Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

December 2019

Department

Communications

First Advisor

Lauren Torlone

Abstract

The term ‘soft skills’ encompasses a range of personal, non-technical skills that include attributes such as adaptability, leadership and communication. Collaboration is an example of a soft skill that has proven to be essential in education and reflective of the current workforce. There is a growing gap between the “expectations of employers and the reality of today’s young talent” that is referred to as the soft skills gap (Tulgan, 2015). Closing this gap is part of preparing students for their future outside of education, which is the mission of many higher education institutions across the world.

This project explores how higher education professors feel about all soft skills, particularly collaboration, in addition to exploring their motivations and abilities to teach and foster these skills in their own classrooms. The research is pertinent to the second half of the project, which is developing an informational and persuasive campaign. Based on research done on soft skills, a questionnaire was conducted at three higher education institutions to better understand professors’ perspectives of soft skills and collaboration. The findings demonstrate that professors feel very strongly that both collaboration and all soft skills are important to success outside of the classroom although many view them as extremely difficult and not always their responsibility to teach. There was a high-level of interest from professors to learn more information about soft skills. This is delivered through part two of this project, a website campaign with the goal of making college professors more aware of the significance of teaching soft skills and giving them techniques and tools to do this in any field.

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