between semesters, during registration week, during the last week of the semester, or during exam week. The Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education is located in the Health Professions Building and may be reached at 989-774-3904.
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Written and Oral English Competencies for Honors Students
Honors students earning a grade of C (2.0) or better in HON 110, Speaking and Writing with Critical Awareness, fulfill the Oral English Competency and the Freshman Composition portion of the Written English Competency requirements. HON 110 is intended primarily for Centralis Scholars. Honors students must fulfill parts II and III of the Written English Competency and the Mathematics Competency requirements as specified in those sections.

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Written and Oral English Competencies for Students from Other Nations
Those students from other nations who are required to take ELI 198 and ELI 199, American Language for International Students, will fulfill the Basic Freshman Composition portion of the Written English Competency Requirement and the Oral English Competency Requirement by earning a C (2.0) or better in each course. Students must fulfill parts II and III of the Written English Competency and the Mathematics Competency requirements as specified in those sections.

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Mathematics Competency Requirement
Math competency must be completed before 56 hours of coursework.

There are two ways by which a student may satisfy the Mathematics Competency Requirement:

  1. Earning a grade of C (2.0) or better in any mathematics (MTH) or statistics (STA) course numbered 105 or above (excluding MTH 151 or MTH 152), OR
  2. Successfully completing the Mathematics Competency Examination or any CLEP or AP examination approved for credit in a mathematics (MTH) or statistics (STA) course numbered higher than MTH 105 (except MTH 151 or MTH 152) .

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Mathematics Competency Examination

Students seeking to satisfy the Mathematics Competency Requirement by successfully completing the Mathematics Competency Examination must pass the exam by the time they have completed 56 hours of academic credit at CMU. Students who transfer more than 36 credit hours to CMU may take the competency examination only during their first semester at CMU.

The Mathematics Competency Examination consists of 40 questions. The Mathematics Competency Requirement is satisfied by an overall score of at least 80% on the test.

The examination is administered by appointment only on days when the Testing Center is open. Examination results are reported to the student immediately following the test along with instructions for retesting, if applicable.

Students who receive notice of unsatisfactory examination results will be allowed to retest, subject to the requirement that a student may retest no more than two times. A student who receives an overall score of less than 80% will retake the entire exam.

The Mathematics Competency Examination is administered by the Computer-based Testing Center, (for more information, see https://academicaffairs.cmich.edu/CBTC/cbtc.shtml or call 989-774-1092.

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General Requirements for all Competencies

  1. A student must demonstrate competency in each of the competency areas described in the Bulletin under which the student graduates.
  2. Competencies must be completed before 56 hours of coursework.
  3. A student attempting to satisfy a specific competency requirement in a given academic year will use the method(s) and requirement(s) in effect that year. The method(s) and requirement(s) may change from year to year.
  4. A competency requirement in a specific area, once satisfied, remains valid until the student graduates.
  5. If the chairperson of the department most directly concerned with a competency judges that a student has satisfied a competency requirement by means other than those approved by the Academic Senate, that chairperson will certify in writing to the Registrar that the student has satisfied the requirement. These departments are:
  • Written English Competency - Department of English Language and Literature
  • Oral English Competency - Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts
  • Mathematics Competency - Department of Mathematics
  1. Students with disabilities who, by virtue of these disabilities, might be prevented from taking competency examinations or otherwise meeting competency requirements may have such requirements waived by the Director of Student Disability Services or by the appropriate department chairperson as listed above, including for Oral English, the chair of the Department of Communication Disorders.

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