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Improving Noncognitive Constructs for Career Readiness and Success: A Theory of Change for Postsecondary, Workplace, and Research Applications NCI ToC TOA

Kevin M. Williams; Martin-Raugh, Michelle; Lentini, Jennifer
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Noncognitive Constructs, Postsecondary Education, Workplace, Prediction of Occupational Success, Prediction of Scholastic Success, Noncognitive Construct Intervention (NCI), Theory of Change (ToC), Theory of Action (ToA), Competency-Based Education, Job Applicants, Intervention, Learning, Behavior, Reaction Time, Results


Researchers and practitioners in postsecondary and workplace settings recognize the value of noncognitive constructs in predicting academic and vocational success but also perceive that many students or employees are lacking in these areas. In turn, there is increased interest in interventions designed to enhance these constructs. We provide an empirically informed theory of change (ToC) that describes the inputs, mechanisms, and outputs of noncognitive construct interventions (NCIs).The components that inform this ToC include specific relevant constructs that are amenable to intervention, intervention content and mechanisms of change, methodological considerations, moderators of program efficacy, recommendations for evaluating NCIs, and suggested outcomes. In turn, NCIs should provide benefits to individuals, institutions, and society at large and also advance our scientific understanding of this important phenomenon.

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