Co-academic skills are defined as necessary areas of expertise for academic and life success. These skills include but are not limited to time management, reading college textbooks, writing college essays, information literacy, financial literacy, social skills, networking skills, self-management, interdependence, academic self-esteem, personal responsibility, goal setting, life planning, self-awareness, taking college level notes, taking college exams, and how to study for college courses.
The concept of co-academic skills depends upon the existence and development of academic skills such as reading, writing, math, language arts, and critical thinking skills. These are skills that are developed in the classroom. For example, a student taking a statistics course will be able to develop critical thinking and mathematical skills in relation to statistics. In order to pass the course and submit satisfactory assignments, the student will need to not only understand the course material, but will also need to utilize co-academic skills to meet their goal of passing the class and showing mastery in the statistics course.
Co-academic skills are more important than academic skills due to their ability to not only improve academic performance but employability as well. Co-academic skills surpass the limitations of academic skills in that co-academic skills can increase employability and provide a student with the ability to be successful outside of the classroom. These skills are also considered life skills. Generally speaking, a student can still be successful person without mastering academic skills such as statistics, however no one can be successful without mastering their co-academic skills.
In 2017 Melissa Doreus coined the term Co-Academic Skills as a result of the work she was doing with students, faculty, and staff.