Employability Skills: Moving from State Compliance to District Culture

Embedding employability skills into students pays dividends not only while they are in school, but also critical to student success once they graduate and pursue post-secondary options.

As of July 1, 2019, the State of Indiana, through Senate Enrolled Act 297, mandated each school within a school corporation to include interdisciplinary employability skills standards in the school’s curriculum. These standards were established by the Indiana Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Workforce Development, and approved by the State Board of Education. The standards are based on the National Employability Skill Standards from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Employability Skills Benchmarks, the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate, and the Indiana Department of Education’s Social-Emotional Learning Competencies. The standards are arranged within four key areas: Mindsets (M), Work Ethic (WE), Learning Strategies (LS), and Social and Emotional Skills (SE).

The IDOE’s work with Employability Skills’ development was exceptional, but how can districts not only implement, but actually embed employability skills into their district culture. This presentation will feature IDOE School Counseling Specialist Michelle Clarke who will provide a summary of the IDOE’s Employability Skills’ initiative, as well as representatives from two districts, Whitley County Consolidated Schools and Greater Clark County Schools, that have effectively embedded employability skills into their district culture and are models for other Indiana school districts.

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