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Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Higher Ed

Posted By: Nicole Rankine on August 04, 2022

Schools spend time, energy, and money pursuing improved academic performance but often ignore the benefits of emotional intelligence (EQ)/social-emotional learning (SEL) in the long-term pursuit of total student development.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as known in the business world or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as known in academia is essentially the same thing. In the business world, EQ is exhibited in adaptability, collegiality, and empathy and is practiced through listening, remaining calm, and being resilient in the face of problems by valuing colleagues and connecting with others. In the workplace, it is about your relationships.

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional, Learning (CASEL), “SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

Providing students with opportunities to develop these skills has been shown to decrease problem behaviors and increase school connectedness, achievement, attendance, and positive social behaviors.


We use the CASEL framework to develop the Adulting In My Purpose Curriculum and resources that can be incorporated into any student programming.

Self-awareness: the ability to identify our own feelings, as well as how our feelings and thoughts influence what we do

Self-management: the ability to manage our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in a variety of contexts

Social awareness: the ability to understand and empathize with others' points of view

Relationship skills: the ability to communicate and connect with a range of people in a healthy way

Responsible decision making: the ability to make positive choices about how we behave

Accessing emotional intelligence is one of the primary steps for students to achieve their true potential. Since IQ isn’t enough on its own, EQ skills must intertwine with education for optimal success.

For students, emotional intelligence is crucial for social situations and humanities subjects like literature, history, and courses rich with themes centered around universal motifs, character development, and human motivations.



EI is also a helpful tool among virtual students and teams and a vital prerequisite in emotive work like nursing, human services, management, and leadership roles.

Having a high level of soft skills is the only way to live a purpose-driven life. When a person has a greater level of self-awareness and self-management it often leads to the conviction that there is a purpose greater than just helping self. This leads to empathy and a strong desire to help others. It is EQ that enables us to put our purpose into practice.

Emotions can precede thought, and when our emotions run high, our brains function differently — diminishing our cognitive abilities, decision-making powers, and interpersonal skills.

Left unchecked, emotions can generate stress, which quickly affects physical health by:

Amplifying the aging process, the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, (and more),
Delaying the healing of wounds and injuries,
Increasing the susceptibility to viruses and infections,
Raising blood pressure, and
Suppressing the immune system.

Uncontrolled emotions also affect mental health, making people more vulnerable to anxiety and depression and inept to form strong relationships.

The Adulting In My Purpose Curriculum takes students on a self-discovery journey that will transform their mindset and life. With practical steps, students are guided through the process of self-reflection, self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-belief, self-improvement, self-planning, and self-motivation.

At the end of the journey, students gain

Greater self-efficacy
Increase life satisfaction
Sense of purpose
Better decision-making skills
Better problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills
Positive relationships


For both students and educators, we offer Emotional Intelligence and/or Social Emotional Learning training and workshops. All training is tailored per your request and is meant to be provided over time to deepen the learning and internalize the strategies.

Get your copy of the Adulting In My Purpose Journal: https://lp.vbt.site/23059/adultingeworkboo...

Your Favorite Personal Growth Coach
Dr. Nic
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Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Higher Ed

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