In response to these findings we are designing courses to assist students in overcoming their generic skill deficiencies. The first of these courses focuses on sociology.
Studies conducted at the University of Waterloo, Western University, the University of Toronto, and York University showed that only 44% of students had the generic skills, like literacy, elementary numeracy, and analysis, usually associated with academic and job success and democratic citizenship. In contrast to these ‘functional’ students, another 41% were ‘at-risk.’ While this group had some essential skills, they lacked others. The remaining 16% were ‘dysfunctional,’ and possessed few basic skills. The effects of these deficiencies were evident in students’ grades, student retention, and in university satisfaction.