Home Page

SCANS Skills: Foundation and Competencies



The 1991 report What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000 of the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills identified a three-part "Foundation" and five basic "Competencies" that have since come to serve as guiding principles for most career-oriented curricula:


SCANS: A Three-Part Foundation

Basic Skills: Reads, writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens, and speaks.
  1. Reading: Locates, understands, and interprets written information in prose and in documents such as manuals, graphs, and schedules.
  2. Writing: Communicates thoughts, ideas, information, and messages in writing; and creates documents such as letters, directions, manuals, reports, graphs, and flow charts.
  3. Arithmetic: Performs basic computations and approaches practical problems by choosing appropriately from a variety of mathematical techniques.
  4. Listening: Receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues.
  5. Speaking: Organizes ideas and communicates orally.
Thinking Skills: Thinks creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how to learn, and reasons.
  1. Creative Thinking: Generates new ideas.
  2. Decision Making: Specifies goals and constraints, generates alternatives, considers risks, and evaluates and chooses best alternative.
  3. Problem Solving: Recognizes problems and devises and implements plan of action.
  4. Seeing Things in the Mind's Eye: Organizes and processes symbols, pictures, graphs, objects, and other information.
  5. Knowing How to Learn: Uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills.
  6. Reasoning: Discovers a rule or principle underlying the relationship between two or more objects and applies it when solving a problem.
Personal Qualities: Displays responsibility, selfesteem, sociability, selfmanagement, and integrity and honesty.
  1. Responsibility: Exerts a high level of effort and perseveres towards goal attainment.
  2. Self-Esteem: Believes in own self-worth and maintains a positive view of self.
  3. Sociability: Demonstrates understanding, friendliness, adaptability, empathy, and politeness in group settings.
  4. Self-Management: Assesses self accurately, sets personal goals, monitors progress, and exhibits selfcontrol.
  5. Integrity/Honesty: Chooses ethical courses of action.


SCANS Foundation: Definitions

Basic Skills

Reading. Locates, understands, and interprets written information in prose and documents--including manuals, graphs, and schedules--to perform tasks; learns from text by determining the main idea or essential message; identifies relevant details, facts, and specifications; infers or locates the meaning of unknown or technical vocabulary; and judges the accuracy, appropriateness, style, and plausibility of reports, proposals, or theories of other writers.

Writing. Communicates thoughts, ideas, information, and messages in writing; records information completely and accurately; composes and creates documents such as letters, directions, manuals, reports, proposals, graphs, flow charts; uses language, style, organization, and format appropriate to the subject matter, purpose, and audience. Includes supporting documentation and attends to level of detail; checks, edits, and revises for correct information, appropriate emphasis, form, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Arithmetic. Performs basic computations; uses basic numerical concepts such as whole numbers and percentages in practical situations; makes reasonable estimates of arithmetic results without a calculator; sand uses tables, graphs, diagrams, and charts to obtain or convey quantitative information.

Mathematics. Approaches practical problems by choosing appropriately from a variety of mathematical techniques; uses quantitative data to construct logical explanations for real world situations; expresses mathematical ideas and concepts orally and in writing; and understands the role of chance in the occurrence and prediction of events.

Listening. Receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues such as body language in ways that are appropriate to the purpose; for example, to comprehend; to learn; to critically evaluate; to appreciate; or to support the speaker.

Speaking. Organizes ideas and communicates oral messages appropriate to listeners and situations; participates in conversation, discussion, and group presentations; selects an appropriate medium for conveying a message; uses verbal language and other cues such as body language appropriate in style, tone, and level of complexity to the audience and the occasion; speaks clearly and communicates a message; understands and responds to listener feedback; and asks questions when needed.

Thinking Skills

Creative Thinking. Uses imagination freely, combines ideas or information in new ways, makes connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, and reshapes goals in ways that reveal new possibilities.

Decision Making. Specifies goals and constraints, generates alternatives, considers risks, and evaluates and chooses best alternatives.

Problem Solving. Recognizes that a problem exists (i.e., there is a discrepancy between what is and what should or could be), identifies possible reasons for the discrepancy, and devises and implements a plan of action to resolve it. Evaluates and monitors progress, and revises plan as indicated by findings.

Seeing Things in the Mind's Eye. Organizes and processes symbols, pictures, graphs, objects or other information; for example, sees a building from a blueprint, a system's operation from schematics, the flow of work activities from narrative descriptions, or the taste of food from reading a recipe.

Knowing How to Learn. Recognizes and can use learning techniques to apply and adapt new knowledge and skills in both familiar and changing situations. Involves being aware of learning tools such as personal learning styles (visual, aural, etc.), formal learning strategies (notetaking or clustering items that share some characteristics), and informal learning strategies (awareness of unidentified false assumptions that may lead to faulty conclusions).

Reasoning. Discovers a rule or principle underlying the relationship between two or more objects and applies it in solving a problem. For example, uses logic to draw conclusions from available information, extracts rules or principles from a set of objects or written text; applies rules and principles to a new situation, or determines which conclusions are correct when given a set of facts and a set of conclusions.

Personal Qualities

Responsibility. Exerts a high level of effort and perseverance towards goal attainment. Works hard to become excellent at doing tasks by setting high standards, paying attention to details working well, and displaying a high level of concentration even when assigned an unpleasant task. Displays high standards of attendance punctuality, enthusiasm, vitality, and optimism in approaching and completing tasks.

