For the first time in its history, The Foundation For Critical Thinking has presented an institutional award for excellence in critical thinking. This award was presented to Surry Community College at the 26th International Conference on Critical Thinking (July 25, 2006 in Berkeley, California). This award was symbolically memorialized in a small replica of Rodin's famous sculpture, The Thinker.This Institutional Award for Excellence in Critical Thinking was presented at the opening address and keynote session of the conference, which was attended by more than 400 international educators, government leaders, and business representatives. Surry Community College is the only college in the country, and indeed in the world, to ever receive this award.
This achievement redounds to the credit of the administration, faculty, staff, deans and department chairs who have fostered and supported this ambitious and important educational goal. The following statement was read during the presentation of the award:
"We would like, at this time, to give a special award for excellence in critical thinking. Really there are many of you who deserve an award. We recognize that. But we thought it was time to single out an institution that has been working toward bringing critical thinking across the curriculum for a number of years. This is a higher education institution that began its struggle toward critical thinking approximately four years ago when they placed critical thinking at the heart of their reaccredidation process. They have developed an ongoing, innovative, long-term faculty development program. They have developed and are using effective faculty and student assessments in critical thinking. They have recently developed a critical thinking website that is exceptional. And they have sent 13 people to this year's conference, because they recognize that the struggle is ever before them, to improve, to reach deeper, to go further.
The institution receiving this award is a higher education institution. When we think of excellence in education, we often think of the Ivy League schools, the Harvards, and the Yales. But the institution receiving this award today is not Harvard. It is not Yale. It is not Stanford. It is not any of the Ivy League schools. Rather it is a community college in a small place called Dobson, North Carolina. It is Surry Community College.
I would like to invite Steve Atkins and Connie Wolfe to come forward to receive this award. Please join me in acknowledging the work of Surry Community College.
The struggle is ever before us to reach toward a substantive concept of critical thinking, to continually work to reach our students at a deeper and more meaningful level. This award indicates that the struggle is being taken seriously at Surry Community College.
We look forward to bestowing additional institutional awards for excellence in critical thinking in the future, as institutions continue to work toward achieving a substantive concept of critical thinking in, across, and beyond the disciplines."
To learn more about the Surry Community College critical thinking process and program, click here: