School counselors from across the state convened at Mississippi Public Broadcasting for a Workforce Luncheon recently to discuss how to implement soft skills that students should possess in order to be successful in school, work and life. Fifteen middle and high school counselors, along with high school graduation coaches, career and technical education counselors and a senior planner for the City of Jackson’s Mayor’s office were in attendance.
Participants were given an overview of MPB’s American Graduate initiative. Additionally, they viewed the American Graduate sizzle reel as well as the soft skills video series. MPB Executive Director Ronnie Agnew spoke to participants about the importance of the work that MPB is doing with American Graduate. He expressed how counselors’ direct contact with students could greatly benefit from the resources that have been produced and created by MPB’s American Graduate project.
The counselors provided MPB staff feedback on the top soft skills they felt were lacking with their students. The consensus of the group indicated the top two soft skills students lacked were excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Pamela Peoples, Career and Technical Education counselor from Leake County School District, discussed some challenges she sees with students in regards to education and workforce development. Peoples stated, “CTE programs have soft skills built into their curriculum; however, high schools have to offer some type of family, community and workforce connection about soft skills so that students can relate and know that these skills are used in multiple settings.”
The next counselors meeting will be held at Mississippi Public Broadcasting on November 15, 2019. For more information, please visit the American Graduate website at https://gettingtowork.mpbonline.org/
American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to help communities prepare all students for success in school, careers and life. Since 2011, public media has played an important role in local communities and the national graduation rate is now at an unprecedented 84.1 percent. The high school diploma is a key launching point into a student’s future success but it is not the final destination. Together with stations and their partners, CPB launched the next phase of the initiative, American Graduate: Getting to Work. Public media is partnering with schools and businesses, helping to prepare students with the skill sets and training needed to be a part of the new workforce in high-demand fields.