Practice soft skills for college success

Recently, an infographic that one of our former interns created showed up on The Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education’s (IN!) website. We were all pretty excited, mostly, because we thought that was pretty cool.

But, it also got us thinking about inclusive higher education. There are tons of economic and financial reasons for a push towards inclusive colleges and universities. You can read about some of them here. However, we are also aware that fewer than 35 percent of students with disabilities who enroll in a four-year college graduate within eight years.[1] There’s many reasons for this, but rarely is the reason because these students have an intellectual disability. Some recent information [2] [3] shows that students who are graduating from Special Education programs lack the basic soft skills necessary to navigate the pressures and responsibilities of college. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy has identified six major areas for teaching soft skills to students in transition: [4]

  1. Communication

  2. Enthusiasm and attitude

  3. Teamwork

  4. Networking

  5. Problem solving and critical thinking

  6. Professionalism

These skills and the opportunity to practice them are a likely indicator of students’ success in higher education. The earlier your kids with disabilities (and without) begin learning these skills the better. Set your goals for your children high and start practicing today!