Verizon Foundation Awards Grant to Pilot CUNY Critical Thinking Skills Initiative

January 3, 2011 | News

The Office of Library Services has received a $40,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to help it improve remediation at CUNY’s community colleges.

The pilot grant from the Verizon Foundation is part of its literacy initiative. Verizon Foundation invests in online resources, community-based initiatives and national programs that advance the complex skills necessary for educational achievement and job success in the 21st Century. The grant is meant to introduce a diverse group of learners to critical thinking and information technology for the workplace.

The Verizon Foundation funding will enable CUNY to commission library faculty to design a pilot Web-based course in Critical Thinking Skills for two CUNY community colleges. The pilot money will also be used to waive the cost of the ETS-designed iCriticalThinking assessment to measure students’ information competence.

In programs of higher education, and community colleges in particular, where many students are academically underprepared, teaching information competence not only has helped with students’ GPA scores but has also proved to be a powerful intervention tool for improving student retention and graduation rates.

University Dean Curtis Kendrick said the Verizon Foundation’s resources would “create a workable program that raises academic achievement levels, retention and graduation rates of young adults. I am confident we will get there.”

For further information about the Critical Thinking Skills Program, contact Shamiana Pond at