It’s often said that hard skills will get you an interview, but it’s the soft skills that will help you get and keep the job. Today’s service economy and the ascendance of work teams in large organizations put a new premium on people skills and relationship building. Yet experts suggest that several million jobs go unfilled, across all industries, because individuals applying for these jobs simply lack ‘soft skills’ — the personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces — that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with.
To help students be better prepared to succeed in life after high school, WIN Learning has launched, WIN Soft Skills Series®, a first-of-its-kind program which builds skills mastery around the behavioral, attitudinal, social, and readiness skills employers and post-secondary programs demand. As the only web-based soft skills curriculum on the market today, WIN Soft Skills provides educators with an exclusive curricular framework to teach middle and high school students these highly sought after foundational behaviors needed for post-graduation success.
“In today’s work environment, academic and technical skills alone are not sufficient,” said Joseph Goins, executive vice president, WIN Learning. “Competition is fierce; jobseekers must be able to solve problems, write and speak well, evaluate information critically, and work with other people, including those from other cultures. The hard fact is, soft skills are what employers and college counselors are calling for, and they simply cannot be left for on the job training.”
The research-based WIN Soft Skills program is part of the company’s Career-Driven Education model. This best-in-class career and college readiness solution offers a three-pronged approach to prepare students for tomorrow’s economic opportunities. With the data-rich career exploration system, WIN Strategic Compass®, students can analyzes current and projected labor market data to reveal career pathways. The program’s Initial Skills Review™, measures individual career readiness and skill development gaps, which leads to the WIN Career Readiness® Courseware, offering direct, contextual instruction through applied academics for workplace skill mastery.
“Working to connect education to careers helps young people prepare for both higher education and meaningful lifelong employment,” added Goins. “The education model we have developed will not only grow the skills these students need to succeed, but strengthen America’s global competitiveness.”
The four instructional modules that make up the WIN Soft Skills program cover the most important skills required for college and the workplace. They include: conveying professionalism, communicating effectively, promoting teamwork and collaboration, thinking critically and solving problems. All topics addressed in the courseware are revealed within the context of the workplace, to provide relevancy to the learning experience.
Each student begins the coursework with a bundled career readiness skills assessment. They then continue with targeted instruction to build soft skills, and end with reassessment to determine learning outcomes. The flexibility of the program enables teachers to incorporate the lessons across multiple age groups and classroom settings including whole-class, small group or as independent study. The program also includes a comprehensive implementation guide complete with scripted teacher lessons and support materials such as interactive activities, worksheets and videos.
“The personalized, project-based activities in our program offer a unique level of flexibility that can be adapted to a variety of instructional settings including elective courses, math and literacy intervention classes, blended learning models, extended day programs, and career readiness certification programs,” said Goins. “What’s true is that more corporations around the world recognize that in order to gain a competitive advantage, they need to make sure their people know how to handle themselves at work and how to relate with their customers and peers. We believe our program gives students what they need to be ready and prepared to compete for their future – whether that’s to attend college, a trade school, enter the military or move directly into the workforce.”