America Succeeds UpdatesDurable Skills

America Succeeds’ Research Practice Collaborative: A Journey to Quality Durable Skills Education 

Durable Skills Are In Demand – Now What? 

In 2021, America Succeeds got the answers to the bold hypothesis that every job, across every sector, demands Durable Skills. Our research showed that Durable Skills — like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, fortitude, growth mindset, and leadership — are a critical component of succeeding in any career, with the potential to unlock economic mobility. 

Fast forward to the Spring of 2023, when America Succeeds, in partnership with CompTIA, embarked on a mission to create a national competency framework for Durable Skills. The Durable Skills Advantage Framework provides a common lexicon of what employers expect someone to be able to know and do when entering the workforce, bringing clarity to what these essential competencies are and why they matter. The ultimate goal? To empower gainful careers while improving the transition from education to the workforce. 

Today, we’re on a journey towards our bold, yet achievable vision: In 2030, 25 million American l/earners will have access to high-quality content and resources to support the delivery, development, demonstration, and validation of Durable Skills. 

One of the keywords here is ‘quality’. We’re extremely excited to partner with stakeholders all over the country to help us expand access to Durable Skill development opportunities. However, the way in which Durable Skill education is delivered — both effectively and equitably — is crucial to our goal. 

An Introduction to the Research Practice Collaborative

At the forefront of our Durable Skills initiative is the Research Practice Collaborative (RPC). Working with researchers from Northeastern University, and learning from a diverse cohort of 15-20 schools nationwide, we are studying school models that embrace skill development to identify key practices and elements for integrating Durable Skills into the educational ecosystem. 

Through this research, we aim to identify the conditions and factors that foster effective Durable Skills development. Our goal is to ensure that the mechanisms for widespread development of Durable Skills are not only impactful but also sustainable. 

Our Long-term Vision

One of the key outputs of the RPC is the development of an evaluation framework for schools and programs to use, both to self-assess for improvement and to publicly express their commitment to high-quality Durable Skills education. Like the B Corp Certification or the ISTE Seal, the Durable Skills Advantage certification will serve as a signal that a school or program is committed to delivering high-quality experiences for youth to develop Durable Skills. By adhering to clear criteria and standards, the certification will not only recognize exemplary practices, but will also incentivize and support continuous improvement.

Looking ahead, our long-term goal for the RPC extends far beyond individual learners. Advancing Durable Skills development paves the way for a more resilient and adaptive education system that is better aligned to equipping unique individuals for the emerging future of work. By nurturing a generation empowered with these essential competencies, we are forging a workforce that embodies resilience, skillfulness, and innovation, ready to confront and conquer the challenges that lie ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of tomorrow.

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