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​​​​Assessing Basic Cognitive Skill Development and Transferable Life Skills in College Students from Admission to Graduation

Project contacts: Jackie Pichette (HEQCO) and Tim Fricker (Mohawk)


The postsecondary experience is first and foremost based around education but there is much more for students to learn than the concepts taught in the classroom. The credential that’s earned at the end of a college program only tells part of the story of what they’ve learned, skills they’ve improved upon, and ways in which they’ve developed.

​ This project would like to tell a more complete story of a Mohawk college graduate and is aiming to do that by creating a graduate profile that covers two types of skills: basic cognitive skills (reading, writing and numeracy) and transferable life skills (such as motivation, confidence and time management).

For the most part, students enter a college program knowing how to do things like read, write, manage their time and motivate themselve but these skills change over the course of their college experience and this project would like to investigate how. The good news is that structures are already in place to collect data on the Mohawk student experience; most incoming students complete a Student Entrance Survey and this project would like to expand upon this process in order to discover more about how students skills are developing.

As the job market changes and postsecondary educational institutions figure out how best they can prepare students for it, a question that often gets asked is what is the value of higher education? Studies like this one that attempt to zero in on ways that students change and evolve — rather than simply looking at the classes they took and the grade​s they earned — could be an important part of explaining the value of a degree.​

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Materials and Outcomes


​Throughout the course of this project, updates and final reports will be posted here.​