The importance of higher education has never been clearer. Educational attainment—the number of years a person spends in school—strongly predicts adult earnings, as well as health and civic engagement. Yet relative to other developed nations, educational attainment in the United States is lagging, with young Americans who heretofore led the world in completing postsecondary degrees now falling behind their global peers. As part of a broader national college completion agenda aimed at increasing college graduation rates, higher education researchers and policy makers are exploring the role of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies in supporting student success.
Intrapersonal competencies involve self-management and the ability to regulate one’s behavior and emotion to reach goals, while interpersonal competencies involve expressing information to others as well as interpreting others’ messages and responding appropriately. Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies examines how to assess interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies (e.g., teamwork, communication skills, academic mindset, and grit) of undergraduate students for different purposes. This report 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.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Report Briefing Summit
April 12-13, 2017
Members of the authoring committee and other invited speakers discussed the report's conclusions, its recommendations for research and assessment development, and its implications for higher education policy and practice.
This summit was sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Agenda (with PowerPoint presentations)
Videos from the Summit
July 30-31, 2015 - Open Session:
Agenda with presentations | Speaker Bios
December 14-15, 2015 - Workshop:
Presentations and webcast
February 10-11, 2016 - Open Session:
Presentation by Nicholas Bowman
Joan Herman (Chair), UCLA/CRESST
David Bills, University of Iowa
Corbin Campbell, Columbia University
Tabbye Chavous, University of Michigan
Greg Duncan, University of California, Irvine
Sylvia Hurtado, University of California, Los Angeles
Patrick Kyllonen, Educational Testing Service
Dan McAdams, Northwestern University
Frederick Oswald, Rice University
Jonathan Plucker, Johns Hopkins University
K. Ann Renninger, Swarthmore College
Brian Stecher, RAND Corporation
Margaret Hilton, Senior Program Officer
Patricia Morison, Acting Director, Board on
Testing and Assessment
Heidi Schweingruber, Director, Board on Science
Judy Koenig, Senior Program Officer
Kelly Arrington, Senior Program Assistant
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Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering(2012), examines the emerging field and future direction of discipline-based education research (DBER) in physics, biological sciences, geosciences, and chemistry and how it could improve the teaching of these disciplines. DBER combines knowledge of teaching and learning with deep knowledge of discipline-specific science content. It describes the discipline-specific difficulties learners face and the specialized intellectual and instructional resources that can facilitate student understanding.
Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop (2011).
The routine jobs of yesterday are being replaced by technology and/or shipped off-shore. In their place, job categories that require knowledge management, abstract reasoning, and personal services seem to be growing. The modern workplace requires workers to have broad cognitive and affective skills. Commissioned Papers
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Research on Future Skill Demands: A Workshop Summary (2008).
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