Foundation Skills Framework

Pennsylvania Adult Education Resources

The Foundation Skills Framework provides support for integrating workforce readiness skills into existing adult education programs.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Demonstrates Effective Interpersonal Relations, Basic Workplace Skills, Reads with Understanding, Writes Clearly & Concisely, Listens with Understanding, Speaks Clearly & Concisely, Applies Mathematical Operations, Concepts & Reasoning, Observes Critically, Uses Technology, Locates & Uses Resources, Basic Workplace Knowledge, Applies Health & Safety Concepts, Understands Process & Product, Demonstrates Quality, Consciousness, Understands Finances, Works within Organizational Structure & Culture, Basic Employability Skills, Demonstrates Self-Management Strategies, Works in Teams, Solves Problems, Makes Decisions

Skills Framework

  • Aligns with College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRS) documents for math, listening, reading, speaking, and writing

Supporting material

  • Career information checklists align activities with foundation skills
  • Foundation Skills Self-Appraisal form enables learners to assess their own skills
  • Foundation Skills Rubric helps instructors observe and document skill development on a continuum from “beginner” to “competent”
  • Foundation Skills Program Checklist for program self-assessment to determine which skills still need to be integrated into curricula

Key Takeaways

  • The Foundation Skills Framework materials help adult education programs to create integrated workforce preparation and basic skills programs for adult learners.
  • Programs can use the Program Checklist to identify skills they need to teach (such as interpersonal skills) and then use the Career Information Checklist to implement activities that help people achieve that goal through teamwork activities. Instructors can then integrate CCRS standards related to interpersonal skills and teamwork from the alignment document.

Voices from the Field

Learn more about how this is used in practice.

One major benefit of this approach is students are able to meet their peers in the class and learn more about them, sharing their own strategies and experiences related to the skills.

Peer Connection Fosters Personal and Workplace Success Skills

Students at Waipahu Community School for Adults used the Foundation Skills Framework and GCF Learn Free to develop skills for personal and workplace success through group discussion and one-on-one counseling.

The Foundation Skills Framework and all materials were developed by the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy at Penn State University. The Institute worked with workforce development partners and stakeholders to identify the skills and create the Skills Framework. The Skills Framework and competency lists were updated in 2016.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Navigating & Using Information


Teamwork & Collaboration

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