ETS Collaborates with CSU to Assess 21st Century Skills

Higher Education ICT Initiative To Help Tomorrow’s Workforce Today

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 17, 2003) – Educational Testing Service (ETS), working with California State University (CSU), the largest university system in North America, and six other leading college and university systems, has established a National Higher Education ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Initiative.

The goal of the Initiative is for ETS and the seven college and university systems – which collectively enroll 25% of the nation’s 15 million college students – to conceive, design, and build assessments that gauge whether students possess the ability to use digital technology to solve problems in order to function in an information society.

"To succeed in today's information-based economy, students need to know how to use technology to create and transform information," says ETS President Kurt Landgraf. “ETS is collaborating with these forward-looking universities to offer the promise of a suite of assessments that measure not just knowledge of technology, but the ability to apply technology to solve problems while in college and to help all students learn the ICT literacy skills that they will need to compete for jobs and thrive in the workforce.”

ETS and the Charter colleges and universities will use cutting-edge measurement techniques that are technology-delivered and scenario-based to accurately assess these skills. Dr. Ilene F. Rockman, CSU Manager of Information Competence and Systemwide Library Initiatives indicates, “ We as college and university educators are increasingly asking our students to successfully demonstrate their ICT literacy skills within a technologically-rich teaching and learning environment. After examining the status of assessment instruments currently available or in development, there is none more comprehensive or distinctive than this performance-based, web-based, holistic assessment tool envisioned and anticipated by ETS and this consortium. My colleagues and I are delighted to provide guidance and leadership for this important undertaking.”

ETS brings to this Initiative a long history and a wealth of knowledge in the intersection of measurement and technology, having introduced the first computer-delivered and then adaptive high stakes admissions and college placement tests.

Additionally, working with an international panel of educators, government, and business leaders, ETS developed Digital Transformation: A Framework for ICT Literacy (2002), a document that defines global ICT Literacy skills. The ETS International ICT Literacy Framework report can be accessed at

ETS and the seven college and university systems will work to attract other educational institutions to join this Higher Education ICT Initiative. These institutions will help define education both for today and tomorrow. Institutions interested in learning more about the National Higher Education ICT Initiative should contact Seth Weiner, ETS Director of University Programs, at 609-683-2331 or at

The seven college and university systems and their representative panel members participating in the ETS National Higher Education ICT Initiative are:

California Community College System
LeBaron Woodyard, Dean, Academic Affairs and Instructional Resources

California State University (CSU)
Dr. Gordon Smith, Director, Systemwide Library Initiatives, Office of the Chancellor

Dr. Ilene F. Rockman, Manager Information Competence Initiative, Systemwide Library Initiatives, Office of the Chancellor

Dr. Barbara O’Connor, Director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at CSU, Sacramento and Chair, of the ETS International ICT Literacy Panel

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Eleanor Mitchell, Head, College Library, Director, Information Literacy Initiative

Stephanie Brasley, Leader, Measuring Interest Group for Information Literacy

University of Louisville
Hannelore Rader, Dean, University of Libraries

Melissa Laning, Team Leader, Assessment

University of North Alabama
Dr. Daniel Throgmorton, Director, Continuing Studies and Outreach

University of Texas System
Dr. Pedro Reyes, Associate Vice Chancellor for Planning and Assessment, the University of Texas, Office of Academic Affairs

Damon E. Jaggars, Deputy Associate Director for Public Services, General Libraries, University of Texas, Austin

University of Washington
Betsy Wilson, Director of University Libraries

Anne E. Zald, Head, Map Collection and Cartographic Information Services

With estimated consolidated revenues of $800 million for FY2003, Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization and a leader in education research. The company is dedicated to serving the needs of individuals, educational institutions, and government bodies in nearly 200 countries. ETS develops and administers more than 12 million tests worldwide.

ETS also has two subsidiaries: Capstar, a leading provider of training, online distance learning, and assessment, and the development and delivery of certification and licensure exams for associations, corporations, government and academic markets; and, ETS Global BV Headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, ETS Global BV makes the world-class products, services, and resources of ETS more readily accessible to the European education and training community.

ETS Contact: Stephen Denis: 609-683-2330

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Last Updated: September 17, 2003

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