The EWS Programmatic Certification, awarded by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), formally recognizes career education programs of accredited institutions that effectively provide opportunities for development and practice of the essential workforce skills necessary for career success.
Essential workforce skills are the set of skills needed to succeed in any career and empower students to achieve long-term career success. These skills comprise "workforce competency" and are a necessary part of any high-quality career education program.
ACCSC's Mission is to Ensure Quality Education that Enhances Student Success in the Workforce. ACCSC encourages schools to adopt a framework for high-quality career education programs which includes not only technical and academic competencies, but also workforce competency.
Skills necessary to perform work tasks in a specific job and supported by theory and practical application determined in collaboration with industry representatives.
Skills that strengthen and support development of technical and workforce competencies that are cultivated in an academic environment.
Skills necessary to succeed in any career and to continuously find, attract, and create opportunities for working and learning throughout one's career.
There is a growing consensus that essential workforce skills needed in the labor market are in high demand. It's imperative that career education institutions close this skills gap to better prepare students to succeed in the workforce.
Employers need candidates with essential workforce skills to power their businesses and the economy. However, they lack reliable signals to identify programs that effectively address the essential workforce skills they need.
Institutions can use EWS Programmatic Certification as a reliable source to identify and define the specific essential workforce skills to address in their programs, establish quality criteria against which to evaluate their practices, and provide a structured process for self-assessment.
“Foundational skills—in communication, writing, collaboration, management, and teaming— facilitate smooth transitions across occupations and prove remarkably durable across a career. Possession of these skills, which persist in value over time, enables workers to earn more and enjoy greater job mobility. Therefore, training learners in foundational skills reaps lifelong dividends.”
"We are becoming a Power Skills [Essential Workforce Skills] economy driven not only by technical skills, but even more by empathy, design, communications, and management. Educational institutions, policy makers, and companies have to take Power Skills (often called Soft Skills) seriously, because they are the ‘hard skills’ of the future. You should define these skills, talk about them, reward them, and continuously develop them.”
“Prior to the 1980s, most jobs required a much larger share of specific competencies. What has changed since then is that employers need the ‘whole person,’ not just a set of on-the-job skills. According to our research, a one-quartile increase in the intensity with which workers use their communications competencies is associated with an average earnings premium of 20%.”
“Through an extensive development process, ACCSC worked closely with focus groups, pilot group volunteers from our member schools, and the years of experience brought forth by MaxKnowledge to create something meaningful for student success. This dynamic certification will challenge schools to connect their vocational programs more directly to the needs of the workforce – it will serve as a differentiator for graduates and employers.”
Leveraging decades of experience as an accrediting agency focused on vocational and career education, ACCSC has developed the EWS Programmatic Certification to support and advance the needs of students, employers, and institutions.