Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking: the ability to think using analysis, synthesis, evaluation, problem solving, judgment, and the creative process.

Key Indicators:

  • Thinks critically and creatively
  • Formulates and re-evaluates position based on available evidence
  • Asks appropriate questions that challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom
  • Integrates ideas and values from different disciplines and contexts
  • Uses reflection as a way to monitor and adjust thinking
  • Understands and applies principles of learning and learning styles to own education
  • Applies knowledge in practical ways
  • Analyzes and evaluates data, ideas, patterns, principles, and perspectives.
  • Recognizes own biases and suspends judgmental thinking
  • Uses problem solving strategies in a wide variety of professional situations.
  • Employs values and standards of judgments from different disciplines

How can we help you gain this competency?

Critical Thinking

How this will help


Take advantage of CPCC’s many classes that focus on critical thinking.

CPCC offers a wide range of classes that will help students sharpen critical thinking skills. Take a class that will help you to train your mind to think clearly such as Introduction to Logic - PHI230 or Critical Thinking - HUM115

College Catalog

Take career assessment tests, Get information about the occupation you plan to pursue and plan your education accordingly.

Taking the time to critically think about the career path you wish to pursue can save you both time and money.  Get the facts to help you make the education and career choice that’s best suited for you.  CPCC’s career services offer personality testing, career assessment testing and career & educational planning with a career counselor that can help you make the decisions that will best serve you in your education and career choice.

Take the Career Assessment Test

To make an appointment with a career  counselor call 704-330-6433

Experience your career choice first hand; learn the ins and outs of your chosen field and what critical thinking skills will be required on the job.

Co-op/ Internships offers students an opportunity to get a firsthand look at what types of critical thinking will be required in the career of your choice. It will also enable you to critically think about your career choice.

Co-op's and Internships  Offered through CPCC’s Cooperative Education classes.

Learn to recognize potential faults in your thinking patterns and reasoning.

The Critical Thinking Community has resources for students to learn more about what critical thinking entails. Studying the articles and pages listed on the site will help you build a stronger understanding of the core concepts in critical thinking and help you to recognize area’s in your thinking process that may benefit from change.

Critical Thinking Community for College Students

Learn to identify and express competency
skills and write competency statements.

While you may already possess some aspects of all of the Core4 skills, recognizing them and learning how to communicate your accomplishment in these areas may take a little practice. The University of Victory in British Columbia, Canada, has some great information on this subject! Their Worksheets are a great resource to help with this process. How to Assess your Competencies
How to express your Competencies

Learn some problem solving skills form the pros, see how the CIA define problems & plan solutions.

The Phoenix Checklist is a set of questions developed by the CIA to enable their agents to think about a problem thoroughly and examine it from different angles. Keeping a checklist of questions can come in very handy when presented with a challenge, knowing what to ask can be key to finding the solution.  Try using this list the next time you are faced with a problem to solve!  Add your own questions to the list as they arise. The CIA’s lists of questions to problem solve.
The Phoenix List

Sharpen you Critical Thinking skills by Keeping yourself informed of and analyzing current issues.  Practice voicing your views in debate.

Opposing Views highlights key questions (political, scientific, etc). It then, in a fairly succinct “bullet” format, has an “expert” share pro and con arguments. Users of the site can also leave their own comments.  The language and lay-out of the site is fairly accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.  After reading the arguments, users can easily leave their own comments on the issue.

Opposing Views debate website

Make an ePortfolio In this digital age, ePortfolio’s are quickly becoming a popular way to help establish your online presence. An ePortfolio can present an in- depth view of who you are, your abilities, accomplishment, skills, goal, interests, and values. In addition, ePortfolio’s provide organized space where you can keep track of your academic career and professional life-long learning and development. Weebly Websites
Improve your decision quality and problem solving skills Decision quality and problem solving: Uses analysis, wisdom, experience, and logical methods to make good decisions and solve difficult problems with effective solutions; appropriately incorporates multiple inputs to establish shared ownership and effective action. Decision Quality and Problem Solving
Improve your Brain Health and performance Have fun with exercises to improve your memory, Attention, speed, flexibility, problem Solving skills. The brain responds to exercise too! Lumosity

Improve Your Brain - new ways to help

For all the latest information on the Core4 competencies visit the Core4 Blog!