Aug. 5—Lewis-Clark State College is launching a new program this fall to help students learn some of the "soft" skills they'll need to succeed in the workplace.
Rather than focus on specific job requirements, the new Career Readiness Credential emphasizes things like good communication habits, teamwork and critical thinking — skills that should benefit employees in any setting.
The program is a follow-up to the LC Leadership Credential that the school began offering in 2020.
LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton said the career readiness certificate is based in part on national standards, but also reflects feedback from local businesses.
"Just last week, we took a tour of (one local manufacturing facility) and asked, 'What do you need? What do you need?' " Pemberton said. "They said soft skills. They need people who know how to work well with others, who can help solve problems. They need people who know how to be part of a team, how to dress appropriately and know to be there on time."
LCSC isn't alone in addressing students' needs for these broader skills, as well as industry-specific training. Top-ranked business schools, for example, offer classes in job interview skills and resume writing, as well as social skills such as how to act in a fine-dining setting and what fork to use for the salad.
" 'College to career' is part of what we say we're about," Pemberton said. "We can't just assume people know these things. We have to help them develop these skills and coach them through it, in an environment where they feel safe and feel like they can make a mistake without being laughed at."
The career readiness credential is broken into three tiers: Exploring career readiness, career prep and managing your career.
To earn a certificate, students participate in various events and professional development training sessions, both on campus and in the community. Other modules are self-paced.
"Our students will be able to get these packages of knowledge, skills and abilities that will help make them more able to immediately connect in a job or career environment," Pemberton said. "We're very excited about it."
Spence may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 791-9168.