Improving Workforce Readiness Skills Among Community College Adult Learners Through New Technologies:
Lessons From Two Schools
Keywords:workforce development, adult learners, career and technical education, critical skill development, social and behavioral skills
Employers report struggles to find work-ready candidates who possess a desired combination of job-specific technical, general math and reading, and social and behavioral skills. Community colleges are ideally situated to address these shortages, delivering a trained local labor force and often collaborating directly with employers and regional development boards to ensure the employability of their students and the economic vitality of their regions. One tactic to address these shortages is to introduce trainings geared directly toward soft and basic skill development. This paper presents case studies of two schools that use technology-enhanced trainings to incorporate work-readiness skill trainings in career technical education programs that are (1) flexible and learner-centric due to technology-enhanced delivery, and (2) use evidence-based assessment and intervention strategies to promote soft skill and literacy expectations. The trainings were provided by a non-profit education research and measurement company, which served as developer and research partner for the community colleges. Results demonstrate adult learner satisfaction and commitment with these blended learning and mobile technology solutions. Factors that facilitate training success, which include securing student buy-in and developing collaborative partnerships, are discussed.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sara Haviland, Steven Robbins, Ph.D., Vinetha Belur, Ph.D., Gernissia Cherfrere, M.Ed., David Klieger, J.D., Ph.D.
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