GeorgiaBEST (Business Ethics Student Training) is a program launched in January 2013 by the Georgia Department of Labor to help students develop the "soft" skills they’ll need for their future careers. With business and industry input, the GDOL put together 10 standards that would be taught as part of the GeorgiaBEST program including: Discipline and character, attendance and punctuality, work habits, teamwork, time management, attitude, communication skills, responsibility and organization.
GeorgiaBEST provides the advantage our students need. Through GeorgiaBEST, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) - working in conjunction with the State Department of Education, local schools, and home education programs - will present students who complete GeorgiaBEST with a Work Ethic Certification. This certification will serve as validation to employers that those students have successfully displayed strong work habits that will foster success in higher education and in the workplace. These students will have a stronger understanding of the importance of soft skills. This will also help prepare students for the transition to college.
This year, more than 200 high schools across Georgia are participating in GeorgiaBEST - mainly among juniors and seniors, but also with some sophomores and freshmen. This also includes a new partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice and Great Promise Partners. GeorgiaBEST is not taught as an individual course, but it embedded in other classes.
A total of 10 criteria have been established to determine eligibility for the Soft Skills Certificate. Students must receive at least 25 of the possible 30 points, and complete a career research or job shadowing project, to receive the certificate. The certificates are provided by the GDOL at no cost. There is no assessment test involved. The student is assessed on every day performance, as one would be in the work force.
Benefits to the Students:
- Be recognized as a GeorgiaBEST student - "Cream of the Crop" in their class
- Become aware of work ethic components
- Develop a sense of awareness of the importance of being prepared for the demands of the 21st century workforce and higher education, including universities and technical colleges
- Utilize the certificate to their advantage on résumé, college applications, and at job interviews
Required: Community Service Project, Job Shadowing, or Career Research Project
GeorgiaBEST Middle School Program
The GDOL created GeorgiaBEST Middle School, and is working in conjunction with the State Department of Education, local schools, and home education programs to implement GeorgiaBEST Middle School Certification.
GeorgiaBEST Middle School is designed to introduce students to the soft skills needed to be successful in the classroom and in the work world, and is aligned with standards addressed in the GeorgiaBEST High School program. However, it also stresses career exploration and goes hand-in-hand with the State Department of Education Career Pathways, which requires students to choose a pathway of study prior to entering high school.
Like GeorgiaBEST High School, the middle school program will be embedded in other classes. Also, like the high school program there is no cost associated with GeorgiaBEST Middle School and certificates are provided by the GDOL.
How it Works
Under the middle school program, students can earn up to 22 total points. They must receive at least 20 points to earn GeorgiaBEST certification.
The points are awarded as follows:
10 points - Students will earn 10 points for the required Career Research project. Students will be required to choose three careers they are interested in, and research the career. The students will be required to obtain information on educational requirements, salary, work hours, future outlook for the career, and "hot jobs" and identify the pathway of the chosen careers. Students will be able to use "Hot Jobs" posters to identity the future outlook of the profession - as provided by the GDOL.
Based on this information, students must then rate the three careers on their order of preference (and justify the rating), and then determine a career pathway they might be interested in. Forms are provided for this project.
8 Points - Students will earn one point each for completing eight activities related to "soft skill standards." The work will be recorded in a journal (or notebook) and involves the student performing an exercise based on the soft skill. The standard journal pages are provided by the GDOL.
Each journal entry also includes a "character trait word of the week," which introduces students to skills considered necessary for success in the classroom and work world. Students will be required to use the words in a sentence.
Students will also earn one to two points (each) for two standards which are assessed by the teacher - grade point average or productivity; and attendance and punctuality.
For more information on the program: Contact Rebecca McGee at GeorgiaBEST@gdol.ga.gov or 404.232.7300.
- Discipline and Character
- Attendance and Punctuality
- Teamwork and Work habits
- Productivity and Academic Performance
- Organization and Responsibility
- Attitude and Respect
- Self-Management and Time Management
- Oral and Written Business Communication Skills
- Appearance and Professional Image
- Social Media Ethics