Information Competency in the California Community Colleges

Library and Learning Resources
Transfer, Articulation, and Student Services Committee

Information competency is essential to student success in the Information Age. As stated in Resolution 16.2.0 passed by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges at its Fall 1996 Plenary Session, the position of the Senate is "that any development of information competency components and/or programs be the primary responsibility of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges." This paper seeks to address issues associated with information competency and commence the discussion on how these competencies can be incorporated into the California Community College curriculum. Issues to be discussed in this paper include a clear and concise definition of information competency, a listing of key components for information competency, expectations of what students need to know before they complete their educational endeavors, and how information competency will be implemented in the California Community Colleges. In addition to the student focus on information competency, the paper discusses the need for faculty development opportunities to develop and provide information competency.


The following recommendations are:

  1. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges adopt the following definition of information competency:
    Information competency is the ability to find, evaluate, use and communicate information in all its various formats. It combines aspects of library literacy, research methods and technological literacy. Information competency includes consideration of the ethical and legal implications of information and requires the application of both critical thinking and communication skills.
  2. The fundamentals of information competency can be introduced into college orientation/learning skills courses. The concepts of information competency can be further developed by embedding them in general education transfer courses and in courses that are required for certificate and/or degree programs.
  3. The faculty should review their curriculum to assure that the key components of information competency are covered.
  4. The training of faculty on the educational uses of information competency should be a priority in the distribution of faculty development funds.