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Winning Opportunities for Work-Based Learning


Opportunities for Building Skills to Thrive in Business and CIS Courses:
Interactive Paper #5

You might want to read what Chancellor Nussbaum had to say about the role of California Community College in the 21st Century:....It’s clear that the community colleges are the ideal institution to provide move-up strategies for Californians. We are the state’s largest workforce provider. The vast majority of our occupational programs lead to employment in skilled positions.  We’ve been a key partner in the implementation of welfare reform by preparing many welfare recipients for entry-level positions. And, we already have the right pool of students.  Of the 2.5 million students we serve during any given year, 2 million (80%) are already in the workforce, and most are looking to move up.

The job market will expand and contract based on a variety of factors we cannot pretend to understand or predict. But if you can provide your students with some success strategies, they will be better equipped to meet today and tomorrow’s challenges. The strategies we will "touch on" in this lesson will include: following a passion, preparing for change, developing a great attitude, seeking innovative solutions, managing time and striving for continuous improvement.

imageFollow Your Dreams
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
-Henry David Thoreau

There is probably no greater service you could do for your students than to encourage them to build a job or career around something they love or at least like to do. Common sense tells us that this is important and research confirms that successful people follow their passion.

In the book, "Getting Rich Your Own Way," Srully Blotnick writes about a research project where 1500 people were divided into two groups and followed for 20 years. Group A made up 83% of the sample. These people were embarking on a career chosen to make money in order to do what they wanted later. Group B, the other 17%, chose their career based on what they wanted to do now and worry about the money later. At the end of 20 years, 101 of the 1500 had become millionaires. Of the millionaires, all but one - 100 out of 101 were from the group that had chosen to pursue what they loved.

The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of people who have become wealthy have become so thanks to work they found profoundly absorbing.... The long term study of people who eventually become wealthy clearly reveals that their "Luck" arose from the accidental dedication they had to an area they enjoyed.
Srully Blotnick

Enjoyment-Performance Theory

Enjoyment-Performance Theory states that an individual will perform more effectively in a job if that individual enjoys the types of tasks that are required by a job, has interests that relate to the position, and the work environment conditions correspond with the person’s work environment preferences. In other words, the enjoyment of all the various aspects of a job is a significant indication of a higher level of performance, assuming the person has the education and training necessary for that job. Our research indicates that the enjoyment of these various work aspects is highly correlated with good performance
. Dr. Dan Harrison

The idea of matching interests to jobs is nothing new. But there has been recent research that validates and expands this idea. Dr. Harrison has developed a survey used by Fortune 500 Companies based on his Enjoyment-Performance Theory.  This inventory is appropriately named the Innerview.  Would you like to read more about it?

Be Able to Change
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
-Eric Hoffer
The complexity of our world keeps increasing, and the rate of change keeps accelerating. It’s a fact of life things just keep changing. What can students do and how can you help them to work and play in this fast-paced environment? One thing you can do is to help them realize the inevitability of change and the necessity of developing attitudes and strategies for effectively dealing with it. If change is viewed as an opportunity, a challenge that can be met with hard work and cleverness, then your students will be ultimately successful in the 21st century.

Dealing with Change Business an Unusual

In the article, Dealing with Change and Uncertainty, the author asks the reader to think about these words: work, future, present, risk, change, opportunity, and new. What comes to mind as you say those words? Read this short article and see if you agree with Bob Reed. In addition, he offers four suggestions for dealing with change. You might assign this short reading to your class and develop a discussion around their thoughts on the subject. Or, you might want to ask them to write down the 7 words and create a mind map around those terms.

Drucker on Change

From the Peter Drucker Foundation comes this thought provoking article about organizational change that might be a help to you and/or your students. With the enormous amounts of change everyone now deals with, these ideas and strategies are worth reviewing, particularly interesting is the section on “Classic Skills for Leaders.”

How Do You Feel About Change

Often students don't always know how they feel about change? You might have them try this short questionnaire. Scores on this questionnaire range from a low of 7 to a high of 14. This assessment is not scored electronically, so you need to click on the bottom left of the page to score it yourself. Remember that on this one a high score is desirable. How about making some copies and having your students give this a try?

Emotional Intelligence As Important as IQ?

Researchers were puzzled by the fact that while IQ could predict to a significant degree the academic performance and, to some degree, professional and personal success, there was something missing in the equation. One of the major missing parts in the success equation is emotional intelligence, a concept made popular by the groundbreaking book by Daniel Goleman.  If you want to explore what else Queendom.Com has on this subject, and take their abbreviated inventory then follow this link.  Students should be aware that a number of companies are quite interested in this measurement, so it is good to have some background.

