This study investigated self-understanding, self-direction, learning competency, and problem-solving
ability for freshmen who entered college in 2020, and analyzed the structural relationship among
variables. In addition, an empirical study was conducted with the aim of verifying the mediating effect
of self-direction and learning competency in relation to self-understanding and problem-solving ability. In
order to achieve the purpose of this study, 2,860 freshmen from a University located in Seoul were selected
as subjects for the study, and a survey was conducted for one week from April 14 to 20, 2020. The data
collected via questionnaires was verified using the SPSS 26.0 program to verify the reliability and validity
of the measurement tools, and the AMOS 26.0 program was used to analyze the structural model and
verify the mediation effect. The detailed research results were as follows. First, college freshmen's selfunderstanding, self-direction, learning competency, and problem-solving ability form a structural
relationship that has a statistically significant positive (+) influence on each other. Second, the selfunderstanding of college freshmen has a statistically significant effect on problem-solving ability both
direct and indirectly. Third, college freshmen's self-direction and learning competency statistically and
meaningfully mediate the relationship between self-understanding and problem-solving ability.
Consequently, institutions of higher education need to focus on developing core competencies, such as
self-understanding, self-direction, learning competency, problem-solving ability of college freshmen, and
devise a plan to effectively provide related programs.