Understanding Workplace Essential Skills: A Student's Perspective
Cocco, E. Alex
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An instrumental case study was conducted to explore the perspective of recent graduates from a Greater Toronto Area community college experience in relation to Workplace Essential Skills (WES). Five participants who graduated from a business school within the last 4 years were interviewed twice over a 4-month period to gain a deeper understanding of this relationship. This qualitative approach used semi-structured interviews to elicit stories about their experiences, their relationships in school, and the development of skills that were useful in the workplace. The analysis of data involved the 3-step coding process of open, axial, and selective coding consistent with the approach used by Neuman (2006). The analysis revealed that the overall experience of attending college contributed to the learning that took place. The participants gave greater significance to the life experience in learning WES and the networks associated with learning than the formal aspects of education. It is also important to acknowledge that the research identified a significant opportunity for educators’ to positively impact the learning experience.