Essential Skills Training
Essential Skills Training is an interactive training program designed to prepare students for the workforce with training in the top hiring skills. These skills were identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) through a survey of 150 employers nationwide.
This program includes instructional videos with testimonials from students, alumni, small businesses and staff as well as wrap around activities to enhance understanding and engage students in reflection, discussion, and implementation of these essential skills in their on-and-off campus experiences. All of these videos and wrap around activities can be accessed through BeachBoard.
Essential Skills Training is available for all CSULB faculty and st aff for use with groups of undergraduate or graduate students.
CSULB students within a classroom, campus organization, or student assistants in your department can benefit from the modules.
Staff and faculty can utilize these tools after receiving training and access to the Essential Skills Modules through BeachBoard. Email us for training at email@example.com . We can help you create an implementation strategy for your class, student assistants, or student group.
Essential Skills Covered
Essential Skills Training addresses the following areas:
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Time Management
View this video for a sneak peek into the modules and activities for each skill.
Wrap around activities enhance understanding and engage students in reflection, discussion, and implementation of essential skills in their on-and-off campus experiences. There are 6-9 activities per module, including:
- Online Class Activities
- Further Readings and Reflections
- Videos: Student Experience, Alumni Advice, Scripted Scenarios
- Asynchronous & Synchronous Online Activities
Wrap Around Example
This is an example of Module Wrap Around Activities that can be downloaded for easy access through BeachBoard.
Communication – Active Listening
The way we talk and listen to each other, including the words we choose, the tone with which we say them and our body language
“Active Listening Skills, Examples and Exercises” - Sophie Thompson, 2017
“Listener and Talker”
Talker: Describe what you want from a vacation but do not mention a destination.
Listener: Practice active listening skills by listening attentively to what is being said and what is not quite being said and demonstrating your listening to the speaker by your behavior. After 3-4 minutes, summarize the three or four main criteria you have heard the speaker express and then make a tentative sale of a suitable vacation destination.
Listener and Talker: Spend 1 minute reviewing how close the listener was to what the speaker said and needed. Then spend 1 minute reviewing how well the listener demonstrated active listening behaviors. Then swap roles and repeat.
*You can substitute a work-related equivalent to replace the vacation scenario and allow more time if needed.
Goals of Wrap Around Activities
Wrap around activities provide students with the opportunity to:
- Deepen understanding of and critically engage with modular topics
- Enhance skill development
- Expand the applicability of modular content beyond the workplace
The CSULB Essential Skills Training team collected feedback on the program from both students and facilitators.
Feedback was collected from over 1,700 students.
Over 90% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the activities were well organized, and they were able to apply information learned in the activities to their own life experiences.
"I like that we can apply what we learn to real life. It also allows us to identify our strengths and weaknesses."
"I liked the new skills I learned – it [the activity] helped me in my personal and professional relationships."
Feedback was collected from 53 facilitators.
- 84% - Strongly agreed or agreed that the activities were well organized.
- 86% - Strongly agreed or agreed that the activities are easy to implement.
- 84% - Strongly agreed or agreed that the activities are relevant to their students' needs.
"I loved the article [on hand-written notes] and plan to use it on day one of all of my courses next semester. It was interesting to see that after this activity, they were more receptive to handwritten notes and committing things to a list and accomplishing goals. They had not realized the potential of these habits."
"The video provided real-life, relatable perspectives, and scenarios from actual CSULB students. The video is somewhat interactive, short, and straight to the point."
To get started with Essential Skills Training for your students, email firstname.lastname@example.org . We will provide training on how to access and utilize modules on BeachBoard, and we are happy to help you create an implementation strategy for your class, student assistants, or student group.