Supporting Noncognitive Factors: Connecting Students with Resources, from Theory to Practice

April 24, 2018 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Higher education has been abuzz with conversations about noncognitive skills in recent years.

While many acknowledge that constructs such as “grit” and a “growth mindset,” among others, are relevant to student success, what do we do when students enter our institutions with challenges in noncognitive areas? Similarly, how do we encourage students to use noncognitive strengths to maximize learning and success?

This webinar will focus on various strategies that can be used to connect students with noncognitive “interventions.” In some cases, institutions might have offices or programs that serve as a resource, such as at Texas State University, where noncognitive data help to connect students to well-developed student success offices. In other cases, schools may need to develop or identify new strategies to support success. At Santa Monica College, noncognitive skills have helped student support staff structure conversations with students, as well as develop an array of strategies for support. Overall, the conversation will seek to build better connections between data and information and help harness information into action.

Key Takeaways
In this informative presentation with Texas State University, Santa Monica College and a Senior Assessment Strategist from ETS, participants will:

  • Discover the various strategies that can be used to connect students with noncognitive “interventions” that will help them to succeed.

  • Explore examples of how other institutions are using noncognitive data to connect students to resources and to encouraging incoming students to use their noncognitive strengths to maximize learning and success.

  • Understand how to build better connections between the data and information we gather from incoming students and connect students with the resources that will help them to succeed.


Brown has served as dean of University College at Texas State since 2011, and has been engaged in student success initiatives since 1998 at Eastern New Mexico University and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He arrived in San Marcos to implement Personalized Academic and Career Exploration, or PACE, which is Texas State’s innovative hub for first year academic services, including academic advising, career exploration counseling, peer mentoring, academic coaching and a University Seminar course.

Brown holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pittsburg State University in Kansas and a doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University. He has been recognized for his administration of academic advising programs and has written six successful U.S. Department of Education grants that have brought over $20 million to his universities in support of student success initiatives. He currently serves as president-elect of the Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges and as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee.

Nava, Associate Dean for Student Services, University College at Texas State University, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a doctor of philosophy degree in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Upon his arrival at Texas State University (2011), Nava assisted in the implementation of the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) Center and has had responsibilities in overseeing the PACE Mentoring and Academic Coaching Program, PACE Academic Advising Center, Texas Success Initiative Program, Pathway Program, Title V and Title III grant student services, Minority Male Initiative and assessment for the PACE Center. In addition to his administrative role at Texas State University, Nava has held a lecturer position within the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS) in the College of Applied Arts since 2013.

The bulk of Nava’s experience comes from working with TRiO Programs (specifically the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and the Student Support Services Program). He has successfully written four grants as the Principal Investigator (Student Support Services Program {2}, Ronald E McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, and Minority Male Initiative) and is currently Co-Principal Investigator on three grants. He has experience developing data-driven comprehensive academic support programs aimed at serving first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented college students and minority males at institutions of higher education. As an administrator, he has provided leadership in the area of student development and retention programs.

Meono is a licensed psychologist who earned her doctorate in psychology from Pepperdine University. She works part-time at Santa Monica College as the Success Navigator Counselor, where she administers the SuccessNavigator® assessment and helps students develop individually tailored plans to maximize on strengths and overcome barriers. Additionally, she works part time as a staff psychologist at CSUN, where she provides individual therapy to CSUN students. Her interests include noncognitive assessment, mood disorders, outreach and music-based psychological interventions.

Markle is a Senior Research and Assessment Advisor at ETS. He works in the Higher Education division at ETS and, over the past several years, Markle has researched the role of noncognitive skills in student success and student learning with a particular emphasis on traditionally underserved populations. He now works with colleges and universities to understand and implement assessment solutions in practice.