EFFICACY OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT TECHNIQUES ON THE ENHANCEMENT OF GENERIC SKILLS IN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Various initiatives have attempted to determine the skills or competencies of graduates required by business, including leading the CHEERS Project (Careers after Higher Education: a European Research Study. Higher Education and Graduate Employment in Europe 1998: http://www.uni-kassel.de/incher/cheers/index.ghk), the Tuning project (Tuning project, 2008: http://unideusto.org/tuning/) and the REFLEX survey (The Flexible Professional Society Knowledge: New Demands on Higher Education in Europe (http://www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/roa/reflex/).
Concerning spanish universities, there is a need to offer innovative strategies for skills assessment in university contexts and their development in regard to the definition of students' career plans (Cano, 2008).
The techniques used to develop the skills are usually the following:
• Training courses, classroom or distance (Pereda and Berrocal, 2001)
• Training in emotional intelligence (Mayer & Salovey, 1997)
• Executive Coaching (Goldsmith and Lyons, 2006; Kilburg, 2000; Peterson, 2006)
• The outdoor training (Nardone, Mariotti, Milanese and Fiorenza, 2005)
This former work aims at knowing which personal development techniques are more effective in order to increase the potential of last year students from a self-evaluation point of view.
For this purpose, we utilize a quasi-experimental design of repeated measures corresponding to whether the moment previous (pre-test measure) and after (post-test measure) to the implementation of the program, with different groups according to received treatment.
The received treatments were the following: Executive Coaching, Classroom Training, E-learning Training, Outdoor Training and Coaching & Emotional Intelligence.
Verifying each treatment effectiveness implied the use of several two-way ANOVA with repeated measures on one factor (pre-test and post-test). The factor corresponds to the treatment received and the dependent variables are the skills assessed (Flexibility, People Orientation, Problem Solving and Tensile Strength, Results oriented and Time Management, Communication and Leadership).
The sample consisted of 69 students of several Centers of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, they all performed the post-test and the pre-test, and were considered high potential for the responsible of each center. From this population, 70.3% were male and 29.7% female and whose mean age was 23.64 years and a standard deviation of 3.46.
The results show differences between pre-test measure and post-test measure. Depending on which competence is taken as the dependent variable, the efficacy of different treatments varies, but the efficacy of coaching is proven satisfactorily in all cases.