The ACCC National Framework for Developing Essential Skills: Research Findings and Future Perspectives (2013)

This presentation, made at a national summit hosted by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) in Ottawa, Ontario, in March 2013, outlines a project designed to provide evidence of the importance of Essential Skills (ES) in helping both students and workers succeed.

The project took an evidence-based, learner-centered approach, using needs analysis and early diagnostic assessment to inform individual learning plans. Participants received 20 to 40 hours of ES instruction and coaching, and completed tests and questionnaires at the end of the program to confirm learning gains. They also received follow-up support, and were assessed again six months after completing the program. Case studies were carried out to identify contributing factors in participants’ performance.

The case studies and questionnaires showed that for students, increased mastery of ES helps them save time and study more effectively; improves their marks; increases the likelihood that they will persist with their studies; and reduces the time it takes for them to graduate.

For workers, increased mastery of ES increases their retention and tenure in the organization; improves the probability of being promoted; and reduces the likelihood of unemployment.

The project findings point to the need for policies aimed at reducing the flow of low-skilled youth leaving the education system, the author says. He recommends assessing the ES needs of college students at the time of admission, then helping them upgrade their skills with the goal of having everyone graduate with at least level 3 literacy. That is generally considered to be the minimum required to function well in Canadian society.

Policies should also focus on increasing the skills of the adult population through instruction focused on reducing the proportions of workers at levels 1 and 2.

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2013-11-12
APA citation
T. Scott Murray. The ACCC National Framework for Developing Essential Skills: Research Findings and Future Perspectives 2013. Web. 13 Aug. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/murray/accc_findings/accc_findings.pdf>
T. Scott Murray (2013). The ACCC National Framework for Developing Essential Skills: Research Findings and Future Perspectives. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/murray/accc_findings/accc_findings.pdf
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