Curriculum Meets Demands for Business Needs of a 21st-Century Workforce

The reality of our classrooms today is that our students are being taught core academic fundamentals but our educational system, government mandates, and lack of solid parenting don’t allow time or staff to bridge the gap between school learning and applicability to the workforce once they leave school.

However, as employers are demanding connection between their workforce and schools, should this be a critical component of school core curriculum? According to a recent Iowa Workforce Development report, almost 50 percent of businesses surveyed indicate a workforce that needs soft-skills training and Gallup surveys show more than 85 percent of the national workforce is disengaged, costing companies valuable time, energy, and profits.
Global Horizons has taken the requests for a stronger workforce and created a classroom process called Coaching in the Classroom (CIC). The process is based on more than 28 years of experience in business  and economic development at the local, state, and federal level to know what employers are looking for in workers.

Using their book, The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting along, CIC guides students in directing their life by creating a classroom learning environment, coupled with solid 21st-century workforce skills, to increase student achievement. CIC also urges students to consider starting their own new business and/or transition into buying existing businesses someday in their communities.

Here are results, how CIC connects classrooms to the workplace, CIC goals and the relationship to 21-Century skills, and the critical importance of classroom relevance to community growth.

In three years, CIC accomplished these measurable results:

Different than learning to build or knowing the details of a specific product for a company, these needed skills are called “soft” because they are less tangible. Skills like show up on time, ready to work. Play well with others. Do your best work - always. Skills known to be critical to a company’s success, we call these “workplace” skills.
CIC began as a pilot project in 2009, focusing on 7th – 12th-graders deemed “at-risk” by Iowa Department of Education criteria in two settings: a rural Iowa school district and a metro alternative school. CIC uses powerful relationship-building techniques and goal-setting utilized by championship athletes to develop championship students in the classroom. 

  • High school student population considered “at-risk” decreased from 41 to 12.3 percent.
  • Within months of CIC’s inception, students sent to the principal’s office for misbehavior decreased more than 50 percent.
  • The 2009 freshman class of a school district using CIC established a goal for 100% of their class to graduate together. They achieved that goal in 2013. This accomplishment was so notable that the superintendent commented on it during commencement.
  • 35 percent of 7th and 8th graders met established grade goals set at the beginning of each semester. 
  • Students recognize that classroom work in core areas has direct impact on their future either in further education, enlisting in the military, or by remaining in or near their hometown and joining the workforce.

CIC connects classrooms to the workplace

This connection between classroom learning and workplace skills is critical because habits developed in school transfer to careers. CIC attaches workplace goals to classroom learning by measuring student performance with employer standards.

  • Student attendance and punctuality – employers want employees to show up on time, ready to work.
  • Grades – employers will reward “A” quality work with promotions and raises. An employee may keep their job doing “C” work, but will only maintain their current position. Less than “C” work could cost an employee their job.
  • Standardized tests – employers will measure performance through evaluations at least once, if not twice, per year.
  • Participating in extracurricular activities – employers want employees to know how to “play well” with others. It is imperative that employees know how to operate with a team structure.

When the student understands how their school work is relevant to what is required in the workplace, they can adjust their attitude and actions. 

Coaching in the Classroom believes that all students succeed when their passions, purpose, and goals align with their personal and occupational visions. CIC is the bridge that keeps all students in school through graduation and develops habits in self-motivation and drive for success for today’s global workforce.

CIC Goals

  • Instill entrepreneurial spirit and skills to help students see the possibility of being local business owners and leaders.
  • Strengthen the local workforce by reinforcing the relevance of classroom instruction material to their futures.
  • Improve self-esteem of students when they achieve personal success raising scores and feel more hopeful about their future options.
  • Improve behavior of students in the community.
  • Improve relationships between students, staff, and faculty in school.
  • Improve relationships between the school, students, and the community.

