Admissions May 2000 e-mails

sent to US News top 50 national universities, top 40 liberal arts colleges, top specialty schools, many graduate schools

RE: Measuring non-IQ skills - key to predicting success

Dear Admissions Director:

Research continues on the role of non-academic skills in predicting future success. Evaluating such skills is usually important in selective admissions like yours. Marlyn McGrath Lewis, Harvard's Director of Admissions, wrote me: "one can appreciate the value of a numerical scoring system such as you describe for the 'Social Quotient'" This e-mail is an update of my 2/20/99 communication to admissions directors at thirty selective colleges.

Since then, Harvard education professor Howard Gardner writes that he is "quite interested" in some new findings that compare Social Quotient to his interpersonal intelligence. Stanford psychologist Phil Zimbardo asks "how we can effectively have our students complete the [SQ] scale and have it scored." Their full comments are in the Update section of a recent Internet site:

Social Quotient is analogous to IQ, but measures a very different set of skills. SQ and IQ each account for about 1/3 of future success, according to several prominent research sources, described at: The remaining 1/3 of success seems to relate to Ambition/ self-skills, also described on that web page.

Since my 1999 update, the number of high school students scored for their Social Quotient has risen from 732 to over 2400. All SQ survey results, including supportive reactions from 31 national employers, are included in the above website. Latinos and blacks still score slightly higher than whites in SQ (in contrast to their IQ/ SAT scores), although the results are now seen to vary slightly by community.

If this research is of interest to you, please let me know. Just a quick e-mail reply can be a real help. Your suggestions for new research directions and potential uses of these findings are welcomed. Thanks for your interest and for you time in checking out the website.

Van Sloan
Graduate of Princeton and Stanford
14 years as a public school administrator
Inventor of the Social Quotient measure

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