Self-Esteem. Believes in own selfworth and maintains a positive view of self; demonstrates knowledge of own skills and abilities; is aware of impact on others; and knows own emotional capacity and needs and how to address them.

Sociability. Demonstrates understanding friendliness, adaptability, empathy, and politeness in new and on-going group settings. Asserts self in familiar and unfamiliar social situations; relates well to others; responds appropriately as the situation requires; and takes an interest in what others say and do.

Self-Management. Assesses own knowledge, skills, and abilities accurately; sets well-defined and realistic personal goals; monitors progress toward goal attainment and motivates self through goal achievement; exhibits self-control and responds to feedback unemotionally and nondefensively; is a "self-starter."

Integrity/Honesty. Can be trusted. Recognizes when faced with making a decision or exhibiting behavior that may break with commonlyheld personal or societal values; understands the impact of violating these beliefs and codes on an organization, self, and others; and chooses an ethical course of action.




SCANS: Five Competencies

Resources: Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources.
  1. Time: Selects goal-relevant activities, ranks them, allocates time, and prepares and follows schedules.
  2. Money: Uses or prepares budgets, makes forecasts, keeps records, and makes adjustments to meet objectives.
  3. Material and Facilities: Acquires, stores, allocates, and uses materials or space efficiently.
  4. Human Resources: Assesses skills and distributes work accordingly, evaluates performance and provides feedback.
Interpersonal: Works with others.
  1. Participates as Member of a Team: Contributes to group effort.
  2. Teaches Others New Skills.
  3. Serves Clients/Customers: Works to satisfy customers' expectations.
  4. Exercises Leadership: Communicates ideas to justify position, persuades and convinces others, responsibly challenges existing procedures and policies.
  5. Negotiates: Works toward agreements involving exchange of resources, resolves divergent interests.
  6. Works with Diversity: Works well with men and women from diverse backgrounds.
Information: Acquires and uses information.
  1. Acquires and Evaluates Information.
  2. Organizes and Maintains Information.
  3. Interprets and Communicates Information.
  4. Uses Computers to Process Information.
Systems: Understands complex interrelationships.
  1. Understands Systems: Knows how social, organizational, and technological systems work and operates effectively with them.
  2. Monitors and Corrects Performance: Distinguishes trends, predicts impacts on system operations, diagnoses deviations in systems' performance and corrects malfunctions.
  3. Improves or Designs Systems: Suggests modifications to existing systems and develops new or alternative systems to improve performance.
Technology: Works with a variety of technologies.
  1. Selects Technology: Chooses procedures, tools, or equipment including computers and related technologies.
  2. Applies Technology to Task: Understands overall intent and proper procedures for setup and operation of equipment.
  3. Maintains and Troubleshoots Equipment: Prevents, identifies, or solves problems with equipment, including computers and other technologies.


SCANS Competencies: Definitions

Resources

Allocates Time. Selects relevant, goal-related activities, ranks them in order of importance, allocates time to activities, and understands, prepares, and follows schedules.

Allocates Money. Uses or prepares budgets, including making cost and revenue forecasts, keeps detailed records to track budget performance, and makes appropriate adjustments.

Allocates Material and Facility Resources. Acquires, stores, and distributes materials, supplies, parts, equipment, space, or final products in order to make the best use of them.

Allocates Human Resources. Assesses knowledge and skills and distributes work accordingly, evaluates performance, and provides feedback.

Interpersonal

Participates as a Member of a Team. Works cooperatively with others and contributes to group with ideas, suggestions, and effort.

Teaches Others. Helps others learn.

Serves Clients/Customers. Works and communicates with clients and customers to satisfy their expectations.

Exercises Leadership. Communicates thoughts, feelings, and ideas to justify a position, encourages, persuades, convinces, or otherwise motivates an individual or groups, including responsibly challenging existing procedures, policies, or authority.

Negotiates. Works towards an agreement that may involve exchanging specific resources or resolving divergent interests.

Works with Cultural Diversity. Works well with men and women and with a variety of ethnic, social, or educational backgrounds.

Information

Acquires and Evaluates Information. Identifies need for data, obtains it from existing sources or creates it, and evaluates its relevance and accuracy.

Organizes and Maintains Information. Organizes, processes, and maintains written or computerized records and other forms of information in a systematic fashion.

Interprets and Communicates Information. Selects and analyzes information and communicates the results to others using oral, written, graphic, pictorial, or multi-media methods.

Uses Computers to Process Information. Employs computers to acquire, organize, analyze, and communicate information.

Systems

Understands Systems. Knows how social, organizational, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them.

Monitors and Corrects Performance. Distinguishes trends, predicts impact of actions on system operations, diagnoses deviations in the function of a system/ organization, and takes necessary action to correct performance.

Improves and Designs Systems. Makes suggestions to modify existing systems to improve products or services, and develops new or alternative systems.

Technology

Selects Technology. Judges which set of procedures, tools, or machines, including computers and their programs, will produce the desired results.

Applies Technology to Task. Understands the overall intent and the proper procedures for setting up and operating machines, including computers and their programming systems.

Maintains and Troubleshoots Technology. Prevents, identifies, or solves problems in machines, computers, and other technologies.






To contribute or correct items, please e-mail information to: extend@stolaf.edu or click
here.

| Home Page | Resources | Top of Page| Next Page | Contents |

Last Update: 07/10/96