Being smart is not enough to ensure success: Integrating personal development into a general education course

Anna Petra Whitehall, Laura G. Hill, Denise M. Yost, Kimberlee K. Kidwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Life skills, including conflict management, flexibility in response to change, and effective communication, are critical to success in college and career. Most university administrators and employers believe that students should learn foundational life skills in college, but for the most part universities do not explicitly teach these skills as part of the general undergraduate education experience. The goal of the present study was to examine whether personal development can be effectively fostered in a general education course. It reports on a theory-based course designed to increase leadership, adaptive coping skills, and mental well-being. It also demonstrates through a quasiexperiment that participation in this course is related to social and psychological outcomes such as increased adaptability to change and social integration. These skills will support students in being successful in college and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-263
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of General Education
Volume65
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Communication skills
  • General education
  • Leadership
  • Life skills
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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