SuccessAbilities graphic

Instructors who have been assigned the Developer Role for their programs have the ability to work on the program page in WIDS to begin assigning SuccessAbilities to courses. You may ask which SuccessAbilities should I choose for my course?

Choose only those SuccessAbilities learners will actually have the opportunity to demonstrate in the course.

  1. Limit yourself to 3-5 SuccessAbilities per course. Start small. Remember SuccessAbilities are most effective when you intentionally present them before your learners by designing activities that “build them in.” It’s difficult to keep 10 core abilities before your learners on a regular basis!
  2. While the argument could be made that every course inherently supports the SuccessAbilities, assigning them to a course should be done intentionally. Within WIDS, the descriptors provided for assigning SuccessAbilities are: (1) Aware, (2) Acknowledge, (3) Apply, (4) Adapt, (5) Adopt.
  3. Begin with the end in mind: In which courses would you assess students at the 4-Adapt or 5-Adopt level? Assign them first. Then fill in the progression of Success Abilities that leads up to that type of growth/proficiency in the other courses.

If you have questions, feel free to stop in AEDD (Coleman 248) to talk to Nicole Cooksey ( or schedule an appointment to align the work in WIDS.

NEW: SuccessAbilities Resources (PDF)

Download a PDF of the information below.


Western believes in every student’s potential to positively influence our community. Through extensive research, wide stakeholder involvement, and the stated expectations of the community, the College has refined its focus on student growth and success. To accomplish this, Western has incorporated aspects of soft-skills, employability skills, and college and career readiness skills in the creation of our SuccessAbilities. These SuccessAbilities are integrated throughout the curriculum with student assessment occurring as appropriate to the technical program.

Western prepares students for success in a free-enterprise society through human experiences that integrate:

Living Responsibly

Challenges you to adapt to change, respect yourself and others, value the environment, accept ownership of your actions, and grow your community. Students will find success as they learn to:

  • Develop Resilience: anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disruptive change.
  • Embrace Sustainability: the act of building, through our daily practices and educational programming, a thriving, resilient, and just community now and in the future.
  • Foster Accountability: a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.

Refining Professionalism

Challenges you to think and communicate as a professional, value collaboration and diversity, and behave ethically. Students will find success as they learn to:

  • Improve Critical Thinking: connect ideas and evaluate information logically.
  • Practice Effective Communication: actively listen to others and share complex ideas through appropriate interactions.
  • Participate Collaboratively: contribute as a team member while acknowledging and respecting the diversity of other perspectives.
  • Act Ethically: behave in a way that reinforces the principles of honesty, equity, empathy and trust.

Cultivating Passion

Challenges you to find your purpose and be curious, practice self-reflection, and genuinely connect with others. Students will find success as they learn to:

  • Expand a Growth Mindset: accept imperfections and seek opportunities for perpetual self-improvement.
  • Increase Self-Awareness: understand personal strengths, weaknesses, traits, and behaviors to better understand yourself and other people.
  • Enhance Personal Connections: relate to others through kindness and concern.