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Student Agency

The Importance of Student Agency

Student agency is the compilation of skills and habits that support students in their learning across all subject areas. The mastery of these non-cognitive skills and habits has been noted as essential for students’ long-term academic and career achievement and, importantly, they can provide a means for disrupting troubling patterns of student achievement.


At Gateway we have categorized these skills into five key areas:

  • Academic Strategies
  • Academic Habits
  • Self-Awareness & Growth Mindset
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Collaboration & Community Skills

Through thoughtful classroom, school-wide and professional development practices, teachers and schools can foster students’ growth in all these critical areas of student agency achievement.

At Gateway, these skills and habits are valued and taught explicitly together with the content area skills and knowledge within each subject area.  Just as students are evaluated in their mastery of math, for example, their metacognitive awareness and understanding of how to approach mathematical problems is taught and assessed.

Explore our Student Agency Rubric on the Student Agency Resources page.

Explore the research basis for our work and approach.

Learn More