Students at Indiana's Yorktown High School can show they're employable by earning "soft skills" badges, reports Patrick O'Donnell on The 74. The badges are "the core of a pilot graduation track for students who want to work right out of high school, one of several new, innovative graduation pathways in the state.
There are six Job Ready Indy badges: Mindsets, Self-Management, Learning Strategies, Social Skills, Workplace Skills and Launch a Career. EmployIndy created the badges and a curriculum based on the state's “employability skills benchmarks.”
Students in the Indianapolis area have been earning badges through schools and community programs since 2018, but there's no data on hiring.
Employers need assurance that job applicants really have mastered the skills on the badges, says MDRC, a national non-profit. They "value credentials from reputable, familiar organizations" and consider credentials tied to work experience to be more reliable.
Soft-skill credentials are increasing in "visibility and importance," MDRC reported.
Some high schools no longer let teachers reward students with higher grades if they show up for class and complete assignments on time. I think employers will be very wary of hiring students who haven't learned the importance of showing up, being on time and doing the work.