Develop A Great Attitude
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. William James

Pyramid of Success

Coach John Wooden developed "The Pyramid of Success" while coaching basketball. He studied his teams and players and over the years put together a set of traits that he believes lead to success. It is important to note that his definition of success is not power or money. imageAccording to Wooden, Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. Review his pyramid and click on building the pyramid. As you read through his explanation be sure to click on the highlighted traits for explanations and if you have the computer power, watch the video tours- these are just too good to miss. How would your students react to a site like this? You could provide them with an outline of a pyramid and ask them to review Wooden's material and then design their own success pyramid. This would be a great team project.

An Attitude Assessment

What is it that employers are looking for when they hire employees? CEO’s plant managers, supervisors and floor employees have answered, "We want employees who have great attitudes. If employees have the right attitude, we can train them to do the job. But no matter how talented the individual, a poor attitude cannot be overcome!" Here is an on-line work attitude and motivation quiz. It is a 40-question self-assessment and will give the respondent a one-page report after answers are submitted. This is a great homework assignment that could be used as part of a team discussion.

Fast Company Says

Read this article; Hire for Attitude-Train for Skills. Find out about the "Fallout Shelter" and "Coat of Arms" exercises one company gives to their job applicants. How do these hiring strategies compare to a traditional job interview? What might a company learn from having job candidates complete this exercise? You might ask students to try one of these exercises and see what feedback they give you.

Seek Innovative Solutions
The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of them. Linus Pauling


Review the characteristics of creative people in this PowerPoint lecture by Professors Roark and Pearson.  Sometimes people don’t allow themselves to be creative and here you will discover some of the facts about creativtiy. Did you like seeing a lecture on-line like this? Are you creating an environment and course that facilitates creativity?

Use the Innovative Network to do several creative activities.  First, you can check out the innovative quotient of your college here.  And then review this activity and think of several unusual ways to use it. Consider wrapping some of these activities into a homework and class discussion.

How Does Creativity Work at Work?
This “Closer to the Truth” site offers instructors a good resource for timely topics.  Here you can see recorded broadcast of a panel style show that features leaders in their field.  There are a variety of lessons that lie within this content. You can watch or read the transcripts to find out more about How Does Creativity Work at Work.

In the Harvard article, How to Anticipate and Capitalize on Innovations, you will examine 4 criteria to use when examining a new idea. Click on the site and see what you think of these ideas.

Manage Time Wisely
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. Jean de La Bruysre

Valuing Time

imageWhat would you pay? Here is a short story by Frank L. Tibolt. This reading won’t take you long. It will however give you an interesting "low tech" strategy for managing your time. One person paid $25,000 for this idea. Read the story and decide how much it is worth to you. If you find it helpful print out copies for your class and use it as an introductory suggestion.


What Matters Most?

Many times students have not really figured out their proprieties. Here is an on-line inventory called "What Matters Most?" Take the assessment and see how you rate. Print out your final score and review it. Then ask your students to do the same. How is this survey helpful? How does it differ from a regular analysis of time?


Do you agree that procrastination is the thief of time? Find out how you score on this procrastination quiz and what you could do about being more proactive in your approach to living. Then suggest that students take the quiz and then discuss the advantages to being proactive rather than procrastinating.

Tips on how to Avoid Procrastination

Avoiding Procrastination: If you didn’t like your score on the Procrastination Quiz, take a few minutes RIGHT NOW and read some strategies that will get you moving. Again, we are almost all guilty of procrastinating. If you find this information valuable then your students will probably like it too. By giving them short, frequent ideas they are likely to try a few. You might try writing the name of a particularly interesting or helpful site on the board with short explanation and see if any of them will pick up on it.
Prioritizing your time

Listen to Carol Rupe talk about "Time Management and Prioritization." Using a matrix, Carol talks about evaluating time based on importance and urgency. What’s really important to you in the big scheme of things? Click on audio to begin the lecture .If you have some auditory learners in your courses, this is a way to relate to them.

Striving for Continuous Improvement

Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind.
-Louis Pasteur

Effortless Peak Performance

There are some interesting ideas at this site and a concept about performing at a higher level without great struggle and stress.  Do you think this is a valid idea?  Would this be of interest to your students?  Check out the quiz and the response feedback received after submitting it.


Kaizen is a term you will hear in today's workplace. And although it is associated with manufacturing, it is a word that epitomizes the attitude that prevails. Go to this link and read about kaizen. What does it mean in terms of the individual? Have you heard this word before?  If you are wondering how important lifelong learning is to a company, life long learning check out what GE pays for educating their workforce!

The ability to be an outstanding performer in the 21st century will require some unique abilities and strategies along with technical know-how.  By incorporating a few of these ideas into assignments or class discussions you can help empower your students as they enter the workplace of the future.


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