Academies Report Examines Impact of Social Competencies on College Success

On April 13, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education released a report, Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the report “examines how to assess interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies (e.g., teamwork, communication skills, academic mindset, and grit) of undergraduate students for different purposes.” It also establishes “priorities for the development and use of assessments related to the identified intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies that influence higher education success, especially in STEM.” Central themes of the report include diversity and inclusion. Special attention was given to research on “student groups that have historically experienced lowered college persistence and success than other groups” including black, Hispanic, and American Indian racial/ethnic minority groups, students from low-income families, first-generation college students, and women in particular STEM disciplines. The committee concluded that additional research is needed and made 13 recommendations, including that federal agencies and foundations support “rigorous research, in partnership with higher education institutions, to understand better the three most-promising competencies and their relationship to college success.” Copies of the report are available on the Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 18), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

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