The Importance of Personal Development in University Courses and the Cornell Note Taking System

Cuong Duy Nguyen

Cuong Duy Nguyen

Jul 31, 20233 min read


The Importance of Personal Development in University Courses and the Cornell Note Taking System

In today's competitive job market, it is essential for university students to not only gain knowledge in their chosen field of study but also develop practical, digital, and employability skills. Recognizing this need, many universities now incorporate personal development activities into their courses to better prepare students for the real world. This article will explore the significance of personal development in university courses and how it can benefit students in their future careers.

As a student intern, I had the opportunity to discuss the topic of personal development with a fellow intern who was taking courses through the Kaplan International Pathways program. He shared his experiences and insights on how these courses have helped him develop essential skills beyond his academic studies.

One of the key elements of personal development in university courses is the focus on practical skills. Traditional classroom learning often emphasizes theoretical knowledge, but practical skills are equally important in today's job market. Personal development activities, such as workshops or internships, provide students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply what they have learned in real-world scenarios. This not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also gives them a competitive edge when it comes to securing employment in their chosen field.

In addition to practical skills, digital literacy is another crucial aspect of personal development. In today's digital age, being proficient in technology is no longer a bonus but a necessity. University courses that integrate digital skills training help students become more adaptable and versatile in the workplace. From using software programs to data analysis, these skills are highly sought after by employers and can greatly enhance a student's employability.

Furthermore, personal development activities also focus on enhancing employability skills. These skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership abilities, among others. Employers often prioritize these skills when hiring new graduates, as they contribute to a productive and collaborative work environment. By participating in activities that foster these skills, students can better prepare themselves for the challenges and demands of the professional world.

Now that we have explored the significance of personal development in university courses, let's shift our focus to the Cornell Note Taking System. Developed by Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens, this system is widely regarded as an effective note-taking method for college students. The Cornell System helps students organize and retain information more efficiently, making it a valuable tool for academic success.

The Cornell Note Taking System involves dividing your note-taking page into three sections: a narrow left margin for cues, a larger right section for notes, and a summary section at the bottom. This structure allows students to record key points and ideas, as well as their own reflections and summaries of the material. By actively engaging with the content in this way, students are more likely to understand and retain the information.

The Cornell System also encourages students to review and revise their notes regularly. This process of reviewing and summarizing the material helps reinforce learning and improve long-term retention. Additionally, the cues section serves as a helpful reference when studying for exams or writing papers, as it prompts students to recall the main points and supporting details of the material.

In conclusion, personal development activities in university courses play a crucial role in preparing students for the job market. By focusing on practical, digital, and employability skills, students can enhance their academic knowledge and gain a competitive edge in their future careers. Additionally, implementing effective note-taking strategies like the Cornell System can significantly improve students' understanding and retention of course material. By incorporating these actionable advice, students can maximize their learning potential and set themselves up for success in their academic and professional endeavors.


  1. "University Course & Degree Finder | Kaplan International Pathways", (Glasp)
  2. "The Cornell Note Taking System – Learning Strategies Center", (Glasp)

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