Faculty Articles

Social Emotional Health with Self-Awareness Predicts First-Year College Student Success

Sarah Ransdell PhD, Nova Southeastern University
Jia Borror, Nova Southeastern University
Leanne Boucher, Nova Southeastern University


Academic success depends on social emotional health, especially in the transition to college. The Social Emotional Health Survey (SEHS; Furlong, You, Shishim & Dowdy, 2016) and the College Student Behavior Checklist (CSBC) are measured in first-year college students. The SEHS is a measure of co-vitality that includes belief-in-self, belief-in-others, emotional competence, and engaged living. Self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management parallel these SEHS factors in Goleman’s original model of emotional intelligence (1995, 2001). In the present study, the SEHS is predicted by the CSBC and by self-awareness of future grades. The CSBC includes a primary component that is a set of successful first-year college student behaviors called College Vitality (CV). CV includes asking for help from professor and from peers, reassessing study habits, going to office hours, studying in a group, speaking up in class, planning more, reading before attending class, going to tutoring and testing centers, and being aware of grades. Up to 50% of the variance in first semester GPA is predicted by self-awareness of future grades which is correlated with both the SEHS and the CSBC