Skill Standards

Skill Standards answer two critical questions:

  1. What do workers need to know and be able to do to succeed in today’s workplace?
  2. And how do we know when workers are performing well?

Without this fundamental information, employers do not know whom to hire or where to focus their limited training dollars; employees and new entrants to the workforce do not know what they need to do to improve their performance; and educators do not know how to prepare students for the challenges of the workplace.

This site is designed as a repository with information about Washington's Skill Standards related to Education Careers.

 

Lead Early Childhood Education Teacher, Family Child Care Provider

The Early Childhood Professions Skill Standards Project is being developed by eleven early childhood education faculty from nine community and technical colleges.

The goals of the project are to develop skill standards for four job clusters:

  1. lead early childhood teacher of children ages 2-6 in center based programs;
  2. family child care providers who run home based businesses that serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school ages to age 12;
  3. school age site directors of programs designed for children ages 5-12 before and after school;
  4. infant/toddler specialists who provide programs for children from birth to age 3 in family child care, child care centers and early Head Start programs.

The Early Childhood Lead Teacher document is ready for printing and should be available in May for distribution.

Two early childhood consortium members, Judy Konopaski and Toogy Shepard, from Bellevue Community College are using the skill standards document to develop curriculum for a COSTCO project. COSTCO is planning to build a child care and family support center for COSTCO employees as well as for community families in the area of COSTCO's national headquarters in Kirkland. COSTCO is collaborating with Bellevue Community College on using this site for training in early childhood and perhaps a model for other COSTCO stores.

The Family Child Care document is currently under development and is expected to be completed by June 30, 1999.

The School Age Child Care DACUM workshop was held at Highline Community College on February 10, 1999. Also at Highline Community College on March 5, 1999 was the Infant and Toddler Specialist DACUM Workshop. The SCANS Survey, job descriptions and scenarios for these two job clusters are expected to be completed by June 30, 1999. Additional funding will be needed to complete these two documents during summer, 1999.

- Submitted by Barbara Clampett, Program Contact, April 19, 1999

General Para-Educator, ESL Para-Educator, Special-Ed Para-Educator

Para-Educator Training:

Today, Para-Educators are important members of the instructional team. They assist licensed/certified staff in all components of the instructional process. Over the last four decades, education practices and systems across the country have changed. As a result, Para-Educator employment in general compensatory, bilingual, and special education programs has increased significantly.

The expanding employment of Para-Educators is attributed to several causes. Significant factors include federal and state legislative actions that encourage schools to provide services for all learners in at least restrictive environments; increase enrollment of children and youth from homes where English is the second language; growth in the number of children and youth from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds; and the restructuring and licensed/certified staff roles. There is no doubt among all stake holders nationwide that a well-prepared workforce is essential to ensure that children, youth and their families with diverse learning styles and abilities have access to quality education services. There are a myriad of issues related to the employment, preparation and retention of skilled personnel at all levels. None is more critical than the need to establish standardized, structured operations for Para-Educator training.

A three-phase process was undertaken to develop the Skill Standards:

  1. Identify critical work functions, key activities, and performance indicators and identify occupational technical knowledge and skills.
  2. Identify and level academic and employability skills.
  3. Validate the critical work functions and key activities. The Skill Standards for Para-Educators Project was a continuation of historic efforts and work in progress aimed at clarifying the roles and educational requirements for Para-Educators. Para-Educator Skill Standards were developed after careful consideration of historic efforts. DACUM documents concerning Para-Educators were inspected and became a part of the materials considered by the Skill Standards focus panel discussions. As the study progressed, full consideration was also given to the previous development of Para-Educator Core Competencies for Para-Educators Working with Students With Disabilities.

Three job clusters were identified:

Para-Educator Critical Work Functions:

  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Student Instruction;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Behavior Management;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Clerical Functions;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Parental Contact.

Special Education Para-Educator Critical Work Functions:

  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Student Instruction;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Behavior Management;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Clerical Functions;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Parental Contact;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff and/or Licensed Staff with Physical Needs Management.

ESL/Bilingual/Migrant Para-Educator Critical Work Functions:

  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Student Instruction;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Behavior Management;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Clerical Functions;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Parental Contact;
  • Assist Licensed/Certified Staff with Cultural Issues.

Professional-Technical Instructors Resource and Assessment Guide: