Building Non-Cognitive Skills in Students to be Successful in College

Although success in life is mostly attributed to the kind of education one has, their profession and their intellectual capabilities, the importance of non-cognitive skills is something that seems to have taken a backseat when it comes to imparting education in the nation. When considering the importance of non-cognitive skills in one’s life and the role it plays in shaping an individual, we realize how important it actually is.

How education is viewed and why it needs to be corrected?

The term educated often refers to a person with the knowledge of theories and practices of different fields and areas of expertise. Based on this very definition of education schools and colleges impart theoretical learning through mediums such as books, CDs and classroom-teaching. What is completely overlooked is that what one does with the education they have acquired in school and college. The way each individual uses their knowledge depends on their non-cognitive skills and how they perceive their education. In order to make sure that students are able to put their education into good use and be successful in life emotionally, professionally and personally, building strong non-cognitive skills in them is indispensable.

What are non-cognitive skills and how to impart them to students?

Unlike cognitive skills that relate to learning, problem-solving and attention-paying skills of individuals, non-cognitive skills refer to thoughts, feelings and behavior. The thought behind non-cognitive skill tells us that apart from being able to solve math problems or memorize chemical formulas, students should be capable of socializing, being emotionally developed, practicing self-control, and working in teams among others. The best time to start imparting these skills is when students are in school and are at an age when their personalities can be shaped. However it is never too late to start for anyone. The task might be a bit more difficult when it comes to college students as they have matured and have their own opinions, but it is not impossible. Through soft-skill classes and conducting personality tests that point out areas of improvement in their non-cognitive skills, students can focus on working on these areas that will help them prosper in college and at workplace.

Importance of non-cognitive skills in college and workplace

College and offices are places where students and professionals are completely on their own. They are not shielded by parents, teachers and counselors as they were in school. Their ability to make place for themselves, work with others in a group, create healthy personal and professional relationships, and building good work ethics, all depend on how developed their non-cognitive skills are. Creativity, communication skills, persistence, self-regulation, and self-control are some of the other important non-cognitive skills that are indispensable for success in life. Employers too stress on the non-cognitive skills when interviewing employees. They are concerned if the employee will be a good fit for the organization or not. Since they can be trained in the cognitive skills that are required for the job, hence non-cognitive skills are something they would look for in the interviewee first.

Through proper guidance, workshops, soft-skills tools and courses, non-cognitive skills can be built in both school and college students to shape their personality well so that they come out as a winner at whatever they attempt.