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Information Competence Graduation Requirement

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Information Competence Graduation Requirement at Sac State

CSUS recognizes that it is crucial that our graduates be prepared for life in a knowledge-driven, technology-based society. Incoming students may not have the computer and information competencies necessary for success in this technological society, so we are committed to provide students with opportunities to explore the uses of computers as tools for learning and for information gathering and evaluation.

What is Information Competency? As defined by the CSU Information Competence in the CSU, in their 1995 Report, Information Competence in the CSU, it is the ability to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all of its various formats. The belief that these are important skills are necessary in all walks of life and critical to the economic and personal success are reinforced by many national and international educational associations, business leaders and accreditation agencies. Links to what they say about Information Competence can be found at the CSU Information Competence Other Resources site.

What should an Information Competent person be able to do? At CSUS we have a set of tutorials that will help you learn how to

  • Define the Research Topic
  • Determine the Information Requirements
  • Locate and Retrieve Relevant Information
  • Use the Technological Tools For Accessing Information
  • Evaluate Information
  • Understand the Ethical, Legal and Socio-Political Issues Surrounding Information and Information Technology

Follow this link to view the CSUS IC tutorials.

From 2000 to 2007, the Information Competence Assignment in WebCTwas an integral part into both COMS 4 and COMS 5 classes. Other professors are choosing to require it for their classes as well. Only the students registered in one of the participating classes in WebCT can access the I. C. A. Pre-Test and Post-Test which assess these Information Competence skills. For a description of the I. C. A. project go the link above.

On December 9 of 2004 the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to adopt Information Competence as a graduation requirement for all CSUS students. In May of 2005 they also adopted a resolution on the Information Competence Implementation that is shown below. The I.C.A. is no longer available.

WHEREAS, The Faculty Senate adopted a policy (FS-04-67, December 9, 2004) revising the University’s Computer Literacy/Information Competence State and Requirements and reframing it as the Information Competence Graduation Requirement with learning goals that include the development of the following skills:
  1. Determine the extent of the information needed.
  2. Access needed information effectively and efficiently.
  3. Evaluate information and its sources critically and use appropriately and effectively.
  4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  5. Understand the issues associated with legal and ethical access to and use of information.
WHEREAS, The policy change was enacted without precise implementation language; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Faculty Senate adopts the implementation policy recommended by the General Education/Graduation Requirements Committee which includes the following elements:
  1. While programs may certainly use the statement of these competencies to examine and reorganize aspects of their curricula they are not required to do so if in the faculty's judgment all competencies are covered in their present curricula.
  2. Programs are expected to develop during the AY 2005-2006 a statement that addresses each of the five specified components. For each there should be:
  1. a brief statement of how the program or discipline uses this competency
  2. identification of course(s) in which each competency is principally introduced along with an example of an assignment for each competency
  1. a brief statement on how student demonstration of competencies is measured.
  1. A department/program with multiple degree programs may develop a single statement for more than one program if the competencies apply similarly to two or more degrees.
  2. These initial statements are due for review no later than April 1, 2006.
  1. An ad hoc committee established by the GE committee will review the statements and report back suggestions to programs.
  2. Formal submission as well as formal evaluation will be part of normal program review beginning in 2006-2007.

Click on the following link for a copy of the CSUS Information Competence for Future Teachers proposal:
and on this link: to read the report of that project.

Updated by Linda J. Goff, Oct. 15, 2008