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Grading Students on Job Readiness

I was chatting with our board member Mark Milliron yesterday, and he mentioned this  2-year tech college in Missouri that is grading classroom students not only on course content, but also on job readiness.  Mark was saying that potential employers are (not surprisingly) very interested in the job readiness score.

The college is Linn State Technical College.  Their president describes their mission as follows:  “The college’s primary mission is to prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning.”  According to statistics on their website, 95% of LSTC graduates found gainful employment or continued their education within six months of graduation since 1995.  Perhaps lots of other educational institutions are doing this, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Here is how Linn State describes their approach to grading:

AJA@™LSTC GRADING SYSTEM
In addition to the academic grades listed on transcripts, a job readiness work ethic score and an attendance percentage are issued for each class completed. This value-added service to students is a result of industry advisory council member input. Job readiness work ethic scores and attendance percentages are not applicable to the following types of classes: online, independent study, special topics, internship, clinical, seminar, self-paced math, dual credit and dual enrollment (located at high schools).

AJA@™LSTC information is recorded on the student transcript as follows:
Academic Grades (GRD) = A, B, C, D, F
Job Readiness Work Ethic (JR) = score of 0.0 – 4.0
Attendance (ATT) = percentage of 1 – 100

One issue we hear about a lot at the Workforce Institute is the challenge of helping people get to the first rung on the career ladder; i.e. an entry level job.  We also hear about the challenges of helping people stay there if they are lacking in basic job readiness skills like showing up on time, being courteous and conscientious, etc.  I don’t know what the criteria are for Linn State’s Job Readiness Work Ethic score, but measuring job readiness sounds like a good first step in the direction of helping students identify issues that might prevent them from taking their first step on the job ladder.

Are any of you seeing or using job readiness criteria to screen candidates for entry level jobs?

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