CIC also meets Iowa's 21st-Century Universal Constructs: Essential for 21st-Century Success. CIC teaches competencies and habits needed for future successes in careers, college, and citizenry in all six areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Productivity and Accountability

Classroom relevance to community growth

A primary goal of education is to provide opportunities for economic stability for the rest of a person’s life. Education is a means to find a way that fulfills passions while reaching economic stability. Personal and professional economic stability is crucial for community stability and growth potential.

Connection between a school district and its business community is vital for growth. Local businesses can strengthen the workforce through relevant speakers to the classes. They can identify gaps in businesses needed by the community and look to students to fill those gaps. Business can understand, instruct, and support how high school learning will impact future goals for the student and area opportunities. The community must want to reach out to students to welcome, engage, and recognize the talents they have to offer. Plus, community members need enthusiasm and patience to teach students the skills they need to learn.

By identifying passions and aspirations with all students early in their school careers, ensuring they are welcome and have a place, and helping them determine the steps to make their goals reality, students are more focused, better-behaved and satisfied in school and better prepared to join the workforce.

Agree of disagree? Leave a comment below. Or better yet, to implement CIC in your schools, contact Global Horizons for more information.

Creating a Be WUCA! Student to be Successful

Creating a Be WUCA! Student

5 Ways to “A’s”

From Average to Outstanding

 Students come in all different sizes, personalities, abilities, and interests. There is not a person on this planet that learns the same way and gets the same results. We should treat each student as an individual and help them create the life of their dreams.

In the business world, where many students end up, there are certain things that you can do that will help you be successful. But we don't teach them in school.

Why not. If certain elements are discovered that assist people to be successful, wouldn't you think that schools would want to practice the same thing to make their students successful.As in life, we have laid-out five areas and steps for creating a Be WUCA! student. Steps that will assist your student to strive from average to outstanding.

Goal-Setting for Motivation and Self-Confidence

  • Decide your goals
  • Set your goals effectively
  • Achieve your goals and feedback
  • Build self-confidence

Imagery and Simulation – Practice in Your Mind

  • How you should use visioning
  • Make your efforts better with visioning
  • Learn to use visioning
  • Improve through observation

Focus – How to Achieve Concentration

  • How to practice to concentrate in performance
  • Improve your focus
  • How to improve your moods
  • Learn to control distractions
  • How to manage stress
    • Symptoms of stress
    • “Psyching Up”
    • Stress management techniques

Bring it all Together

  • Decide what you want
  • Your pre-event routine
  • Perform at your best
  • Your refocusing plan

Evaluate your efforts

Checking progress and adjusting all along the way. Doing what works for the student not the teacher is all about the student learning how they personally work to become successful.

The traits that they will learn using this process will be the traits that they will use for the rest of their lives in whatever they do.

If you have a student that is having some trouble or want to become a better student, contact us. We would love to help.

Nobody should have to struggle to be successful. Learn early and learn in a exciting environment.

Learn how to become a Be WUCA! student, from average to outstanding.


Become a Be WUCA! Student - Move from average to outstanding!

If you are a student or you know a student who struggles in school, you will want to take action. Do you know you can transform from an average student “just getting by” to an outstanding student feeling really good about yourself? Want to know how? Answer these questions and you are on your way!

1)         How do you approach your school work?

2)         Do you dread the thought of having to labor through the day or the class, trying to understand what is going on and figure out what will be on the test?

One way to achieve the grade you want is to set your “Grade Goals” to receive the grade that you want at the end of each class, every test, and at the end of each grading period, like a semester or trimester.

Here is the process:

  • On the left side of a 3x5 index card or piece of paper, write the exact names of each of your classes you are taking.
  • On the right side, directly across from the class, write the grade you want, not the grade that you have, or the grade that you will settle for. You write down the grade that you want, with nothing lower than a “B” down as a goal. Do not sell yourself short or settle for average - you are an above-average person! Treat yourself that way!
  • Take your 3x5 index card and carry it with you at all times. Make many of them and post them in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, locker, in your car – anywhere you go!
  • Read your grade goals AT LEAST 3 times per day. Make sure two of the times are first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep at night.
  • Do your very best at the reading, homework assigned, tests given, and more!

