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Critical thinking Data for community college success

The success of students in their classes and in the workplace depends on the strength of their critical thinking skills and personal mindset attributes. Recognizing the importance of building these reasoning skills and habits of mind, many 2-year college programs prioritize the achievement of critical thinking student learning outcomes.

Critical thinking assessment data benefits the institution and its graduates.

Community colleges, certificate programs and technical institutes use Insight Assessment test instruments to evaluate critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills, the motivation to learn, the drive to succeed, and more. Objective individual and group data support vital institutional processes including:

  • Program Admissions – Over-subscribed programs, particularly those in the health sciences, use the  Health Sciences Reasoning Test AD (HSRT AD) level and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) to identify the most promising applicants. For example, because of their importance for indicating the candidate’s potential for learning and professional success, the OVERALL reasoning skills on the HSRT AD and the Cognitive Maturity score on the CCTDI become data points programs can use in their process for evaluating applicants. 
  • Student Success Advising and Transfer Readiness – The Drive to Succeed and the Motivation to Learn can be as important to student success as critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills. Student retention and academic success programs use the College Student Success reasoning and mindset instruments to gather valuable data on these and other significant attributes. Advisors can sit down with students and use the individual test taker reports our system generates to personalize their conversations.

Why two-year programs choose Insight Assessment data

Insight Assessment offers Two-Year Colleges:

  • Proven, valid, reliable, and cost-effective instrumentation calibrated for their students
  • Measurements of academic attributes and/or thinking/learning skills predictive of college success
  • Nationally benchmark two-year college comparison percentiles
  • Industry leading 24/7/365 electronic app-based testing technology
  • Detailed reports of scores for each individual tested 
  • Presentation ready aggregate group reports, including tables and graphs
  • English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and many other language options
  • Client report interface for aggregating and disaggregating data
  • Client options for adding demographic response items
  • Knowledgeable client support for gathering high quality, relevant data

Educators trust Insight Assessment because we offer the highest quality cost-effective assessments, two-year college level benchmarking, college-specific data integration, options for testing in multiple languages, online app-based test administration, easy to understand score reporting, and expert data analysis services.  

Call today for more information.  We can have you ready to test online this week

Community College students

Many two year academic institutions choose to measure what really matters: good thinking. 

Community and technical colleges, certificate programs and other associate degree programs realize that student success is based on the strength of individual critical thinking skills and personal mindset attributes.  They depend on Insight Assessment tools to provide the highest quality, cost effective critical thinking metrics needed to support admissions, student retention and student success.

The measurement of the critical thinking skills and mindset of incoming students, individually and as a group, will provide vital data for tailoring student success services to the needs of specific students. Exit data on student critical thinking is valuable for other educational purposes such as program evaluation, accreditation or learning outcomes assessment.

In today’s world, nothing is more important than strength in problem analysis and strong decision-making skills. Critical thinking assessment is invaluable whether your project involves selective admissions to STEM and Heath Sciences programs, quality in admissions to business education, student retention initiatives, or the documenting of learning outcomes. Here are some two-year college success stories:

  • With an abundance of applicants for the Engineering Technology degree program, the program faculty found that the Test of Everyday Reasoning (TER)   and the Adult Level California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3 III) identified their most qualified applicants. They used national percentile benchmarks to document the strength of their program graduates.
  • An urban college linked their SACS QEP initiative to a Statewide concern for improving the percentage of students who successfully complete their associate degree level career training.  The college’s QEP project using the TER and College Student Success (CSS) assessments to identify students at risk in their first semester, assisting their teaching and learning professionals to tailor the college’s support services.
  • Directors of the Nursing and the Physical Therapy Assistant programs selected the Health Sciences Reasoning Test – Associate Degree (HSRT-AD)  and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) to augment their admissions screening process. Strong scores on skills and mindset attributes long acknowledged as desired qualities and abilities in these clinical disciplines improved degree completion and licensure rates.
  •  A college transition director at another community college uses the College Student Success (CSS) instrument to guide students through a smooth transfer to their Bachelors completion program. The individual reports generated by the CSS give the advisor and the student a clear picture of the transfer student’s critical thinking skill set, motivation to learn, drive to succeed and much.

As the leader in reasoning assessment worldwide, our full service solution includes presentation-ready group statistics and graphics , scores spreadsheets, optional individual student reports, multiple language testing options, client customizable demographic question options, and same-day score reporting with 24/7 online, mobile or desktop testing , plus educational discounts and much more.  Visit our website for details about these services and to access our Resources bank of critical thinking teaching support materials.

