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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Office of Testing and Assessment
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 Supporting Students' College Success:
The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies

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Report Highlights


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Assessment of Competencies Highlights

Assessment of Competencies Infographic

Road to College Success Graphic

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

This video, based on the report, introduces three competencies students should have that help reduce drop-out rates and support students’ persistence and success at college.

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


Project Resources

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

 Committee Members

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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