The New Future for CTIL in USD’s Core

What is CTIL and where do students develop these competencies?

Critical Thinking (CT) and Information Literacy (IL) are two key competencies required to problem solve, evaluate claims made by others, and reason competently through life’s twists and turns. These two competencies are also highly sought by employers, and are requirements for a university curriculum accredited by USD’s regional accrediting agency.

Why are we changing CTIL in the Core?

Through the process of Core revision (2012-2017), USD faculty approved embedding these two competency areas of the curriculum into one specific inquiry area. This embedding had advantages, like keeping Core unit requirements down to allow students flexibility in choosing electives or adding a minor or second major. But there were disadvantages, too, including an added burden on faculty teaching in this inquiry area as well as a perceived decrease in importance of critical thinking and information literacy as part of the Core because these competencies are “hidden.”

Purpose of CTIL revision in the Core

The purpose is to examine alternative models for CT and IL in USD's core curriculum, with the goal of selecting a new place for CT and IL which is both developed and supported by faculty across each of the three undergraduate units: The College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

Revision Process and Timeline

 Flowchart of CTIL Revision Process

CTIL Revision Timeline

Spring 2019

CCC approve the formation of a CTIL Task Force

Read the charge for the CTIL Task Force.

Fall 2019

CTIL Task Force completes research on alternative models for CT and IL in the Core, building on the previous work completed by the CTIL ATF during Core revision

See the proposed new CT and IL models.

Spring 2020

Faculty provide input on the proposed new models for CTIL.







*CAC = Core Advisory Committee, three Associate Deans with curricular oversight in their units.

Faculty Forum: Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 1:15 - 2:15 p.m., Salomon Hall, Maher Hall

A survey will be sent to faculty after the forum.



Want to talk to a representative from your unit?

SB: Stephen Conroy (CAC*) and Simon Croom (CTIL Task Force)

SMSE: Rick Olson (CAC*) and Kathleen Kramer (CTIL Task Force)

CAS: Ron Kaufmann (CAC*) and Susie Babka (CTIL Task Force)

The CTIL revision process was placed on hold during covid-19 remote working.

We are at the step in the process where faculty discussion is desired. Given the transition to remote learning the CCC agreed to temporarily halt faculty forums, however, you can view the work of the CTIL Task Force here. We look forward to resuming discussion on these proposed models in the near future, hopefully in academic year 2021-22.


AY 2021-22

CTIL Task Force collates faculty feedback and produces a ranking on proposed new CTIL models. They present this ranking to the CCC.


CCC, as governing body of the Core, makes a recommendation on a proposed model for CTIL implementation. 


Each undergraduate unit (CAS, SB, SMSE) votes on the proposed new CTIL model.


The proposed new CTIL model moves forward for Senate and Board of Trustees approval.


New CTIL model is implemented during a transition period.