Call us at 650-697-5628 or use our website’s “Contact us” link for a free quote for your project. Talk with an Insight Assessment representative about how other 2 year programs have added critical thinking assessment to their admissions and early cohort assessment procedures and how they document students’ strength in critical thinking as a criterion for receiving performance-based funding.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , or RSS feed for more stories of assessment projects that help educators at all levels achieve their goals.              

Insight Assessment, critical thinking,

Assessment of thinking skills is an essential component of documenting student learning.  Many colleges and universities prioritize critical thinking student learning outcomes because they recognize that building critical thinking skills and mindset is key to student success . High quality validated group data like that reported by Insight Assessment test instruments is widely used for admissions, accreditation, curriculum evaluation and to improve student retention and success.

Universities and students collectively gain from institutional assessment commitments, but what’s in it for individual students?  More specifically, what can motivate students to give their best on the critical thinking learning outcome assessment?

Many Insight Assessment clients offer printable individual reports to students after the testing is completed.  Most people will make a greater effort on an assessment if they believe the result has personal relevance and might be useful to them. Students are often motivated to take our critical thinking assessments seriously because they see the personal value of good performance on these metrics.

Insight Assessment comprehensive individual reports document specific strengths and weaknesses in critical thinking skills or attributes. Numeric scores, categorical rankings and national percentile comparisons are reported for key components of critical thinking skills.  Descriptions are provided defining each element being measured and why it is important.

Students receive a personalized report showing learning and career related critical thinking skills, an affirmation of the quality of their own thinking ability, and the opportunity to benchmark themselves as compared to national percentiles for undergraduate or graduate students.  The objective analysis reported is highly relevant to students as they prepare for their future careers.  Learning about their personal performance is often a motivating factor for future effort at self-improvement.

Regardless of degree program, strong critical thinking predicts college success, professional licensure, job hire, and government service rank.

Insight Assessment excels at providing research-based critical thinking assessments designed specifically for undergraduates and graduate professional students .  Our critical thinking test instruments deliver objective, validated high quality individual and group data. The decision to give students their own individual thinking reports will increase the value and benefits of your institutional assessment program. Contact us to gert started.

CCTST  comparison percentiles

Insight Assessment tools provide the high quality, validated critical thinking metrics needed to support admissions, student retention and learning outcomes assessment.

If assessing critical thinking skills or mindset is on your “to do” list, Insight Assessment offers the full-service solution you need. We are the world’s leader in critical thinking assessment, providing the highest quality instrumentation , the data gathering systems, the scoring and statistical analyses, and the individual and group report generation necessary to help you do your job. 

Colleges and universities in every state of the nation and many countries around the world use Insight Assessment tools for:

Insight Assessment puts the controls in your hands:

To support your faculty and students we offer complimentary teaching and learning materials to all of our critical thinking assessment clients. You and your colleagues are welcome to review and download publications on critical thinking and assessment from our website. 

It's easy to receive a price quote: contact a customer service agent through our Contact Us Request below or call (650) 697-5628 to talk with a knowledgeable representative.

Insight Assessment: proven critical thinking assessment tools for higher education
Linking critical thinking assessment, accreditation and admissions

Every academic leader needs to know how the institution can use their impending regional accreditation to accomplish something meaningful. 

If we have to engage lots of people and sink hours and hours of work into the project, what can we get out of all that time and effort that will actually benefit our students and our institution?

To create a win-win-win opportunity, many institutions are linking institutional accreditation with learning outcomes assessment and admissions.

             Here’s how:

Collect and Use Learning Outcomes Assessment Data: 

  • Even before the self-study year is upon them, institutions begin by gathering objective baseline data on entering students’ critical thinking.
     
  • Whichever instrument is selected, that same tool is then used to gather exiting data, ideally longitudinally, on those same students.  But if matching pre-test with post-test is not possible, the next option is using cross-sectional data on the graduating students.  An optimal plan, if the timing permits, is to gather the post-test data in the year before the accreditation self-study will be started.   
  • Comparing entry pretest data with exit post-test data enables the institution to address the student outcomes assessment question in a meaningful way.  The reports generated by the Insight Assessment testing system enable faculty to readily identify which critical thinking skills and habits of mind are most in need of attention through curricular enhancement or stronger academic advising and retention related programming.