You will be amazed at your progress if you follow these simple steps.

If you set your sights high and do the work, you will truly change your grades! Here’s the short of it:

  • Write the grade you want beside the name of the class.
  • Look at your goals at least 3 times per day.
  • Do all your assigned reading and work. And more than assigned is even better!
  • Believe that you will accomplish your goals. You will!

 Become a Be WUCA! student!

Move from average to outstanding!

Contact Kimberlee at Global Horizons,, to see how you or your student can become a Be WUCA! student. Ask us about the "5 Ways to "A's" - From Average to Outstanding" process for classroom mastery.

You will be surprised at the improvement that you will see.

Creating a Be WUCA! Community Includes the Youth

Today’s communities are concerned with keeping their youth and attracting young people to live work and play. Communities across the country are pursuing the same families so special attention is needed to stand above the rest. Businesses need to look at their policies and ask themselves if they are family-friendly. Making a Be WUCA!, family-friendly community begins with two criteria:

  • Provide quality early care and education facilities and;
  • Include youth in all community decisions.

Why should businesses and communities be concerned about their employee childcare problems?

Problems with childcare can adversely affect the job performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism, tardiness, turnover rates, and recruiting and training costs. These, in turn, can adversely affect productivity and work quality and ultimately the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these workers. A study done by AT&T of more than 5,000 of its employees found that 57 percent of the women and 33 percent of the men with children under the age of six had lost time from work in the preceding month due to childcare problems (Fernandez).

In the past, such problems with childcare would be of little concern to employers since few employees were affected and there always seemed to be other workers willing to take the place of those who quit. The labor market today and into the foreseeable future is radically different. The old problem of finding enough employment for rising numbers of workers is now being replaced by the new problem of locating enough workers to fill new jobs requiring technical skills generated by an expanding economy.

Research shows that work-family benefits have a direct impact on employee recruitment and retention. Vanderkolk and Young (1991) studied a small textile manufacturing company in the Southwest that was experiencing a 40 percent turnover rate. The turnover rate dropped dramatically to seven percent after the implementation of a childcare program.

It is critical that employers be able to attract and retain good, productive workers in order to stay competitive in the market. Given the changing composition of America’s labor force and the impact childcare problems can have on worker productivity, businesses should find employer-assisted childcare a cost-effective way to control labor costs and enhance worker productivity.

Be WUCA! Communities Create A Positive Vision for Its Young People!

At a time when many people feel overwhelmed by the problems and challenges facing children and adolescents, communities across the country need to discover new energy in working together toward a positive vision for young people.

Instead of focusing only on reducing risks and intervening in problems, communities need to rebuild and support the foundation of development all young people need.

Uniting a community to nurture the positive development of youth is much like playing in a jazz ensemble. Each musician must know the tune and listen to the other ensemble members; all players must improvise together--sometimes taking the lead and sometimes blending into the background. To create a community-wide commitment to youth, all the "players" need to be an ensemble working toward a common vision of what is needed to promote the healthy development of young people.

If you had a choice to live in a community that did not care about its youth or live in a community that engaged youth, into which community would you want to move your family? Think about it: all counties think they have great schools but I believe all parts of the community are needed to assist youth in education and to recognize as this is the place they wish to live or return with their families because of the importance that is placed on youth.

Teaching Students to be Community Leaders

Thanks for joining us again for a Coaching in the Classroom / CIC update! November 8 was election day 2011. As it's an "off" year, meaning the president isn't elected, so, sadly, fewer people made the trek to the polls to cast their ballots to elect their leadership. In fact, in our county, some elections were won by one vote! Your voice counts!

