Colleges have become adept at measuring academic preparation. Everyone is "swimming in data," reports Katherine Mangan, in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
However, some schools are also attempting to measure non-cognitive skills. The latest fashionable term is "grit." It refers to personal resilience or perseverance—which we all know can make all the difference in student success. The challenge is finding a way to measure grit and then to act upon it effectively.
Santa Monica College, in California, has an interesting program, shared at the recent meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges conference.
From the CHE article
The program that Santa Monica has been trying out is SuccessNavigator, an assessment developed by the Educational Testing Service. Some 25,000 students on about 150 college campuses (half of them community colleges) have taken the personal survey since it was released, in July 2013. It was designed to help colleges get a more holistic picture of students’ chances of succeeding in college.
The assessment, which costs colleges $6 per student, provides feedback to students, their advisers, and instructors, on the specific hurdles students may face and links them with campus resources that can help.
Please read the entire piece. One potential concern mentioned in the article is whether students tell the truth about their study habits, class attendance, and attitude toward school. However, anecdotally, when you meet privately with students, they tend to admit such deficiencies. Certainly there are those individuals in denial about such matters ("I'm an A student!") but asking them about their deficiencies can be revealing.
Then comes the tough part: monitoring, mentoring, coaching. You will find the article helpful.
Grit can be learned. That's the good news.