Link Pre-Test and Student Success Data to Admissions:

  • Insight Assessment report graphic showing pretest to posttest distribution of scores on a mindset scale
    Retention and graduation rates soar when the students entering a program have the critical thinking skills to learn the material and, if necessary, to pass licensure exams.
  • Every academic Insight Assessment test instrument enables academic leaders in the Provost’s Office, Admissions Department, and Deans’ Offices to identify a relevant target overall critical thinking skills score or a set of critical thinking mindset scores against which to evaluate program applicants.
  • The scores on these instruments are provided as numerical / quantitative and as categorical / qualitative.  Along with other relevant considerations, selective admissions decisions can be better informed and an entry class or cohort can be constructed that has the optimal potential for program success.

Link Institutional Accreditation to Student Success:

  • These learning outcomes assessment findings, their interpretation and application then become a major substantive element in the institution’s accreditation self-study document.  That document shows how the institution identified critical thinking, a core learning outcome, measured it objectively with nationally benchmarked instruments, analyzed the results and used those findings to address any areas of curricular concern that may have emerged.
  • The research on student success is unambiguous when it comes to the link between critical thinking and learning.
Summing up – to get the most out of the time, money, and effort that is going to be spent on these essential institutional activities, link assessment, accreditation and selective admissions. 

And, of course, do so focusing on an essential learning outcome, namely critical thinking, and by using Insight Assessment’s premier academic testing instruments .

Contact us to get started.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for resources and further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

facione-education is chalkboard

In “Distressed Reasoning” Dr. Peter Facione writes, “Higher education anywhere in the world cannot be considered successful unless it guides students to reason well in all contexts, even those that may be distressing.  Critical thinking is essential not only for educational success, but for success in the workplace and in our personal lives.  Critical thinking is also essential if democracy is to flourish. We all must learn to reason together, even about issues people find to be emotionally volatile, e.g. immigration, climate change, religious freedom, same sex marriage, domestic terrorism, K-12 education.  The best college level educational experiences are those that challenge us to bring fair-mindedness, reason, mutual respect and solid evidence to emotionally difficult topics. The best standardized critical thinking tests do the same.”

Read more about this important topic

Student success depends on critical thinking skills & mindset - Insight Assessment

Insight Assessment academic clients depend on validated critical thinking test instruments for their outcomes assessment, accreditation, and quality enhancement projects.

  • Returning from a conference focusing on how deans can improve student success, Dean Jackson now saw student success not as an end result, but as a process that began at admission and could be highly predicted by a student’s first months on campus. It was time to re-focus the Freshman Experience program. One colleague dean had described adding the HSRT to the admission process to screen for critical thinking skills indicative of a readiness to complete a degree program in Physical Therapy. “Failure means an empty seat, and an empty seat means I’m producing one less clinician.” Students with borderline scores were still admitted, but referred for preemptive academic assistance in the learning center.
  • Dean Jackson liked the idea of an assessment that looked at reasoning skills, because these were needed inside and outside the classroom.  Jackson learned that the CCTST is the best fit for baccalaureate students in the Arts and Science, used by many schools for entry cohort advising and as a solution to the student retention problem. Although it was already July, Dean Jackson offered to fund CCTST assessment for any college program that chose to participate in a Year One pilot. As it turned out there were seven program directors eager to address faculty concerns about student readiness for their programs. Many of their students completed the CCTST in the Learning Center that Fall. Each student received a copy of their individual report to carry to their next advisor meeting.
  • After that, things just kept happening. The accreditation committee saw this program as an example of college support for student success and discussed this in their self-study report. The engineering program added the CCTST as an official admission requirement to their impacted program. Assessing critical thinking at entry became a signal to students that developing stronger reasoning and problem solving skills was an expected outcome of their educational experience in the college. That Spring, the Director of Assessment examined Freshmen students’ CCTST scores in relationship to units completed and core course grades and found low scores on the CCTST could be used as early warning sign that students were at risk.

Our assessment specialists hope this scenario demonstrates the power of the metrics provided by our thinking skills and mindset test instruments. Insight Assessment services include exceptionally versatile delivery options, peer benchmark norms, individual and group reports, complimentary learning resources, and more. Contact us to discuss ways the assessment of thinking can increase your student success and institutional effectiveness.

K-12 students thinking & learning

K-12 schools and academies of all kinds -- independent, charter, public, private, international – assess student critical thinking to get objective data that benefits students, teachers, parents and schools.

There is a high correlation between student thinking skills and their academic achievement.  Students possessing strength in critical thinking are better equipped to solve problems, to understand and to integrate content material, and to achieve in school. And that achievement prepares them for tomorrow.

Today educational programs throughout the world are expected to be able to demonstrate that they are effectively improving critical thinking skills. The data from well-designed assessment programs help parents and educators target educational development to ensure that students are developing the strength of thinking skills and learning attributes they need to succeed in school and in the workplace.

