Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Cognitive Skills

Domain Definition

The Cognitive Skills domain involves higher order intellectual thinking skills and utilizing cognitive processes such as analyzing academic, social, or professional situations; connecting knowledge; and making meaning in the face of ambiguity. Cognitive skills are key to understanding one’s self as a life-long learner and applying a critical lens to problems, questions, and issues.


Critical Thinking/Problem Solving 

  • Identifies, analyzes, and interprets important problems, questions, and issues
  • Critically assesses the relevance of information to develop alternative perspectives and solutions
  • Applies theories, concepts, and previous experiences to inform new situations and creatively solve practical problems

Academic Success Skill Development

  • Develop an academic self-concept
  • Connect academic skills to course content
  • Utilize cognitive and studying strategies

Reflective Thinking

  • Process and make judgments about past knowledge and experiences
  • Relates new knowledge to past understanding and experiences
  • Makes connections between knowledge in relation to one’s self and others

Intellectual Flexibility

  • Accepts and navigates ambiguity
  • Considers new information and perspectives
  • Adapts to different approaches and ways of thinking


  • Seeks new and innovative ways to approach problems from a different perspective
  • Integrates mental, emotional, and creative processes

Learning Outcome Statement:

Students who engage with UIC Student Affairs programs and services will be able to evaluate problems, issues, and questions through cognitive strategies to make meaning of their integrated experiences.