ERIC Number: ED496390
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep-15
Valuing Student Competencies: Which Ones Predict Postsecondary Educational Attainment and Earnings, and for Whom? Final Report
Deke, John; Haimson, Joshua
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
This report examines how indicators of academic and nonacademic competencies are related to postsecondary educational and labor market outcomes. Drawing on the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) surveys of students and teachers, the authors analyze how postsecondary earnings and the likelihood of attending and completing a postsecondary education program are related to several competencies--specifically, indicators of math skills, work habits, leadership skills, teamwork and other sports-related skills, and attitudes toward whether luck or effort determine success in life ("locus of control"). The authors find that the benefit of incremental gains in a competency does depend on the mix of skills each student possesses, and that, when choosing between improving math skills and various nonacademic competencies, it is better for students to improve in areas where they are weak than to focus on further developing areas where they are well above average. This suggests that the emphasis on improving the academic performance of low achievers may be well placed but that the concerns of some parents that their higher achieving children might benefit more from developing nonacademic skills might also be well founded. The following are appended: (1) Statistical Methods; (2) Descriptive Tables; (3) Supplementary Analyses; and (4) Figures Showing Competency Effects. (Contains 25 tables, 17 figures, and 9 footnotes.) [This report was submitted to the Corporation for the Advancement of Policy Evaluation.]
Descriptors: Mathematics Skills, Leadership, Competence, Locus of Control, Postsecondary Education, Educational Attainment, Outcomes of Education, Teamwork, Attitudes, Productivity, Quality of Working Life, Education Work Relationship, Longitudinal Studies, Data Analysis, Student Improvement, Low Achievement
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.