³Secretary¶s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)Computer systems work with sets of information.
ach entity within the set mustrepresent the same thing. (Refer back to Tucker¶s letter on standardization of curriculum, pedagogy, licensing, etc.)This project was to define the standard set of job specifications and qualificationsthat an applicant would need to fill the job so that a µcertificate¶ of skillsattainment for that job would mean the same thing across the country.Theproject to designthe system of specifications and certifications was initiatedin
at the behest of then Secretary of
lizabeth Dole. The projectwas named the µSecretary¶s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). ³A variety of organizations use the Secretary¶s Commission on AchievingNecessary Skills Commission (SCANS) competencies and foundation skills as acurriculum foundation for secondary and postsecondary CT
and work forcedevelopment. This Highlight Zone describes useful practices in assessing e
istinginstruction, planning inclusion of SCANS, applying SCANS both in individualprograms and across the curriculum, and preparing instructors to integratecompetency-based instruction in SCANS.[4
Much of the drive to teach and assess employability skills comes from concernsabout this country¶s ability to remain competitive in the world economy. Recentresearch (The Aspen
2) shows that, in addition to a changingeconomy, we are also facing many other challenges such as decreased growth inthe native-born work force and an increase in foreign-born workers, a decreasein growth in both high school and college graduation rates (
2), and anever-growing gap in the skill level and wages earned between the highest andlowest skilled workers (Krugman 2
nstitute report warns: ³
ithout a dramatic change in the way wetrain and support workers, we will fall short of finding the highly skilled,adaptable, and technologically sophisticated labor force we need to compete inthe future global economy´ (p.
2). This research highlights the critical need forimproved methods for teaching and assessing employability skills in the emergingwork force.[