Developing Emotionally Intelligent College Students

Helping college students improve their emotional intelligence increases motivation, resilience, decision-making, empathy and stress management--critical skills they need to succeed in college.

Posted July 1st, 2019 by Eduology

Why develop emotional intelligence in college students?

As many as 1 in 3 first-year students won't make it back for sophomore year; often they feel overwhelmed, lonely, isolated, and have difficulty adjusting to the demands of college and university. However, research concludes that “young people with high EQ earn higher grades, stay in school, and make healthier choices (in Firestone, 2016).”

What areas improve with emotional intelligence coaching?

While some aspects of an individual's EI may be inherent, many areas can be coached and developed. Improving areas of emotional intelligence leads to stronger leadership capabilities. Teaching emotional intelligence skills helps college students (on average):

  • Reduce stress by 35%

  • Improve interpersonal skills by 50%

  • Increase overall EI scores by 25%

  • Increase persistence

How will it help students after they graduate?

These skills will also help students in the future. Research has shown that higher emotional intelligence is correlated to over 50% improvement in relationships, effectiveness, health, and quality of life. Also, when IQ and technical skills are the same, professionals with higher emotional intelligence have a 90% better success in moving up the carer ladder (Wilcox, L. referencing "What Makes a Leader" in the Harvard Business Review, January 2004). Too, successful leadership correlates strongly with high Emotional Intelligence (EI). Prepare students for success now and after they graduate.

3 Tips for Developing College Students’ Emotional Intelligence

1. Teach emotional intelligence skills, such as research on motivation and effective communication strategies through workshops and classes.

2. Model emotional intelligence. Assess your own strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate what you do will and how you work to improve your EI.

3. Give students opportunities to practice emotional intelligence by working in groups, problem-solving challenges and participating in community service projects.