NC-NET Employability Skills Resource Toolkit
In 2012, the North Carolina Community College System’s Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP) engaged more than 200 faculty members from across the system. The committee reviewed and then revised or created courses and curriculum standards for implementation across the state. As part of this initiative, the Super CIP identified eight employability competencies for integration across the curriculum:
- Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork—The ability to work effectively with others, especially to analyze situations, establish priorities, and apply resources for solving problems or accomplishing tasks
- Communication—The ability to effectively exchange ideas and information with others through oral, written, or visual means
- Integrity and Professionalism—Workplace behaviors that relate to ethical standards, honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, self-control, criticism, and demeanor
- Problem Solving and Decision Making—The ability to identify problems and potential causes while developing and implementing practical action plans for solutions
- Initiative and Dependability—Workplace behaviors that relate to seeking out new responsibilities, establishing and meeting goals, completing tasks, following directions, complying with rules, and consistent reliability
- Information Processing—The ability to acquire, evaluate, organize, manage, and interpret information
- Adaptability and Lifelong Learning—The ability to learn and apply new knowledge and skills and adapt to changing technologies, methods, processes, work environments, organizational structures, and management practices
- Entrepreneurship—The knowledge and skills necessary to create opportunities and develop as an employee or self-employed business owner
Developed in response to the Super CIP’s work, this toolkit supports instructors as they seek to further enhance how their courses address the eight competencies. Each teaching resource module contains instructional materials including activities, student handouts, assessment rubrics, and an annotated copy of the presentation. The appendix contains links to additional suggested resources for teaching employability skills.
It doesn’t get better than this for the classroom teacher. Each activity includes teacher notes, learning objectives, student handouts, an annotated copy of the presentation, group and individual reflection questions, assessment rubrics and links to additional resources.
Developed based on employer input, the toolkit is a research-supported resource to integrate employability into curriculum. Particularly impressive are suggestions as to how to integrate competencies and examples of how other organizations (primarily colleges) have implemented them.
The importance of integrating employability skills in academic instruction is not limited to adult education. Career and technical education, colleges, and training providers, among others should seriously consider ways in which employability competencies are part of the educational experience. This toolkit is an excellent resource to add to, customize, revise, and crosswalk according to standards and curriculum needs.