The Basic Skills Initiative (BSI)
What do we mean by “Basic Skills”? These have often been limited to foundational skills in reading, writing and mathematics. However, the California Community Colleges 2007 Report adds study and learning skills, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) to the skills set necessary for college and career success, as well as for personal achievement.
The Carniage Foundation Community Events talking about the importance and agenda of Basic Skills on Community colleges.
Traditionally, students who lacked the skills to cope with college level work were labeled “remedial,” but the Basic Skills Initiative has moved away from the notion that students need “fixing.” Instead of stand-alone basic skills classes, the BSI calls for skills to be embedded in the curriculum. The skills needed for success should be presented in context. So Culinary Arts students would not be taught math divorced from Culinary. Instead, they would learn the math necessary for figuring the cost of goods, finding equivalents for metric measurements, and increasing recipes from 6 to 106. Fashion students would engage in writing, using material from their discipline: biographies of prominent fashion designers, fashion reviews from The Washington Post, etc.