Students weigh in on Critical Inquiry, discuss alternatives

Students weigh in on Critical Inquiry, discuss alternatives

On Monday, Sept. 23 a student on the USC Aiken Student Life page posted an opinion regarding the Critical Inquiry (CI) class, which garnered reactions from other students. 


In a poll following the post, students voted on whether or not Critical Inquiry should be replaced, if at all, and what to be replaced with. 

The poll posted a day later, asked students if the university should get rid of Critical Inquiry.


The first option, which was in favor of replacing Critical Inquiry with a lifestyle class involved 78.3% of the votes. 

Students in the comments expressed their desire for a replacement as well as an incorporation of the two classes. 

Delilah Daigle commented, “Things like finding health insurance, doing taxes, and deciding when to drop a class, would all be helpful examples besides the critical inquiry topics that are talked about.” 

Miranda Polk discussed incorporating the “aspects of both the CI class and the ideas of the lifestyle class,” stating that “Both of those things are essential to adapting to a new life at college once you finish highschool [sic].”

13.4% of students in the poll were against getting rid of the class and the majority of comments discussed this. 

Brianna Bledsoe commented “Or we could keep it and just make it more credit hours and have more stuff in it. Keep the reading and projects for the ‘culture shock’ and social awareness but also tie in some other college/life advice and how to do things we weren’t taught to do.”

Lilly Lightsey, a TA for CI also stated her view on the issue. 

“CI levels the playing field for all of us. I know my high [school] made us do a research paper (8 pages) to graduate but there are other kids who never did research,” she said. “It gives everyone a fair shot at making it through the rest of college.”

The purpose of Critical Inquiry is stated on the USCA General Education Requirements page

The Critical Inquiry Program at USC Aiken focuses on developing “stronger critical thinking” and collaborative skills.

The page also details why USCA believes Critical Inquiry is important.

“The development of critical thinking skills has been identified as one of the greatest needs in postsecondary education in our ever-expanding global economy and in the continually evolving workplace.”

According to the website, Critical Inquiry targets both lifestyle (“everyday life”) and academic strategies. 

The majority of students, however, still call for further integration of lifestyle techniques and possibly replacing the class. 

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