Build Critical Thinking in Certificate Programs

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The value of incorporating critical thinking in certificate programs

Certificate programs in business, health care, technology, criminal justice, design, construction trades, legal support services, fitness training, education, and hospitality all offer the opportunity to build stronger thinking skills and mindset attributes right along with knowledge that is specific to the industry.  The best certificate programs integrate content knowledge with the consistent demand for mindful attention to careful problem-solving and decision making.

The expanding need for certificate programs

There was a time when only technical and community colleges offered certificate programs, and then only on-site.  Today undergraduate and graduate certificate programs are available online, on-site, and in hybrid combinations, and they are offered by institutions at every level, even the top ranked- research universities. 

Certificate programs are easier for colleges to design and deliver, enabling higher education to be nimble and responsive to regional workforce development needs.  And, it is easier to market certificate programs to adult learners seeking a more direct relationship between their learning and its practical job-related benefits.

Integrating critical thinking in certificate programs

It is a myth that certificate programs train manual skills only, but do not support the development of critical thinking. Quality certificate programs integrate task performance with reasoning and problem solving. They develop skills in interpretation, analysis, inference, explanation, and evaluation which are core critical thinking skills. That is what learning to troubleshoot and to problem-solve is all about.  

Certificate programs have the same opportunity to train for critical thinking as traditional college majors. Perhaps, in some cases, and even greater opportunity.  It all depends on how the program is presented.  The best programs include well-selected hands-on troubleshooting and real-world problem solving, guided by good instructors. By addressing the kinds of issues most likely to occur in their workplace, industry-specific programs offer opportunities to engage, to practice, and to strengthen critical thinking. 

Critical thinking assessment strengthens certificate programs

The application of critical thinking skill is essential to success in certificate program coursework and in the workplace. Strategic/well-designed assessment programs provide valuable objective data to validate program outcomes, assure candidate qualification to perform a job or task or to guide admissions and placement.  Insight Assessment offers a comprehensive array of test instruments calibrated for health science, business, education, STEM, military, first responder and legal professionals, staff and executives.

The most effective teachers of critical thinking in certificate programs

People with strong reasoning skills and a positive thinking mindset, along with practical industry knowledge and experience, are best suited to become certificate program instructors.  Combine these assets with some training in the bests methods of educating adults, and you have the ingredients for an outstanding certificate program educator.

Certificate programs developers and instructors interested in tools to assess and to enhance critical thinking will want to consider INSIGHT Development Program. This online program integrates effective self-instructional professional development training modules with a valid individualized assessment of thinking mindset attributes and reasoning skills.

Contact us today to discuss how Insight Assessment tools help build critical thinking skills in certificate programs.

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