The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Michael Mills

Second Advisor

Christine Imbra

Third Advisor

Hsueh-I Lo

Fourth Advisor

Steven McCullar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This quantitative study investigated whether alternative instructional approaches to develop critical thinking, exemplified by different general education requirements in two different Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) institutions, impacted the development of critical thinking skills among undergraduate students. This study is framed by Ennis’s classification of general, infused, immersed, and mixed instructional approaches.

St. Cloud State University and Winona State University, two MnSCU institutions, share a collective definition of critical thinking and a common goal of developing critical thinking in undergraduate students. St. Cloud State University and Winona State University do, however, differ in approaches to fulfilling the goal area of critical thinking.

This study followed a stratified random sampling of non-transfer, third-year students at each institution. Participants completed the Cornell Critical Thinking Test Level Z which measures the development of critical thinking in the areas of deduction, meaning and fallacies, observation and credibility of sources, induction (hypothesis testing), induction (planning experiments), definition and assumption identification, and assumption identification.

The overall results of this study indicate students who did not complete a critical thinking course obtained a higher mean score on the Cornell Critical Thinking Test Level Z than students who did complete a critical thinking course; however, the results of this study indicate the difference was not statistically significant.



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