As many freshmen have asked in recent days, “What is CT Day?” CT Day is short for “Critical Thinking Day.” This semester it was Friday, November 30, and it was a two-hour event in which students who are taking designated CT courses gave presentations on what they’ve been learning in those classes. Students who are not in these specific upper-level courses were required to attend four of these presentations and sign in to each session. This was a great time to get a feel for how CT Day works and to learn what your classmates are doing in other departments. There is a CT Day at the end of each semester at Judson.
This semester, students from classes like Intro to Abstract Algebra and Music History I gave presentations. English and history students presented on their research papers for English History to 1603 on topics such as the Celtic calendar. Students in Marketing had to research and decide how to promote products like Fitbit to theoretically increase profit margins. Cell Biology students gave PowerPoint presentations on neurodegenerative disorders like canine degenerative myelopathy, and the Spanish Syntax class wrote children’s books entirely in Spanish to present to their peers.
CT Day is the most visible aspect of Judson’s QEP, or Quality Enhancement Program, which is titled “Project Curiosity.” Since Dr. Robert Metty’s departure last year, Dr. Cindy St. Clair has become the head of the QEP committee. She recently hosted a CT presentation in Lowder on October 25 to explain how Project Curiosity works and what the CT requirements are.
The goal of Project Curiosity is to improve the intellectual environment of the college and to teach students to think critically both inside and outside the classroom. Though there are CT courses that focus more specifically on these goals, they apply to every class on campus. Students are required to take three CT courses before they graduate. One of these must be in the student’s major area (if she has multiple majors, there must be at least one in each major area). If the student is taking multiple CT courses in a single semester, only one of those will count toward the total three.
Upon completing a CT class, the presenters must go into their Moodle and open the class labeled QEP portfolio. Follow the instructions to upload the final paper/presentation for the class, the project rubric, and the provided self-assessment survey. These three things are required for each of the three CT classes, in addition to one final student reflective essay, in order to graduate. The reflective assignments help faculty and administration improve academics for future generations of Judson students.