To develop these qualities, we identified six areas of focus which include: craftsmanship and quality; life and career skills; communication and collaboration; information, media and technical skills; investigation and problem solving; and critical thinking and analysis.
Each of our focus areas have exit targets that can be assessed through various methods. One such target is, “I can create, evaluate and revise my work in order to be consistent with industry standards and expectations for quality.” This is the exit target for quality and craftsmanship.
When Mykal Ingram, a senior at Union High School and a Clark County Skills Center student, was asked by his instructor Bill Draper to explain what he has learned about the importance of showing quality through his work (in this case a scale model home), his response was as follows:
“I have learned that quality is very important because my name is written all over this. If somebody sees this and it’s really bad quality, that’s going to give me a bad reputation and I’m not going to be able to [find work]. But if I keep up high-quality work, it will help me get more jobs in the future.”
Mykal was able to articulate his knowledge of the characteristics of quality and craftsmanship through discourse with his teacher. One might think that not all Skills Center students are as knowledgeable and able to describing their knowledge as Mykal, but you can walk into any classroom at the Clark County Skills Center and see the same level of understanding and achievement.
As with all work worth doing, we continue to focus on these qualities because we believe these skills are paramount to our students’ success, not only in the workplace and in college, but in their lives. Our work complements our mission: To prepare each student with the relevant knowledge and skills for learning, career and life.
Kari Duffy is the assistant director for the Clark County Skills Center. Margaret Rice is the dean of students.