Retreat on Core Competencies: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy

Event Date: 
Thu, 09/26/2013 - 9:00am to Fri, 09/27/2013 - 4:00pm



September 26-27, 2013 
Hyatt Orange County
Garden Grove, CA

Critical thinking and information literacy stand beside oral and written communication skills as fundamental proficiencies required for academic, professional, and personal success. These lifelong learning abilities overlap and intersect in many areas, including the ability of our students to be critical consumers of information as well as creators of new knowledge. This hands-on retreat will address campus strategies for integrating these learning outcomes across the curriculum and in the academic and co-curricular programs. The focus will be on creating learning opportunities for students to demonstrate these skills and abilities within the context of the disciplines. The retreat will also engage participants in developing strategies for faculty, librarians, administrators, and other academic partners to assess student attainment of these learning outcomes by the time they graduate.

Facilitators Carol Ann Gittens and Patricia Iannuzzi will lead this two-day workshop to support participants in integrating and assessing critical thinking and information literacy skills at their institutions. The format blends brief presentations with interactive team exercises, inter-team discussions and individual team mentoring to engage each participant fully in the work. Participants will be guided through a series of topics and exercises that can be applied to their particular institutional context, culture and student population. There will also be plenty of time for teams to work on their campus-specific projects.

Areas of discussion include:

  • Assessing and building critical thinking and information literacy in our classrooms and programs
  • Setting standards for the kind of performance an institution could expect at graduation
  • Standardized and embedded assessments of critical thinking and information literacy across the curriculum
  • Using assessment results to build students’ thinking and information literacy
  • Critical thinking and information literacy learning outcomes
  • Rubrics for critical thinking and information literacy that are discipline-sensitive
  • Creating a culture to support critical thinking in the digital age
  • Teaching and learning strategies that support course integration of CT and IL
  • Creating coherent pathways for developmental learning of CT and IL

The workshop is designed for faculty, librarians, academic and co-curricular staff, and administrators responsible for undergraduate or graduate curriculum, general education, student learning assessment, and / or program review. Teams with projects that are focused on information literacy are encouraged to include a librarian who is responsible for information literacy.

Institutional teams will focus on a project they define in advance to suit their culture, mission, and needs. After registering, teams will be asked to submit a brief description of the current status of CT and IL assessment across the curriculum, and standards of performance at graduation. Teams should identify what they specifically want to work on at the retreat. This will help teams to get the most benefit from the retreat and help mentors more effectively guide their work.

WASC workshops are specifically designed for institutional teams made up of two or more persons. We will accept individuals, but they should understand that sending a team will provide the greatest benefit, not only for the project, but to take advantage of the multiple, simultaneous break-out sessions.

The Hyatt Orange County is offering WASC workshop participants a discounted room rate of $129, plus tax occupancy fee. Participants are responsible for their own hotel reservations. To reserve rooms, contact the hotel at (714) 750-1234. You must identify yourself as a participant in the "WASC - Western Association of Schools and Colleges" workshop to secure the discounted rate. The deadline for booking rooms in the WASC room block is September 3, 2013 or while rooms are available.

This workshop is designed for 4 year colleges and universities; it is not recommended for 2 year institutions.

Registration fee includes the workshop, Thursday lunch, Friday breakfast and lunch.  Please note that Thursday dinner is not included.

Registration fees: $485 per team member. After September 13, if space is available, late registration fee will be $500 per team member.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  September 13, 2013

  Click here to register 



This educational program is offered as a service to WASC member institutions and others who wish to learn about good practices applicable to all institutions. It is entirely optional. Upon request, facilitators will refer participants to WASC staff who can answer questions related to WASC accreditation expectations.