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Integrating General Workplace Competencies Across the Curriculum
This is the beginning of the tenth year of the VTEA funded SCANS Project at CCSF. Nearly fifty College disciplines have participated in the SCANS program. Click here for a list of them. More than ten thousand students have enrolled in classes in which they identify and practice these competencies while covering the designated subject matter.
The Fall semester of each year is the time for planning. Each year 10 or 12 SCANS instructors continue in the project as mentors to those new to the project. Those instructors who do not continue in the program as mentors still continue to incorporate the SCANS skills into their courses and are available to serve as SCANS resource instructors when needed. They give presentations at conferences, meetings and at other colleges. The mentors and the instructors new to the project meet monthly as a group to share ideas, chose the specific skills to be integrated into each course in question, refine the process of this integration, make necessary revisions in the course syllabi, and visit each other's classes. These required monthly meetings provide important opportunities for the instructors to learn teaching strategies from each other and build cross-department collaborations.
The spring semesters are for implementation and evaluation. The monthly meetings continue giving instructors the opportunity to share the successes of the changed teaching and learning processes in their classrooms and to work together to solve any problems. Student input is sought through the use of a questionnaire. Students have been extremely positive in their reactions -- commenting consistently on the practical nature of the SCANS skills, their increased competence with technology, the feeling of camaraderie they gain in the classroom, and the sense of personal responsibility for the success of their education they have developed .
Those of us involved in the CCSF SCANS project are proud and enthusiastic. We believe we are helping students take charge of their learning and prepare for the future. At the same time we are re-motivating experienced instructors as well as providing skilled mentoring to newly hired instructors and building their confidence. The opportunity for instructors to work with peers across disciplines, both academic and vocational, is extremely valuable and all too rare. The positive energy and mutual respect evident in the monthly meetings adds to our conviction that this is an extremely valuable program.