What prompted this change? The continued fallout from the recession of 2009 demonstrated the dire need for a more rigorous career readiness program to help young people compete in the job market. The trends were, and remain, daunting:
SkillBott is the first online, accredited, turnkey solution that addresses these issues and will:
- Give students confidence as they will understand what will be expected of them in the workplace.
- Reassure employers that new employees will have a basic understanding of soft skills and workplace behaviors.
- Give schools the tools to meet new 21st Century Skills standards and address the growing gap in workplace preparedness.
- Give teachers and administrators an affordable and flexible “plug and play” solution that they can learn and implement quickly and easily.
History – Created by Teachers Like You
In 2002, the Chicago Public School System, under the direction of Arne Duncan (now US Secretary of Education), launched a research study with local businesses and labor leaders to understand why CPS graduates were having difficulty finding jobs after graduation and why those who found jobs, were having difficulty keeping them. The feedback from this study was consistent: CPS graduates had good technical skills and abilities but were lacking in proper workplace behaviors and manners that more experienced workers possessed.
So, the CPS Education to Careers center set out to create a program that focused on developing these soft skills or “21st Century Skills” to better prepare graduates for a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace. Using the Workplace Competency guidelines outlined by SCANS (US Dept. of Labor Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills), they created a 5 course curriculum addressing communication skills, interpersonal skills, self-improvement skills, on the job skills and career preparation skills.
They called this program Transitions, Life Skills for Personal Success. A pilot program was introduced in 2003 with encouraging results and in 2004 was adopted by all 60 Chicago high schools. Since 2004, Transitions has helped over 150,000 high school students succeed in school, work and life.
SkillBott – The 2nd Generation
In 2011, the Transitions program underwent a major overhaul. The curriculum was updated and aligned with the new Common Core standards. A new course module– Using Social Media Wisely - was added to help prevent students from embarrassing themselves online. The old PowerPoint slides were replaced with an online state-of-the art learning management system. The program was rebranded as SkillBott and launched nationally.
The SkillBott curriculum is aligned to six of the most impactful education and career standards in use today by schools across the country. Each lesson activity shows which standards are in use at that specific point and you can select activities by a specific standard if an area requires further practice
Further, SkillBott will help you meet and exceed the new, emerging requirements for career readiness standards that are part of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (http://www.p21.org/)
 The New CTE: Secretary Duncan’s Remarks on Career & Technical Education, Feb. 2011
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2011
 Price Waterhouse Coopers 2011 Survey of 400 Global Business Leaders