Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has started an “Essential Skills” academy aimed at teaching college students soft skills, such as team building, conflict resolution and self-presentation.
The college teamed up with nonprofit Goodwill Industries to create the academy.
Megan Stith, dean of institutional advancement, said the academy has been about a year in the making and overall will help the Hardin County region.
“Community is at the core of what we do and that means when we are faced with challenges or opportunities to better serve our students, we don’t just rely on our own knowledge, but we turn outward and build partnerships and leverage that expertise to add greater value to the lives of our students so that we can return that value back to our community,” she said.
Twenty-one students are in the first academy cohort. The students were selected after completing an application. The day long academy took place Friday and has another session in the spring featuring a networking session with potential employers, said Amber Phillips, a first-year Experience Program Facilitator.
Rick Games, president and COO of the Elizabethtown Industrial Foundation, said the academy would be of great benefit to the students when trying to get a job.
“To get a leg up in this crowded job market, the skills that they’re going to teach you will definitely be beneficial to what you’re doing,” he said.
The academy is similar to the work ethic certification programs in the local public school districts, where students receive special recognition for completing tasks such as strong attendance and demonstrating great work habits. Phillips described the academy as an extension of the program. Students earn a special certificate upon program completion.
Similar programs exist at other colleges such as Murray State University and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.