The 8 Abilities

The key to your success

Ask our students and alums what makes an Alverno education so special, and again and again they’ll tell you: the 8 Abilities.
U.S. News & World Report Most Innovative School logo

Alverno was one of the first colleges to build a curriculum around the skills that employers say are essential to workplace success. Research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows many college graduates today still aren’t perceived as possessing career-ready competencies — the very skills that Alverno graduates have mastered for decades.

No matter your field, Alverno’s 8 Abilities will fuel your success.


Communication Ability icon

Problem Solving Ability Icon

Social Interaction Ability Icon

Effective Citizenship Icon

Analysis Ability icon

Valuing Ability Icon

Aesthetic Engagment Interaction Ability Icon

Global Perspective Citizenship Icon


Alverno student Lauren

The 8 Abilities in Action: Lauren′s Story

Drawn by the abilities
Transfer student Lauren, a sociology major, chose Alverno because of the abilities-based curriculum. “I thought the abilities were really unique. Developing a global perspective, communication, analysis — all of these different abilities were things that I wanted as life skills, and I knew that Alverno was going to instill them in me.

Putting learning into practice
Lauren frequently drew on the 8 Abilities during her internship at Ronald McDonald House Charities, where she worked in volunteer management and family services. “I know how to engage, how to communicate, how to analyze. I have this global perspective,” she says. “These skills influenced how I interacted with my coworkers and related to clients.

Skills for life
Not only did Lauren make a big impression at her internship, but she landed a job with an internationally focused technology company in Chicago before she even graduated. “I use the 8 Abilities more than I ever thought I would,” she says. “These abilities extend into your personal life, including how you interact with your family and friends. They gave me a confidence that I didn’t have before. These skills matter for life.”

Alverno student, Celina

“Alverno’s core abilities, instilled in every course, prepared me extremely well for my career as an educator. Effective communication, problem solving, and social interaction have been extremely important in my ability to work with students, families, colleagues and our community.”

— Celina

Class of 2008

Discover how Alverno will get you ready for what’s next. We invite you to get in touch with us to learn more.

Contact Us