New Dimensions of College and Career Readiness

Posted by GE Foundation on August 15, 2016

The GE Foundation released a new report this week – “New Dimensions of College and Career Readiness” – that identifies five strategies to help ensure low-income students are successful in the workplace:

  • Fostering mentorship programs
  • Offering internships, apprenticeships and jobs
  • Turning up the focus on technical science skills
  • Building their skills in science, technology, engineering and math
  • Developing “essential skills” such as higher aspirations, teamwork, grit, perseverance and adaptability

One of the critical thoughts to come out of a summit the foundation hosted in May, which provided the basis for the report, emphasizes that “having multiple points of entry” into the workforce can be key to low-income students’ success. This is where training, internships and jobs come into play. The article also notes the need to develop “essential skills” – what we in access have been referring to as soft skills or non-cognitive skills for a long time. But it also makes clear that colleges do not need to “ease up” on the curriculum being taught, but rather build upon that with these additional skills that are needed to compete in today’s workforce.

The article also pointed out that postsecondary education needs to help those who will take the middle-skill jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and that we understand there is a need for all types of postsecondary training and degrees. The article concludes that we want students to aim high for degrees or training programs as well as have the “nitty-gritty” work experience and skills to be successful in their career.

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