Asynchronous Discussion: Exploring Resources and Approaches to Teaching Personal & Workplace Success Skills

Join us during National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week September 19-25, 2021 as we delve into a new resource for teaching personal and workplace success skills. We are excited to have Sandy Goodman, Dani Scherer, and Kathleen O'Connell lead a week-long asynchronous discussion right here in the Career Pathways group.

Sandy Goodman, Director of the National College Transition Network, is the author of the pair of LINCS online courses on Workforce Preparation and led the development and design of NCTN’s Personal and Workplace Success Skills Library (PWSS). 

NCTN staff Dani Scherer and Kathleen O’Connell lead the process of reviewing, selecting, and annotating the PWSS Library contents. In addition, they provide technical assistance to practitioners to select PWSS resources and design an implementation plan that aligns with their program design and format and participants’ goals.

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I am a former state-director of adult education (Vermont) and the current director of a integrated adult education/workforce development program in South lake Tahoe, CA, I am looking forward to this discussion and happy to have joined the group. For more about me, feel free to check out my page on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/frank-gerdeman-96654942/ and to learn more about my current program visit https://advance-learnearngrow.org/.

Welcome to the discussion, Frank:

You have been such an early adopter of this work. The New World of Work/21st Century Skills Curriculum  is a resource you've worked with extensively, and is a resource we've included in the PWSS Library. Would you share how you integrate these skills into instruction at Lake Tahoe?

My colleagues and I are excited to introduce you to the Personal & Workplace Success Skills (PWSS) Library, a new resource developed by the National College Transition Network at World Education, Inc.  Throughout the week we’ll share Library content and features, discuss approaches to integrating PWSS Library into curriculum and program design, instruction, and coaching/advising. We’ll also share what we’re learning from programs using Library resources. We hope you’ll use this week to explore the Library and share your observations and ideas for using the resources.

But first, let’s look at what personal and workplace success skills are and why they are important. Personal and workplace success skills (PWSS) are the set of transferable skills that are critical for finding employment, advancing in a career pathway, and adapting to an ever-changing labor market. These skills are in increasingly high demand by employers across all industry sectors and offer some promise of employment security and protection from the impact of technology, because they are essentially human skills that can’t be easily replaced by automation.  PWSS are also skills that are central to personal growth, lifelong learning, and community engagement:

Communication, Leadership & Initiative, Self-Management, Navigating & Using Information, Critical & Creative Thinking, Digital Literacy, Teamwork & Collaboration, Respecting Differences, Adaptability & Flexibility, Emotional Intelligence.

As educators, you will likely recognize these skills, though you may be familiar with other terms — human skills, employability, 21st century, workforce preparation, essential skills, soft skills.

About the PWSS Library

While there is a great deal of research about the need for these transferable skills, many adult educators are unsure about where to find high-quality resources that they can incorporate into their practice. We selected the Library resources specifically for adult education, higher education, workforce development, and career and technical education programs serving adult and older youth learners and workers, including English language learners.

We search and screen hundreds of resources and offer them in a searchable Library where you can filter resources based on:

  • Resource type (and purpose):  including, advising & coaching tool, assessment, curriculum & instruction; skill frameworks – and more!
  •  Format:  audio & video, download & print, online, for example
  •  Audience: adult education, English language learners, higher ed, older youth, workforce development
  • Cost: you can select free or include fee-based resources
  • You can also use a keyword search to search for resources that address specific skills
  • Or just click “View Library” in the top right of the homepage to see the full array of resources. 

For each resource in the Library,  you’ll find a description of the contents, key take-aways for how the resource might be used and adapted, background information, and of course, a link to take you directly to the resource website.

We’d like to learn more about your work and PWSS:

  • How do you address personal and workplace success skills in your work? (Needless to say, this will look differently depending on your roles)
  • What resources do you use?  What do you look for when selecting resources for addressing personal & workplace success skills in your work?

Explore the Personal & Workplace Success Skills Library – use the filters and search terms, check out the descriptions: 

  • What did you find?
  • What piques your curiosity to explore further?

We're looking forward to hearing from you!