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The New Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth. Virginia’s Research-Based Approach to Teaching and Testing Employability and Life Skills. CTECS Community of Practice November 9-10, 2011. Virginia’s Definition of Workplace Readiness Skills: : .

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The New Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth


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    1. The New Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth Virginia’s Research-Based Approach to Teaching and Testing Employability and Life Skills CTECS Community of Practice November 9-10, 2011

    2. Virginia’s Definition of Workplace Readiness Skills: : A list of personal qualities and people skills, professional knowledge and skills, and technology knowledge and skills identified by Virginia employers as essential for individual workplace success and critical to Virginia’s economic competitiveness.

    3. Workplace Readiness: A Moving Target CTE aims to give students the skills to succeed in the workplace, but this is a moving target. A 1950s education won’t prepare students for a 21st century occupation.

    4. Virginia’s Changing Workplace Research has continuously confirmed the need for workplace readiness skills for Virginia. 1997

    5. The 1997 Research Led to the First WRS for Virginia • Reading • Mathematics • Writing • Speaking & Listening • Computer Literacy • Reasoning, Problem Solving, Decision Making • Understanding the Big Picture • Work Ethic • Positive Attitude • Independence and Initiative • Self-presentation • Satisfactory Attendance • Teamwork

    6. Why Update? What Has Changed Since the 1990s? The economy has evolved and so have the ways we work. “21st Century Skills” has provided some of the most important research.

    7. The Players Demographics & Workforce Group,University of Virginia Virginia Department of Education Demographics and Workforce Group of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia Career and Technical Education Consortium of States (CTECS) Virginia’s CTE Resource Center

    8. Employers Want Schools to Teach WRS Who Should Be Responsible for Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills? Source: Are They Really Ready for Work, 2006

    9. The Process for Updating the WRS List

    10. “Very Important Skills”for HS Graduates Percent Ranking Skills as “Very Important” for High School Graduates Source: Are They Really Ready for Work, 2006

    11. Why Do Academic Skills Have Lower Ratings? Because they are usually job specific.

    12. Most Applied Skills areUniversally Needed Integrity Critical thinking Work ethic Time management Conflict Resolution Health & safety

    13. Final WRS List Personal Qualities & People Skills • Positive Work Ethic • Integrity • Teamwork • Self-Representation • Diversity Awareness • Conflict Resolution • Creativity & Resourcefulness Professional Knowledge & Skills • Speaking & Listening • Reading & Writing • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving • Health & Safety • Organizations, Systems, & Climates • Lifelong Learning • Job Acquisition & Advancement • Time, Task, & Resource Management • Mathematics • Customer Service Technology Knowledge & Skills • Job-Specific Technologies • Information Technology • Internet Use & Security • Telecommunications

    14. Chapter 2The new list was completed…and then Virginia • Introduced to the CTE Advisory Committee and CTE administrators across the state, April 2010 • Converted skills list into appropriate format for Virginia’s CTE curriculum, Spring 2010 (Skills became “tasks” with task definitions to amplify and describe the skills.) • Researched and developed instructional resources to complement all WRS tasks, Spring 2010 • Introduced in a Verso email message, June 1, 2010, for implementation 2010-11

    15. The New WRS Are Organic Example: Sustainability

    16. Teaching the WRS The WRS can be infused throughout the course or taught as an instructional unit

    17. Use WRS to Complement and Reinforce Technical Competencies WRS resources provided within each course framework include • background information • instructional activities • lesson plans • Web sites.

    18. Chapter 3

    19. Timeline for the New Industry Credential for the New WRS Virginia and CTECS worked to identify and develop test items, to conduct an assessment pilot, and to launch this stand-alone credential. Sept 2010: Experts’ meeting to ID test items March 2011: Pilot successfully completed; cut score determined April 2011: Full implementation of assessment

    20. The CTECS-Provided Virginia WRS Assessment • This new assessment replaces other tests that were used in the past to assess WRS • Reasonable price ($9.00) • Now offering a pretest ($6.00) • Certificate of successful completion provided and can be used for verified graduation credit

    21. Initial Statistics on the WRS Assessment • Began offering the assessment April 2011 • 100-item multiple-choice test • 60-minute timed test • 3,693 students tested initially • 2,400 students passed (65% pass rate) • 75% cut score

    22. In Summary The New Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth • are well researched and up to date • are reflective of Virginia employer needs • are incorporated into all CTE courses • come with many teaching resources • are being assessed • are leading to an industry-acknowledged and respected credential and are earning student-selected verified credit.

    23. Questions? Peggy Watson CTE Resource Center804-673-3778info@cteresource.orghttp://cteresource.org