Workforce and Employability Skills: Teaching and Learning for Future Careers
A conference in collaboration with the Kentucky Council on Post-secondary Education
To be held in-person May 18-19, 2023
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration-related questions or information.
Access the 2023 conference program.
The conference theme, “Workforce and Employability Skills: Teaching and Learning for Future Careers” encourages us to consider ways in which the classroom environment can promote career-focused learning outcomes that graduates should demonstrate as part of their college curriculum. Such knowledge and skills allow students to thrive in their respective fields, filling local, national, and global employment needs and contributing to a healthy economy.
Multiple higher education organizations, including the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Quality Assurance (QA) Commons, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), have identified essential skills that all graduates need for success in their chosen fields of study. Presenters are encouraged to share ideas from research or practice about how these employability skills may be incorporated into the classroom, from first-year courses and experiences to general education and capstone experiences.
Threads might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Communicating effectively: Graduates will develop their ability to communicate effectively by listening, weighing influencing factors, and responding accurately and professionally. They will learn to express their thoughts coherently in writing, orally, and in formal presentations.
- Thinking critically in order to solve problems and create new ideas and solutions: Graduates will develop their ability to think critically by evaluating assumptions and assessing information to make informed conclusions. They will also learn to think creatively by combining ideas in original ways or developing new ways of addressing issues.
- Applying quantitative reasoning skills to analyze and solve numerical problems: Graduates will hone their ability to provide solutions guided by data and choosing the best methodologies for arriving at informed conclusions.
- Demonstrating cultural competency: Graduates will reflect on their own cultural identities, appreciate cultural and intellectual differences, and effectively interact with people from diverse backgrounds. They will have multiple opportunities to collaborate, communicate and work respectfully with people with different perspectives, ideas and cultural beliefs.
- Adapting to changing circumstances while leading and supporting others: Graduates will have learned how to accept change and find effective ways to work and thrive in different settings. They will learn to motivate others in the pursuit of a common goal and to coach others in the pursuit of this goal.
- Performing professionally within their chosen field of study or occupation: Graduates will have learned the importance of adhering to the code of ethics in their chosen profession and acting with honesty and fairness. They will have many opportunities to prioritize their tasks, manage their time, take initiative, and demonstrate accountability and reliability.
- Engaging in civic life to improve society: Graduates will, throughout their college careers, learn from opportunities to engage in political, social and other activities to address issues that benefit society.
- Collaborating and working in teams: Graduates will have had numerous opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, become effective team members, and manage conflict.
- Demonstrating evidence of applied and integrated learning: Graduates will be able to articulate and apply the theoretical content of their academic preparation with relevant knowledge and abilities essential to their chosen career.
- Using information for decision making: Graduates will be able to identify, evaluate, and responsibly use information needed for decision making.
Presenters will also have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration in the annual Proceedings, to be published in early 2024.
Featured Pre-Conference Virtual Keynote Speaker
Timothy Renick is the founding Executive Director of the National Institute for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. Between 2008-2020, he directed the student success efforts of the university, overseeing a 62% improvement in graduation rates and the elimination of all equity gaps based on students’ race, ethnicity, or income level. For six consecutive years, Georgia State has graduated more African American students with bachelor’s degrees than any other not-for-profit college or university in the nation. Dr. Renick has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the U.S. Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House. His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and CNN and cited by former President Barack Obama. It was also the subject of the book, Won’t Lose this Dream (New Press, 2020) by Andrew Gumbel. Dr. Renick was named one of the Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly and one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune magazine. He was the recipient of the Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation and was awarded the McGraw Prize in Higher Education. He has been principal investigator for more than $50 million in research grants focused on promoting better and more equitable outcomes for college students. At Georgia State, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Director of the Honors Program and Senior Vice President. A summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.
For the past decade, Georgia State University has been at the leading edge of demographic shifts in the southeast. While doubling the numbers of non-white and low-income students it enrolls, the university has simultaneously committed to the use of data to inform systematic institutional change. In the process, Georgia State has raised graduation rates by almost 70% percent and closed all achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity, and income-level. Through a discussion of innovations ranging from AI-enhanced chatbots and predictive analytics to meta-majors and micro grants, the session will cover lessons learned from Georgia State’s transformation and outline several concrete and scalable steps that campuses can take to improve outcomes for students from all backgrounds.