(Online) Engaging Your Critical Thinking Skills

NEW! If your employer is a compact member of the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, you may be eligible to take this program at a reduced cost. Visit the Harold Alfond Center Workforce Development Funding page for more information.


Critical thinking is a learnable skill that will develop your ability to question assumptions, build constructive arguments, solve problems and negotiate positive relationships. In today’s world of informational overload, it is also a powerful way to increase your capacity for effective, directed action. Employers note that critical thinking is a necessary skill for employees to successfully bridge the gap between technical information and customer needs in all sectors, currently lacking in up to 40% of new hires.*

In this online professional development workshop, we will learn and practice every aspect of critical thinking in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The two main aspects of critical thinking are covered in detail, first the perceptual aspect of critical thinking, followed by the rational aspect. The material is cumulative and builds on itself, leading to a full understanding and toolkit for application in nearly any situation.

Critical thinking can improve your ability to make decisions, solve problems, advocate for a cause and communicate more effectively in your personal and professional relationships. All you need is an open mind, your natural curiosity and a willingness to step back and reflect.

This program is being offered by UMaine Extension and the UMaine Business School.

 *New study: 42 percent of U.S. managers think robotics, automation will be job-killers. (2018, Jul 17). The Public Record, 42, 2.                               


Please sign up for the interest list and we’ll let you know when future program dates are announced.


This dynamic, participatory program will be offered synchronously via Zoom—you’ll need access to a stable internet connection. This is NOT a pre-recorded program.


Through participating in this course, you will learn to:                                                            

  • Generate creative solutions to difficult problems and collaborate to find solutions
  • Present your perspective clearly and powerfully while supporting others to do the same
  • Make clearer decisions that stand up over time
  • Identify assumptions behind an argument
  • Discriminate between facts and arbitrary statements


  • Critical Thinking overview
  • Working with perceptions and emotions
  • Unpacking assumptions
  • Active listening
  • The elements of cognitive reasoning
  • How to build an argument
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • Setting goals and strategies
  • Understanding bias and how to address it
  • The holistic application of critical thinking


This professional development workshop will benefit those in social and human services, therapists/social workers/clinicians, businesses of all types, government officials, students, and anyone with a desire to achieve greater effectiveness and satisfaction in their communications.

Not sure if this program is right for you? Contact Kimberly Lai at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu and we can help you figure it out.


Terry Porter Headshot Black and WhiteTerry Porter, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Maine, where she taught business strategy and sustainability in the Maine Business School for 13 years. Dr. Porter also holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a certified mental health counselor. She is a 2014 Fulbright Scholar. Terry has over thirty years’ experience as a teacher, counselor, coach, guide and facilitator.



Click here for more information about paying for your professional development, including information about need-based scholarships, group discounts and tips on how to get your employer on board.

Current UMaine students are eligible for a 20% discount. Use code STUDENT20 at checkout.


20 participants


7 hours / 0.7 CEUs

Certificate of Completion Available Upon Request.

Learn more about Continuing Education Units here.


For more information or to request an accommodation, contact Kimberly Lai at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 412, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5713, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).