Learning Domain - Cognitive and Practical Skills

The Cognitive and Practical Skills domain involves acquiring and analyzing knowledge and skills and integrating them in a way that allows for effectively managing one’s daily affairs and meeting personal and social responsibilities. Cognitive and practical competencies are key to enhancing individual and community well-being and to living a life of purpose.

Learning Outcome

Students who participate in Student Affairs programs, activities and services will acquire and use cognitive and practical skills that will enable them to live healthy, productive, and purposeful lives.


Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

  • Identifies, analyzes, and interprets important problems, questions, and issues
  • Critically assesses the relevance of information to develop alternative perspectives and solutions
  • Applies theories, concepts and previous experiences to inform new situations and creatively solve practical problems 

Life Skills

  • Develops and applies strategies for managing personal and/or organizational resources
  • Exercises purposeful decision-making
  • Strategically develops and pursues short and long term personal, educational, and professional goals
  • Holds oneself accountable for personal, work, and social obligations
  • Articulates priorities regarding time management
  • Demonstrates the ability to plan and execute complex projects
  • Effectively balances education, work, and leisure time

Career Development

  • Describes and applies own professional strengths and weaknesses, interests, skills/competencies, and values to one’s career search
  • Effectively utilizes life-long career/life planning, job search, and career management tools/skills
  • Applies academic and co-curricular experiences to career opportunities


  • Engages in behaviors and contributes to environments that promote personal health and wellness and reduce risk both personally and within the community

Communication Skills

  • Effectively communicates and conveys meaning by writing and speaking coherently and productively
  • Demonstrates technological literacy and skills
  • Uses technology ethically and effectively to communicate, solve problems, and complete tasks

Examples of Programs, Activities, and Services

Below are some examples of programs, activities, and services where students can learn about cognitive and practical skills:

  • Red Watch Band training
  • SOFO
  • Men Against Rape (MARS)
  • Safe Space Training
  • Peer Advising
          (Wildcat Welcome)
  • Essential NU’s (ENU’s)
  • QPR training
  • CAPS Outreach and
          Education Programs
  • MSA advising services
  • Campus Coalition on
          Sexual Violence
  • Freshman Emerging Leaders
  • Greek Emerging Leaders
  • Career Ambassador program
          (Career Services)
  • Executive leadership
          opportunities (CSI, MSA)
  • OFSL advising services
  • Health Services student
          advisory committee
  • Community Assistant training
  • Peer Adviser training
  • Norris Center Manager
  • Bystander intervention
  • Risk Management
          training/symposiums (OFSL)
  • Fraternity and sorority
  • Fraternity and sorority
          leadership (council officers,
          chapter presidents, honor
          society leadership)

Northwestern students are a felp event

Personal Development | Interpersonal Competence | Social Responsibility | Cognitive and Practical Skills