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Measuring Soft Skills in Undergraduate Education – A Focus on Personal Responsibility

Thu, Jan 10, 2013

Distance Learning, Uncategorized

By Dr. Tammy Lynn Woody
School of Education Program Director, American Public University

As we prepare for a new year in the APUS School of Education, a conversation about the expectations and “soft skills” being incorporated in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College grading system came to our attention. Please follow this link to see the full article entitled “Grading Personal Responsibility”:
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/13/nc-community-college-issue-grades-certificates-soft-skills?goback=%2Egde_1203287_member_196396888
Like other schools of education, we frequently have rich and deep discussions about how to ensure that our pre-service and in-service educators develop their professional dispositions and skills. While this attention to the values, beliefs, and actions that professional educators are required to demonstrate is embedded in our curriculum, it’s worthy of conversation to see how others feel about “grading” behaviors such as tardiness, personal responsibility, interpersonal communication skills, professionalism, etc.
Personally, I respect A-B Tech’s decision to address workplace readiness as a finite grade; the inability of college graduates to be critical thinkers, accountable, and self- directed is a fairly common complaint of employers when surveyed by higher education institutions http://www.aacu.org/advocacy/leap/documents/2008_business_leader_poll.pdf
Program completers are an extension of and reflection on the institution; ensuring they have the skills to succeed in the workplace environment is part of the obligation of preparing graduates to demonstrate competence in their chosen professional fields. In order to do this, college students must be assessed and evaluated on this skills.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about whether you agree or disagree with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s approach!

Dr. Tammy Lynn Woody
As a former certification officer and program director for an online school of education, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of
~ Dr. Tammy Lynn Woody has been with the APUS School of Education for more than four years and has functioned in a variety of roles including: certification officer, field experience coordinator and school counseling program director. Prior to joining the APUS team, she served in numerous capacities in PreK-12 education including: lead preschool teacher, substitute teacher, counseling intern and professional school counselor. Her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction was completed through West Virginia University while she was a member of the Eastern Panhandle doctoral cohort. She currently holds professional school counselor certification in both West Virginia and Virginia and serves on numerous regional educational and counseling boards in leadership positions.

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