San Dimas, CALIF. – Life Pacific is on the cutting edge of the research and market demand in an effort to more thoroughly prepare graduates to be hired and stay employed.
Higher education has historically focused on the “hard skills” of academia, operating with the belief that factual learning alone will equip graduates for the real world. As any college graduate can attest, the real learning often begins after graduation, especially when they land their first job.
Research in higher education and input from employers reveal a need for students to develop core life skills that bridge academia and the real world. Life Pacific University focuses on four specific areas that can be evaluated through student job placement trends and LPU graduate surveys, 1) growth mindset, 2) Emotional Intelligence, 3) soft skills, and 4) coachability.
Kristina Stover, Director of the Office of Calling and Vocation at LPU, points to research involving 5,000 companies that reveals the top five reasons why new hires fail on the job. It might surprise you to know that technical competencies fall at the bottom of the list. The top four reasons involve life skills that can be taught and will be the focus of the LPU Life Skills Framework. Click here to download the Life Skills factsheet.
LPU President Angie Richey states, “We are pleased to launch this framework that integrates core life skills into all areas of a student’s learning at LPU, inside and outside the classroom. While this has been taking place in many aspects, unified intention will be a game changer. By focusing on the four key areas, our students will leave LPU more able to navigate the changing world effectively.”
Implementation of Life Skills throughout the University community will be a key endeavor as students are more holistically and intentionally prepared for the world outside the institution. Kristina says that the Life Skills Framework at LPU will be integrated with classroom learning, chapels, and co-curricular activities and events. “Developing these skills will not only affect a student’s employability, but will also directly affect every aspect of their lives.” She says transformational development of students requires digging deep in character and skill formation if we hope to release prepared leaders to serve in the Church, the workplace and the world.
Life skills formation may be a newer trend in higher education but educators at LPU have always understood the need to bring personal transformation to the whole person. “It fits our ethos at Life Pacific and also responds to the need employers have expressed,” Kristina says. In an intentional effort to address the specific needs of students and employees, the LPU Life Skills Framework includes four biblically consistent and psychologically relevant skills.
1. Growth Mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed. Students with a growth mindset understand they can get smarter through hard work, the use of effective strategies, and help from others when needed. This includes motivation, grit and resilience.
2. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Dr. Daniel Goleman, American psychologist identifies the five key elements of EI as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
3. Soft Skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. The list is long, but can include things like, communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, time-management, flexibility, networking, and conflict resolution.
4. Coachability embodies humility and motivation resulting in a person being receptive to feedback, to receiving constructive criticism, and using that feedback and constructive criticism to improve her or his workplace performance.
Since gaining University status two years ago, LPU has been a leader among biblical universities that incorporate a solid theological/biblical requirement within every academic program. It is appropriate that LPU also be a leader among universities in preparing students for meaningful employment with lifelong skills. The biblical foundations of each degree program challenge students to grow in godly values and respond to stages of personal transformation that make the implementation of the Life Skills Framework a natural next step for the University.
The LPU Life Skills Framework has been launched on both LPU campuses, San Dimas, California and Christiansburg, Virginia. LPU-Virginia Site Director Rev. Scott Martz adds, “Like never before it is crucial that we work with young leaders to develop in them a fundamental understanding of themselves, their abilities, and their capacity. What we are doing at LPU, through focusing on these key life skills, is setting a solid foundation for a lifetime of fruitful leadership.”
As Life Pacific responds to expressed needs of students and those who employ them, the LPU Life Skills Framework will shape women and men so they experience benefits from intentional skill development for the rest of their lives.
To learn more about the Core Life Skills Framework, visit https://www.lifepacific.edu/lifeskills