Student success is not just a result, but rather the journey

I had an interesting question from a parent a few weeks ago regarding the purpose of my Student Success Project Presentation. The question was, “just what is the true driving force for Student Success and what should the outcome look like. I had a quick answer for this one – “Student success is not a result but rather the journey.”

Just speak to one of the many college graduates who have yet to find a job. One of the most popular narratives in the employment market today is that a “Skills Gap” exists between the abilities employers seek in successful candidates and the capabilities new college graduates.

Today’s students do not have the luxury to be simply “well-rounded” or to spend several years findings themselves. The lack of immediate employment is usually blamed on a Skills Gap needed in today’s workforce.

However, instead, I call it an “Awareness Gap.” I have seen firsthand students that don’t do a good enough job aligning the slew of skills they acquired from their coursework and extra-curricular activities with the skills employers seek.

It’s brought on by students failing to connect the dots between academia and the preverbal real-world and those who are teaching them. Simply put, this is the inability of college graduates to make employers aware of the skills they actually have.

Let’s all agree on one thing right from the onset: the ultimate goal of education —regardless of whether one is a parent, university administrator, educator, learner, or yes, even an employer — is student success; and whatever that means to the individual.

Few would argue that students do not develop all of these desired employer skills and aptitudes throughout their curricular and extra-curricular learning opportunities. However, today’s employers expect recent graduates to have mastered all eight “skill sets” over the course of their academic journeys so that these new hires can impact an organization from the first day of employment.

There are actually eight competencies that even the National Association of Colleges and Employers have associated with “Career Readiness.” Career Readiness — recognizes that the modern world has changed. Rather, employability from day number one is the benchmark; career readiness is the provable metric that must be measured to foster this outcome.

They are:

1. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving – Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems.

2. Oral/Written Communications – Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization.

3. Teamwork/Collaboration – Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints.

4. Digital Technology – Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

5. Leadership – Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others.

6. Professionalism/Work Ethic – Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.

7. Career Management – Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth.

8. Global/Intercultural Fluency – Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions.

It’s simple: 60 percent of today’s jobs in the United States require a college education. In 1973, only a scant 28 percent did. Student Success mandates that everyone —administrators, educators, learners, and employers — all work together to ensure that students are “getting what they need” to meet the current reality of today’s world.

This column is by Ritchie Lucas, Founder of The Student Success Project and Think Factory Marketing. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or via email and on Facebook and You Tube as The Student Success Project.

Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here