When you have the opportunity, please vote in whatever elections are taking place in your communities. This privilege is important in any town, but for rural areas, here's why we feel citizen engagement and knowledge is critical.

We took about 30 students to city hall in Coon Rapids, where we teach every week, to meet with Mayor Keith Dorpinghaus and City Clerk, Jesica Leighty. The students asked some really good questions, had a tour of the building, saw future development plans for the city, and learned about the importance of elections.

The reason this is really, really important for you to model is that we had the students raise their hands and about 20 of them (that's two-thirds of our high-schoolers with whom we work) plan to remain in the area post-graduation. This is a huge opportunity for community leaders and educators to connect with these students and bring them into the life of the community ahead of graduation so they feel WUCA! Welcome, Understood, Comfortable, and Appreciated for their talents, skills, ideas, energy, and enthusiasm!

We are teaching them to run these communities, because in not too long a period of time, these children are going to be sitting on city councils and school boards (in fact, we are working on getting a student seat soon on these two), on church committees, and will be running for mayor. They need to know how the city operates and part of what we do in CIC is to provide them with some learning they can use in the future in these capacities. So please, head out and vote! Take your student with you! If they are 18, get them registered ahead of time and tell them your feelings about candidates, the political climate, your values, and why you take the time to vote. Your student will likely listen and model you.

Please feel free to get in touch with us - education is a team sport! Be involved with your students to help them become healthy, productive, engaged leaders!


Discover Your Purpose Through Be WUCA! Coaching

When 10 years from now is over, will you look back and wonder "where did those 10 years go?" Will you be asking yourself the question of "why am I still doing what I am doing?"

Whether you do something different or not, ten years from now will happen anyway. The choice you have to make immediately is that you can discover your purpose now and live it in the next 10 years or you can wait the same 10 years and look back and ask "why am I still doing what I am doing?"

Discovering your purpose is one of the most fulfilling exercises that you can do. Living your purpose is the most fulfilling life that you can live. When you live your purpose, you will help other people discover and live theirs.

Start now! Take some time now to ask yourself, "Am I living my purpose?"

 Score each statement with 1- low and 5 – high

 ‗  I recognize what I am good at doing.

‗  I fully utilize my most enjoyed skills and interests at work.

‗  My work furthers issues that I care deeply about.

‗  I am making a difference through my work in the world.

‗  I view most workdays with enthusiasm.

‗  I have developed my own philosophy on life and success.

‗  I take the necessary risks to live my philosophy.

‗  I feel a sense of meaning and purpose in my life.

‗  I have written goals that relate to my purpose.

‗  I live my life now instead of hoping that life will work out someday.

The higher the total, the closer you are to living your purpose.

 Find your purpose as an individual: what is the best use of your time, talent and passion? Have a conversation with your coach about your occupation. 

Why do I have the job I have?

Who does my work serve?

What do they do with what I provide?

Do they in turn, help others with what I give them?

Is there integrity in what I do for a living?

If I could be doing anything I wanted to do, assured that all my living expenses and material needs and desires would somehow be fulfilled, would I be working where I currently am employed or operate?

Are there any negative aspects to my work? Can I change any negative aspects?

What is positive about my work?

Can I achieve my purpose only in this job?

Do I wake up in the morning excited for the day, or do I dread what is ahead of me?

If I could wake up every morning, excited to face the day and eager to get to work, what would that day look like?

Decide to have a Be WUCA!(c) coaching session. It just might be the best 10 year investment that you could ever make.


Coaching in the Classroom - students at risk?

If you have a student in an Iowa public school, you'll be interested in following what we do with Coaching in the Classroom (CIC). If you don't live in Iowa, CIC concepts work anywhere! We have begun our third year working with 7th - 12th-graders in the Coon Rapids-Bayard School District. We'll use this CIC blog to give a weekly update of our activities, giving you conversation starters to consider implementing in your own homes with your own families and we bet you learn something about each other in the process!

