Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner

Based on our own Lives Over Time research and research in the field, we’ve identified eight qualities that really matter and are correlated with postsecondary success and independence. Research and experience demonstrate that these are not exclusively inherent qualities but skills to be developed and employed.

Defining the QSIL

List of 8 items.

  • Resilience

    The student is able to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change by becoming strong and healthy in response to such experiences. Not only does a resilient student bounce back, but they emerge from the struggle retaining their positive self-image and view of the world, as well as having learned something from the situation that will help them in the future.
  • Social Responsibility

    The student is a consistently effective, understanding, participatory, and helpful member of the community: whether that community is in the classroom, school halls, neighborhood or world. A socially responsible student displays empathy for others and acts as a role model among peers. A socially responsible student understands the importance of diversity and equity and the voluntarily assumed obligation toward the good of society at large as opposed to the self alone. They are aware of how their behavior impacts others within their immediate or broader community.
  • Self-Advocacy

    The student consistently represents himself/herself by appropriately asking for assistance inside and outside of the classroom. This may include requesting clarification of assignments and expectations, specific materials, or accommodations. The student is able to identify the appropriate person to assist with his/her needs.
  • Self-Regulation

    The student is able to remain goal-directed across time, even in the face of difficult academic and social situations, and emotions such as boredom, annoyance, or frustration. The student displays impulse control in his/her decisions to either stop or initiate action. 
  • Self-Reflection

    The student is reflective and self-aware. The student has conscious knowledge of his/her own character, strengths, weaknesses, feelings, motives, and desires, and is thoughtful about how these influence his/her actions. The student is able to look back at actions, decisions, and creations, assess effectiveness, recognize areas in need of change, and apply this knowledge to similar situations in the future.
  • Social & Communication Skills

    The student consistently responds and adapts to diverse situations, and understands how to communicate his/her needs and ideas to others without external structures of support. The student possesses the necessary tools to make choices that will strengthen his/her interpersonal relationships, success in school and within the community. The student identifies and utilizes problem-solving, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Problem-Solving

    The student is an adaptive, creative and effective problem-solver. When faced with an academic or social challenge, the student is able to step back, analyze the problem, and come up with a creative solution appropriate to the situation. If the first solution is unsuccessful, the student is able to devise and implement a different one.
  • Management & Organization

    The student is able to prioritize, organize, and complete tasks efficiently while understanding the big picture of effectively managing and organizing their overall responsibilities. The student arrives on time to school, classes, and other appointments and obligations, and is ready to participate. Assignments are handed in on the due date and meet the requirements specified. The student’s materials (such as notes, homework, class work, books, binder) and belongings are organized and easily accessible at all times. 
Winston Preparatory School is a leading school for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, executive functioning difficulties (ADHD), and non-verbal learning disorders (NVLD).

WPS does not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin. The Winston Preparatory School provides programs and services and equal opportunity in the administration of its educational and admissions policies, financial aid programs, employment, and the selection of its governing board without regard to gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability status, or any status recognized by federal, state and local civil rights and non-discrimination laws.