CUNY Critical Thinking Skills Initiative

July 7, 2011 | Announcements, News

The Office of Library Services is pleased to announce a CUNY Critical Thinking Skills Initiative with support from the Verizon Foundation. The 21st Century is marked by the pervasiveness of the Internet, as well as other forms of electronic information and communication media. Strong information literacy skills are ever more crucial to academic success, the effective use of information technology in the workplace, and the development of lifelong problem solving and critical thinking skills. As a leader in community college education, The City University of New York is dedicated to improving student achievement and preparing their community college students to assume a place in today’s competitive market. The Office of Library Services Initiative is working towards this goal by providing CUNY community college students with online instruction in information literacy to promote academic and professional success.

This initiative will offer two online information literacy courses in the Fall 2011 semester—a one credit course at LaGuardia Community College and a three credit course through The School of Professional Studies’ Online BA program—in order to strengthen CUNY community college students’ information competence and critical thinking skills. Information competence includes asking the right questions, locating and evaluating relevant information from a wide variety of sources, and then properly applying that information to both immediate and future projects. Enrolled students will participate in a pre- and post-course Educational Testing Service iSkills™ assessment which will evaluate the outcome of this OLS initiative.

Each student enrolled in either online course through LaGuardia Community College or The School of Professional Studies will obtain a personal netbook during the length of the Fall 2011 semester to encourage the completion of their online coursework. The pre- and post-course iSkills™ assessment for enrolled students will demonstrate their ability to employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real life scenarios. An analysis of pre- and post-course scores will offer great insight into the impact of information literacy skills on critical thinking in today’s digital work environment. Students who successfully pass their online course and complete the ETS post-course iSkills™ assessment will be eligible to keep their netbooks and receive the ETS iCritical Thinking certification, a recognized and valued credential for potential employers, to further enhance their Associate’s degree.