By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Employers say they are “sick of encountering” new college grads without job skills. And colleges are “sick of hearing” that their alumni aren’t employable.

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The concern in about a half dozen universities in the Washington DC area is the acceptability of workplace badges.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that there has been a movement in the past few years for badges and other forms of “microcredentials” at a time when nine out of ten students report that their main reason for going to college is to get a good job.

In the next nine months, teams from “21st Century Skills Badging Challenge,” comprised of employers and outside experts will identify elements that underlie skills – like leadership, storytelling and an entrepreneurial mind-set and find ways to assess students’ proficiency. They will then get outside organizations to validate those skills that carry weight with employers.

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The badges will incorporate skills known as the C’s – critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. It will be interesting to see if this effort starts a trend.