In this article, Avery Matteo '22 shares what it was like to participate in Bryn Mawr’s Makerspace Spring Intensive last winter break
Why do the digital competencies matter?
See how strong metacognitive skills create strong post-grad careers.
We know that being able to work digitally and, more importantly, being able to tell a convincing story about their digital competencies helps undergraduates launch their careers. The Digital Competencies Program helps students forge a meaningful path from their first-year college orientation course through to their senior year career planning. Using a framework of skills ranging from basic computer survival skills all the way to advanced techniques in data, digital communication, and critical making, students surface opportunities to build their digital competencies in the curriculum and beyond.
The Digital Competencies Framework is intended to help individual Bryn Mawr students:
- Identify the digital skills and critical perspectives they will need to be 21st century leaders,
- Seek curricular and co-curricular opportunities to hone those skills and perspectives while at Bryn Mawr College,
- Develop ways of articulating and demonstrating their competencies to various audiences.
Although the audience is primarily students, the framework can also help Bryn Mawr College faculty and staff identify existing curricular and co-curricular opportunities to develop digital competencies, and mindfully incorporate such opportunities into new courses and programs.
Download the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework.
The Digital Competencies Program is sponsored by President Kim Cassidy and stewarded by Library and Information Technology Services. The program builds on and brings together multiple related initiatives and campus partners, including:
Educational and Scholarly Technology (EAST): Provides project management and organization. Also administers the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Initiative.
Career and Civic Engagement Center: The program's emphasis on reflection and on combining the curricular and non-curricular draws inspiration from the mission of the Center, which is a key partner in developing student-focused programming related to the framework.
Digital Scholarship: The Bryn Mawr College Digital Scholarship Program encourages the intellectual curiosity at the center of a liberal arts education through critical engagements with digital technologies. Offers fellowships for graduate and undergraduates, support for faculty research projects, a reading group, and more.
Information Literacy: Librarians collaborate with faculty to incorporate information literacy into the curriculum with the goal that Bryn Mawr graduates will be flexible, life-long learners who can access and use information creatively, reflectively, and ethically to create new knowledge in communities of learning, solve complex problems, and actively participate as informed citizens in an information society.
Information Security: Provides information and training opportunities to master competencies pertinent to the security of the College’s sensitive data and their own; broad participation in the program will exponentially reduce the College’s security risk profile. Programs include Data Action Days, the Information Security Education Online Training, and more.
The Digital Competencies Program first grew out of a collaboration between faculty and educational technologists designing digital course activities and assignments as part of an Andrew F. Mellon Foundation grant funded “Developing a Liberal Arts Curriculum for a Digital Age.” They recognized that such assignments and activities assumed or required certain digital skills, and began identifying them and developing assessments and scaffolding needed to ensure students’ success. Shortly thereafter, the Board-level Digital Bryn Mawr Task Force charged Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) and the College more broadly with ensuring that students, faculty and staff develop the digital skills needed to learn, teach, research, live and work in a digital age, and we began a process of developing a fuller framework, drawing on feedback and prior research by faculty, staff, recent alumnae/i, Board members, and students. 
Planning Committee and Program Governance
Cross-departmental and flexible, the planning committee includes members from across the College. Email email@example.com to get involved.
Program Steward: Gina Siesing, CIO & Director of Libraries
Current committee members: Christine Boyland, Dave Consiglio, Lindsey Dever, Leslie Goloh ('19), Emily Hsu ('19), Katie Krimmel, Dayna Levy, Megan Pongratz, and Jenny Spohrer.
The Planning Committee and Program Steward consult regularly with campus constituents to ensure that the Digital Competencies program remains vibrant and relevant for students and faculty across disciplines. We gather input systematically from students and alumnae/i to determine which elements of the program are helpful as they pursue their chosen pathways and use that input to continuously enhance opportunities for students to work with data and technology in interesting and valuable ways across their Bryn Mawr experience. Through presentations, publications, workshops, and grant programs, we also share the Bryn Mawr digital competencies model regularly with peer institutions who are developing similar programs.
 The first version of the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework included a frame for information literacy drawn from the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric, which was developed using the then extant ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Recognizing that information literacy is a rich, complex set of ideas that is not limited to the digital, our document has been revised to introduce information literacy knowledge practices and dispositions from ACRL’s newly adopted Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as the metacognitive processes necessary for the development of particular digital competencies. Notes have been included throughout the document identifying these knowledge practices and dispositions and the threshold concepts they relate to in the ACRL Framework.