Let's start with some basic info.

When a child begins kindergarten in Iowa, full of life, energy, ideas, and attitude, the school district, under direction from the Iowa Department of Education, begins to track their behaviors. Behaviors that we use from the DE are these: if students are tardy to school and/or class, have low scores on standardized tests like Iowa Test of Basic Skills, are failing any classes, and are not participating in extracurricular activities. If a student meets any two of these four criteria, the local school district and the DE consider them "at-risk" of not graduating on time with their class.

In the CR-B district, to uphold their mission to educate all students, high school students with at least two criteria become students of Coaching in the Classroom, where they have the opportunity to learn a host of concepts not regularly found in general classroom settings. We know that many students with whom we work are more "creative" in school, and tend to have a more difficult time being a successful student. They likely will be the students who either attend a two-year trade or community college program, or enter the workforce upon graduating from high school. These students will likely run our towns in rural areas someday. To encourage and engage them, CIC teaches workplace and social skills, leadership behaviors, character development, positive communication, and citizenship, expecting that they will be future mayors, sit on school boards, church committees, city councils and boards of supervisors.

Two critical things to keep in mind:

  • the local school district is not punishing the student by keeping track of them and their behaviors. In fact, watching students is an excellent way to encourage them to take school more seriously and encourage them to try new things.
  • whether or not a student is considered "at-risk" is completely within their own power to change. All that needs to be done is get to school and class on time. Take tests seriously and do their best. Study hard so they pass all their classes. Sign up for an activity to learn some teamwork or new skills. School officials look at behaviors each semester and if a student has changed their own behavior so that DE criteria no longer pertains to them, they are off the "at-risk" list.

Check with your school's office to see how your child measures up. Then take the opportunity to shape some successful behaviors with your student. If you need some help, let us know!

Have a Be WUCA!(c) week!


Your Self-Talk Determines Your Health

Your voice is the voice that you listen to the most. So stop and consider what you say to yourself. It will be the healthiest thing that you have ever done because you become what you think about. 

What if, as a nation, we did not listen to the news? What if, as a nation, we did not listen to the so-called experts on the economy tell us how bad it is out there?

I agree that we need knowledge of what is going on, but really, the repetition of how bad it is plays on the mind and has the power to make it "true."

Look at all the businesses making record profits, but who are not hiring or expanding because of the information they are hearing. If the economy is so bad, why do they have record profits?

It is that way with everything we think about.

Do you always get a cold a certain time of year? Do you fulfill your own expectations?

Before you try something, do you ever tell yourself that it is not going to turn out the way you wanted? What's your end result?

It is no wonder that drug companies are making record profits. We are eating right out of their hands. Did you know that up to 60% of the most popular drugs sold today deal with emotional issues like depression, stress, and high blood pressure? Have you noticed that the ads for these are broadcast around the evening news? Do you think there is a coincidence?

More and more people are dying of stress-related illnesses then ever before. Do you think that it is because 75% of the information that you hear in a day is negative? Most of the information you hear is coming into your belief system and you are accepting what is being said. When you believe what you hear, your body reacts in the way of your belief.

We listen to the newscast and get depressed, and then watch the commercials from a drug company that says this drug will cure our depression.

You need to combat your thoughts and protect your belief system. If you don't, you will likely go down the path well-traveled by many others, because if you always DO, what you've always DONE, you'll always GET, what you've always GOT!

It is because of the way you think and the way you think about yourself and your well-being.

Only one person can change your life and that person is you. You are accountable to you and accountable for your outcomes, but sometimes it's nice to have accountability partner.

We help people get on the right path. Be WUCA!(c) Coaching is a way for you to feel right about what you are doing and get your body and mind in alignment. We use techniques that will help you develop the habits that you need to be successful in your career, education, and relationships.

When you change your thinking, you change your life! Take a step forward today!