Contextualization and Integration


students working at an ice cream parlor
Harper student working part-time at an ice cream parlor learning essential skills

This chapter will help you interconnect course concepts and experiences (campus, community or personal) in ways that produce new knowledge or skills.

Contextualization is the ability to see how something sits within its broader situation or context or be able to see how new information falls within existing knowledge. At school, contextualization is taking new skills and applying them to other situations. For example, you may learn writing skills in your English class that you can apply to papers you are writing for a sociology course.

Integration is the ability to make connections between different types of information and make meaning from the bringing together of different concepts. For example, you may be able to apply topics that you learn in a psychology or sociology course to have a deeper understanding of how or why certain events that you learn about in history courses took place.

If you are completing a degree at Harper College, you are likely taking general education courses from different academic disciplines. In order to maximize your education, be mindful of how the topics in your coursework intersect with each other. Throughout your experience at Harper, within the courses you take or extracurricular activities you choose to participate in, you will have the opportunity to build soft skills, otherwise known as essential skills. Throughout this chapter, you will learn more about these skills that are universal in helping you be a valued member of society and the workforce.

What we want you to take away from this chapter:

  1. Understand how to identify career skills and personality traits you develop through your experiences at Harper and apply them to the real-world context.
  2. Build connections between essential skills and learning across subject areas for integration into your future career.


Harper graduate working as hostess at local venue
Harper Promise Program graduate working at local venue


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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.

Share This Book