Contextualization and Integration

Essential Skills

The ability to contextualize and integrate information relate to most essential skills and will help you succeed in your future career.


Critical Thinking: “Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.”  Critical thinking is required to take new information and contextualize it within your existing knowledge. Being able to make connections and integrate topics also requires high-level critical thinking skills. Being able to do this type of high-level thinking will take you far in life and in your career.


Communication: “Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.”  Being able to digest information and communicate clearly to an audience is an example of contextualization and integration. By adapting your communication style to be effective for your specific audience, you are contextualizing it within what you know about who you are communicating.


Teamwork: “Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.” Teamwork is all about integrating different skills to maximize effort toward a common goal. As you work in teams, think about how the strengths of different team members complement each other to make the team stronger than its individual members.


Technology: “Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.” During your time at Harper College, you will be introduced to multiple technology and platforms. Using contextualization and integration skills with technology by having different technologies work together or being creative in how to apply new technology solutions to tasks can help you maximize their use and is a highly marketable ability.


Leadership: “Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.”  Being able to recognize how different strengths can complement each other and taking the lead in providing the space for each of your team members to shine and be their most effective is a strong leadership skill.


Professionalism: “Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.”  Being able to adapt to your environment by using context clues to understand the formality or informality of the language, dress, and work environment requires contextualization skills.


Career & Self-Development: “Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.” Taking your skills, interests, and values and recognizing how they relate to each other and to work environments and types of careers requires you to use contextualization and integration skills. 


Equity & Inclusion: Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.”  Being able to integrate different perspectives is critical to engaging and creating space for dialogue that supports growth and understanding the nuance of the world around you.

Essential Skills definitions taken from National Association of Colleges and EmployersCompetencies for a Career-Ready Workforce. Mar. 2021




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Harper First Year Seminar: A Guide to College Success Copyright © 2023 by Harper College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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