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Changes in KSM Definitions for 2018-19

As iMentor updated our programmatic outputs and outcomes, it was important to ensure that the operational definitions of these concepts were updated to reflect current research. Below is a side-by-side comparison of operational definitons of our skills and mindsets and how they've changed over time. 


Pre 2018-19

2018-19 and beyond


Mentees show an ability to effectively assess when they need help, identify sources of support, and acquire that support.

Students have the ability to understand their needs and interests and can effectively represent their views and interests when seeking support.

Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving

Mentees enhance their ability to gather multiple opinions, assess the benefits and drawbacks of various viewpoints, and make a decision.

Students can work through the details of a challenge to reach a solution, including defining the problem, looking for alternative solutions, decision making, and solution implementation and verification.

Growth Mindset

Students understand the growth mindset concept and believe that intelligence is changeable. This belief leads to greater student engagement in school and increases mentees' resilience in the face of setbacks.

Students who believe that their abilities, specifically their academic skills, are malleable and can be changed through persistent hard work and effort.


Mentees demonstrate a combination of persistence and resilience that allows them to work effectively toward goals, even in the face of obstacles and setbacks.

Working strenuously toward goals, despite challenges and potential failures. Persistent students stay focused on a goal despite systemic or operational obstacles and are able to prioritize long-term wins over shorter-term gratification

Social Capital Skills

Mentees increase their comfort and ability to work successfully with people of different backgrounds and experiences. Mentees are aware of their own motives and feelings, as well as those of other people. Mentees are able to work collaboratively in large and small groups. 

Students can cultivate social networks in which interactions are marked by reciprocity, trust, and cooperation that is beneficial for both the student and the others involved. Using this skill allows students to access institutional resources and support not previously available.



Students have a conscious knowledge of their own feelings, motives, perspectives and how this knowledge impacts their interactions with others as well as how other individuals' perspectives impact that student's ability to operate in the world

Effective Communication


Students speak purposefully, listen actively, and can contribute to group dialogue, all while being able to reflect on strengths and challenges of conveying and interpreting meaning and understanding of how communication choices affect others.