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|RED| TH!NK: Cultivating Critical & Creative Thinking Certificate

The RED TH!NK Certificate is built on the 2014-2019 NC State Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The certificate integrates the content and support developed for the QEP, while making it accessible to a greater number of faculty.

The RED TH!NK will:

Provide tools and strategies to cultivate the development of students’ critical and creative thinking skills in your class. The scale of how much you integrate into your course is up to you. It can be anything from adding targeted in-class activities, to reimagining some of the graded assignments in your class, to updating the ways in which you provide feedback on student work, to a complete course overhaul. You will participate in a learning community with faculty outside your home department and support and recognize faculty members who are dedicated to enhancing students’ critical and creative thinking skills.

  • There is no cost for the certification
  • Taught 100% asynchronously with opportunities for monthly synchronous discussions
  • Applications for certification are submitted online and accepted in August each year
  • Participants have one year to complete the certification from the time of enrollment

Who is eligible to participate?

Open to all NC State faculty, including professional-track faculty and part-time faculty.  Postdoctoral Fellows who have already fully completed the Teaching and Communication Certificate may apply for this certification. (Graduate students – not eligible at this time, but are encouraged to seek out many professional development opportunities offered by the Graduate School).   


The application for RED TH!NK is now open! Apply here!

Once you apply, faculty participants will be notified via University email of their acceptance and provided instructions to register in REPORTER (please do not register until you have that acceptance email). 


  • Upon completion of this certification, faculty participants will be able to: 
  • Identify opportunities and gaps in opportunities for students to practice and to receive feedback on their critical and creative thinking in your course.
  • Design and use evidence-based instructional strategies for critical and creative thinking  in formulating discipline-specific course structure, and discipline-specific student  assignments and activities (formal and informal). 
  • Align evidence-based instructional strategies for critical and creative thinking with desired student learning outcomes. 
  • Use student reflections to investigate the process students went through to approach their work.
  • Become adept at evaluating both critical and creative work using tangible measures.
  • Share best practices in teaching critical and creative thinking. 

Program Format

Participants will consider what opportunities for cultivating critical and creative thinking are currently being provided in their course(s), and learn new strategies to fill in the gaps.

Specific focus areas include:

  • Defining the critical and creative thinking process
  • Divergent and convergent thinking and intellectual risk-taking
  • Visual and multimodal thinking to synthesize ideas and make connections
  • Critically evaluating the works of others
  • Building habits of metacognition/self-reflection
  • Assessing and providing feedback about critical and creative thinking.

In order to fulfill the requirements of the certification, accepted faculty participants must submit all checklists items and participate in discussions.

For additional questions, please contact us at