How to create a SACS QEP critical thinking competency

Histogram showing CCTST Critical Thinking Skills Overall Strong and Weak Score Distribution

SACS QEPs should focus on competencies that can bring lifelong value to students and energize a campus community.

Developing strong critical thinking in students is a challenging goal widely embraced by education stakeholders at every level, including employers, policy makers and faculty.  Here are some suggestions from the Insight Assessment researchers for addressing SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.5.1 by creating a College-Level General Education Critical Thinking Competency. 

Key considerations when creating a QEP competency: 

  • Identify a goal that has clear value: Whether students are training for careers in science, the arts, humanities, or training into one of the professions, they must be adept at problem identification and analysis and have the skills and attributes to make well justified decisions.

  • Get to the heart of the issue: Start with a clear definition of the goal (APA Delphi Consensus definition of Critical Thinking, endorsed by the Penn State University survey of educators, government agencies and businesses).

  • Establish collaborative effort: Invite all members of the campus community to describe how they currently contribute to achieving this learning goal in their students. 

  • Identify a focus for enhancement that will fit to your campus culture: Build on and advance through dedicated support one or more of the current efforts to build critical thinking OR develop a new focus for critical thinking based on well-established approaches to practice critical thinking in established courses, campus life projects, internships, community action, or other educational structures. 

  • Fit the measurement plan to your campus resource base: Whether yours is a residential or online college or university, assessment of your students’ critical thinking can be accomplished efficiently and cost effectively with valid and reliable measures designed for your student group.

  • Specify realistic goals: Whether you plan to study one small group of students as they move through your program or instead plan to move your graduating groups to higher performance against a national norm benchmark, reachable incremental goals will be the expected outcome of your campus focus on critical thinking.

  • Bring timely feedback on assessment results to your campus: Maintaining an energized effort toward the enhancement plan requires the delivery of easily interpretable results to all those involved in the effort.  Evidence of your progress can be available to you within minutes of completing your testing when your assessment plan includes the online administration of Insight Assessment test instruments Tests. 

To see a sample SAC QEP Critical Thinking Competencies for General Education prepared by Insight Assessment.

Critical Thinking:  A Measurable Outcome for SACS QEPs

Not part of SACS?  Insight Assessment provides support for MSCHE, NEASC-CIHE, NWCCU, HLC, SACS and WASC conference institutions.

Make sure your critical thinking Quality Enhancement Plan initiative ensures integrity and accuracy in data gathering and results reporting. 

All Insight Assessment test instruments come with assured validity and reliability. Our flexible test administration options allows you to tailor your assessment design to the needs of your campus and students. 

Contact us to discuss your assessment plan today.


Share this Article:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Contact Us

Let our team of experts help you select the best assessment instrument for your project. You will hear from us within 1 business day.
    By selecting this box, you are agreeing to receive promotional messages from Insight Assessment. Terms and Privacy policy can be found at Insight Assessment does not share or sell personal data.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.