Assessment of Noncognitive Skills in Adult Basic Education

Dear Colleagues,

I'm pleased to announce the following Guest Discussion, which will be held from September 28 through October 2, 2009. Topic: Assessment of Noncognitive Skills in Adult Basic Education.

Guest Participants

Dr. Patrick C. Kyllonen is the Research Center Director for the New Constructs Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, N.J. Before joining ETS in 1999, Dr. Kyllonen received his B.A. from St. John's University (1977) and his Ph.D. from Stanford University (1984). He held positions at the University of Georgia (1985-1988) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (formerly Armstrong Laboratory, and the Human Resources Laboratory) in San Antonio, Texas (1982-1985, 1988-1999).

Dr. Kyllonen's research has focused on the measurement of human abilities and on learning and skill acquisition. More recently, he and New Constructs Center colleagues have been investigating affective as well as cognitive mediators of educational success and job performance, along with associated new assessments and delivery modes.  

Dr. William Sedlacek is a Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Iowa State University and a Ph. D. from Kansas State University.

Dr. Sedlacek has served as editor of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. Also, he has consulted with more than 300 different organizations, colleges, and universities on interracial and intercultural issues, and has served as an expert witness in race and sex discrimination cases. In 1992, he received the Ralph F. Berdie Memorial Research Award “for research affecting directional changes in the field of counseling and college student personnel work” which was presented by the American Counseling Association (ACA). In 1993, he received the John B. Muir Editor’s Award from the National Association f or College Admission Counseling for his article entitled “Employing noncognitive variables in the admission and retention of nontraditional students.”

Dr. Sedlacek's primary area of research has been on alternative assessment methods that are more fair than tests and grades for those with nontraditional backgrounds and experiences.

Recommended preparations for this discussion

The Case for Noncognitive Assessment

Patrick C. Kyllonen

R&D Connections

September 2005

7 pages

The Research Behind the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI)

Patrick C. Kyllonen

Educational Testing Service


18 pages

Personality, Motivation, and College Readiness: A Prospectus for Assessment and Development (DRAFT)

Patrick C. Kyllonen, Anastasiya A. Lipnevich, Jeremy Burrus, Richard D. Roberts

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey

85 pages

Noncognitive Measures for Higher Education Admissions

Sedlacek, W. E. (in press). In  B. McGaw,  E. Baker, &  P. L. Peterson (Eds.).  International Encyclopedia of Education, Third Edition. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Elsevier.

14 pages

Read the discussion on noncognitive assessment that took place on the AAACE-NLA (National Literacy Advocacy) Discussion List at

Search the NLA archives by Thread and read the posts with Cognitive and Non Cognitive Skills in ABE in the subject line (beginning August 17, 2009).
Click here to read excerpts from the discussion.