Educators and researchers frequently use Insight Assessment test instruments to gather solid evidence on critical thinking learning outcomes. Group and individual data are used to study the effectiveness of teaching methods aimed at training reasoning skills and mindset.

EDUCATE INSIGHT is a comprehensive critical thinking assessment program for K-12 education. These thinking assessments have been calibrated to provide age appropriate, validated, objective measurements of the key thinking skills and mental motivations of students.  Our clients depend on our comprehensive graphic and statistical reports to deliver the high quality data needed for their assessment objectives :

Objective, reliable group data is often used to:

  • ensure students are developing the reasoning skills needed for academic success
  • provide the objective data teachers need to incorporate necessary reasoning skills into class work, reading instruction and curriculum
  • evaluate the effectiveness of curricular programs, instructional approaches and educational materials in developing critical thinking learning
  • strengthen support programs by identifying areas for individual and/or group instruction
  • benchmark student critical thinking against external national norms
  • document the growth in student critical thinking skills from program entry to exit
  • to support selective admissions processes

 Comprehensive individual reports can be used to:

  • help counselors and teachers understand how student thinking skills and weaknesses on specific core reasoning skills impact the quality of learning and problem solving
  • provide parents with an understanding of their student’s skills, needs and learning style
  • identify and target specific areas for improvement
  • provide objective information for class placement
  • support the developing individual education plans
  • supplement selective admissions processes by gathering objective evidence of key predictors of student success such as critical thinking skills, mathematical reasoning and learning orientation

Good critical thinking tests are not tests of factual knowledge about critical thinking. Memorizing information and definitions is not the key. A good critical thinking test engages test takers in using their critical thinking because critical thinking is a process. 

Contact us to see why K-12 educators rely on our on Insight Assessment full service solutions to gather the data they need to develop stronger student critical thinking.

Insight Assessment, critical thinking,

“Students must navigate a wide range of issues to achieve success.”

Research about college students of all different ages and backgrounds often focuses on how the experience of attending college impacts and shapes their lives. Our development as human beings continues throughout our lives. But the decade or so from late adolescence through young adulthood is particularly important because during these years students are

  • developing the competencies they will need to make a living in a complex society,
  • learning to manage their emotions,
  • moving through autonomy toward interdependence,
  • developing mature interpersonal relationships,
  • establishing our personal identity,
  • developing and refining our sense of purpose,
  • developing a greater integration of who we are with what we say and do in all circumstances.

Strong reasoning skills and a thinking mindset are needed to successfully navigate these many worthy endeavors.***

Regardless of degree program, strong critical thinking predicts college success, professional licensure, job hire, and government service rank. Colleges and universities recognize that building these skills and habits early is key to students’ success, so assessing critical thinking student learning outcomes is being prioritized. 

Data about the strength and weaknesses of students thinking provides valuable metrics for admissions, assisting placement , increasing retention and strengthening student support programs. Using Insight Assessment's cost effective valid and reliable assessment tools to identify students with critical thinking weaknesses permits clients to focus student success initiatives where they can do the most good. 

Contact us to learn how our individual and group reports provide the data you need for your improvement programs.

 ***   Adapted with permission from “Solve Problems and Succeed in College” (THINK Critically, Pearson Education), 2015 ,  a Freshman Seminar text, authors Facione and Gittens
 

Linking critical thinking assessment, accreditation and admissions

Student success is not guaranteed once letters of acceptance go out. 

Admissions officers have a tough job. Each year they are responsible for identifying the best possible class of incoming students. They need to admit the students who are most likely to succeed in their coursework and to make a successful transition to student life. Wading through a confusing web of test scores, GPAs, recommendations, interviews, essays, etc. to identify promising candidates is an ongoing challenge.

The ability to identify applicants who have the strongest critical thinking skills and the desire to apply those skills should be an essential component of individual admission decisions, placement and advising.

There is probably no more important predictor of college level success than strength of critical thinking skills. Strong reasoning skills and positive thinking habits of mind are vital to academic success in every discipline and major field of study. That’s why colleges and universities depend on  Insight Assessment test instruments for selective admissions, transfer placement and more. Our validated, easy to use critical thinking skills and thinking mindset assessments are essential academic tools worldwide.   

Each Insight Assessment tool can be used to gather comprehensive objective data for multiple initiatives:

Contact us to find out how Insight Assessment tools can provide data for all your thinking assessment needs from admissions through graduation.  Make sure your incoming class includes students ready to learn and succeed.

Insight Assessment invites you to follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

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