Basic & Soft Skills
for Students

Iredell Ready’s education partners assist students with mastering essential skills for academic, career and life success.

Nurturing Skills for Student Success

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Basic Skills, such as reading, writing, math, money management, problem-solving, and survival skills, form the foundation of success. Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mooresville Graded School District empower students and families in mastering these essential skills, ensuring their proficiency not only for academic achievement but also for success in the workplace and society at large. The guidelines set forth by the NC Department of Instruction ensure that every student, from K-12, acquires these vital competencies, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive education journey.

Basic Skills and High School Equivalency

Our schools provide support for basic skills like reading, writing, math, problem-solving, and money management. This helps our students to achieve the credential needed to graduate high school and prepare for employment. For individuals that have not achieved their high school GED, or need assistance with English-as-a-Second Language, Mitchell Community College provides resources. 

What are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills are intangible qualities that contribute to an individual’s success.  They include behaviors, personality traits, and competencies and are displayed in the interaction of an individual at home, school, work, and in the broader community.  Soft skills involve effective communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, critical thinking, time management, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills.  

Portrait of a Graduate

In October 2022, the NC Department of Instruction revealed the adoption of a Portrait of a Graduate to promote the importance of school districts across North Carolina to focus on student development to incorporate both, leading to deeper student learning and skill attainment that will equip students for the broadest range of postsecondary opportunities, be it a college, a career, or military. 

The Portrait of a Graduate incorporates durable skills or ‘soft skills’ into the development of students. It emphasizes that student academic success matters, but so does a student’s ability to adapt, collaborate, communicate, think critically, show empathy, learn, and take personal responsibility. Learn more about the competencies below.

As determined by the Portrait design teams, the statewide Portrait identifies seven durable skills that students should possess upon graduation from high school to thrive in a 21st-century place of work – be it college, career, or military. 

  • Adaptability  
  • Collaboration
  • Communication  
  • Critical Thinking  
  • Empathy  
  • Learner’s Mindset
  • Personal Responsibility

How Important are Soft Skills?

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 percent of recruiters say when a hire doesn’t work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills.

Perhaps realizing this, many employers are prioritizing soft skills during hiring.

Mastering Today's Top Soft Skills


The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook

reported that when employers were asked to name the top skills they want in employees, they cited soft skills such as dependability, teamwork/collaboration, flexibility and problem-solving. There are a variety of resources available to help individuals navigate soft skills. The first step is awareness of what soft skills are and what you are strong and not so strong in.