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Education for Life and Work

Education for Life and Work



In its efforts to shape development of transferable knowledge and skills, the National Research Council Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills made two important conclusions in 2012:


  1. Cognitive competencies have been more extensively studied than have intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies, showing consistent, positive correlations (of modest size) with desirable educational, career and health outcomes. Early academic competencies are also positively correlated with these outcomes.
  2. Among interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, conscientiousness (staying organized, responsible and hardworking) is most highly correlated with desirable educational, career and health outcomes. Antisocial behavior, which has both intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions, is negatively correlated with these outcomes.


I consider this research-oriented study by the committee to be profoundly significant in shaping our collective views on student success. About two weeks ago, NMSU engineering had a kick-off meeting with the first student cohort of Ron Seidel Engineering Leadership Institute having the primary goal of producing citizen engineers who will have demonstrated all three competencies to be successful in life and work (cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal). I am proud that we have support from Ron Seidel’s family to be doing this and to position NMSU engineering as a leader in its awareness of the need for, and operationalizing a framework to develop, these three sets of competencies.