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Vocational Education

What skills do employers value most in the work place? In a national survey (Conference Board, 2006), hundreds of employers from a range of industries were given the list below and asked: "what are the 'top 5' skills for high school graduates?"

What 'top 5' skills would you choose?


Basic Knowledge/Skills
1) English Language (spoken)
2) Reading Comprehension
(in English)
3) Writing in English
(grammar, spelling, etc.)
4) Mathematics
5) Science
6) Government/Economics
7) Humanities/Arts
8) Foreign Languages
9) History/Geography
  Applied Skills
10) Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
11) Oral Communications
12) Written Communications
13) Teamwork Collaboration
14) Diversity
15) Information Technology Application
16) Leadership
17) Creativity/Innovation
18) Lifelong Learning/Self Direction
19) Professionalism/Work Ethic
20) Ethics/Social Responsibility

Resoundingly, employers chose applied skills over basic knowledge/skills. The top 5 skills for high school graduates were: 1) professionalism/work ethic, 2) teamwork collaboration, 3) oral communications, 4) ethics/social responsibility, and 5) reading comprehension in English.

To reinforce these skills and workforce readiness, many schools and out-of-school programs use School-Connect to help students develop and practice effective communication, self-management, and collaborative problem solving. Students can also research careers of interest and design the educational path necessary for reaching their long-term goals.

From: Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers' Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills for New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce. (2006) Available at www.conference-board.org



School-Connect helps prepare advisory students for high school, college and careers In New York City, Crotona Academy High School partners with SOBRO (South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp) in successfully using School-Connect to prepare students for work internships. READ MORE


What TEACHERS are saying...

  • "School-Connect has been great! We have incorporated the curriculum in to our Jobs for America's Graduates course. The students are responding very well! I think we all enjoy the hands on videos and the opportunity to spend time together. 90% of our course work is an online curriculum so I think the student truly enjoy engaging with each other."

  • Provide School-Connect training for seminar teachers.
  • At a minimum, have seminar meet twice a week if session is 20-30 minutes long and once a week if session is 45-50 minutes long.
  • Keep classes small: 10-20 students.
  • Adjust role plays and activities to workplace applications.
  • Keep internship employers informed about School-Connect skills.
  • Have students present a culminating project and/or write an essay about SEL skills they applied in their internship.