Implementation of professional skills into technical education programs.


  • Samantha Lenci Lethbridge College, Alberta
  • Shelleyann Scott University of Calgary



Skills, curriculum, technical skills, professional skills, employer, faculty


There are limited contemporary Canadian studies regarding the inclusion of professional skills into technical education. Contentions include what skills are requisite and/or prioritized in various industries. This research sought to explore this gap with a range of academic and industry stakeholders.

This mixed methods study encompassed questionnaires, document analysis, and interviews/focus groups and included faculty members, students, and industry member representatives. There were 595 who completed the quantitative component and 56 individuals who participated in the qualitative interviews. Questionnaires included learner exist surveys, employer satisfaction surveys, and professional skills ranking instrument. Document analysis of job advertisements supported the development of the instruments. Interviews explored stakeholder nuanced perspectives.

Academics, leaders, and industry representatives recognized the importance of integrating professional skills to two-year technical programs, but identified these were not always intentionally taught. While skills were deeply valued, there were barriers to reaching consensus across stakeholder groups about the “set” of skills. Finally, it would require a concerted effort by leaders, teaching academics/instructors, industry representatives, and curriculum designers to select which skills to integrate into the program and support to teach and assess these skills to maximize graduate outcomes. A proposed model – the Model of Professional Skill Development in Technical Education Programs – was created designed to integrate both professional and technical skills within program design and implementation. This model be useful to subject matter experts, curriculum designer, leaders who are keen to ensure integration, teaching and graduate success, and students who want to optimize their success in transitioning from learner to employed graduate.

Author Biographies

Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College, Alberta

Dr Samantha Lenci is the Provost and Vice President Academic at Lethbridge College, Alberta, Canada. Samantha has over 20 years of experience spanning multiple post-secondary institutions in Alberta, leading a variety of programs in education that provided leadership, community development, strategic planning, project management, and program development. She has held numerous positions including Faculty for over a decade, Chair, Director, and Associate Vice President. She has presented around the world innovative practices and systems change at various conferences. Samantha has led curriculum design and development initiatives, the implementation and measurement of complex strategies about teaching and learning and has forged community partnerships that have strengthened her institutions.

Shelleyann Scott, University of Calgary

Dr Shelleyann Scott is a Professor and Chair of the Leadership, Policy, and Governance specialization at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Shelleyann has over 25 years of experience as an educator and leader in K-12 and universities. Shelleyann has held numerous leadership positions including district curriculum leadership, associate dean, director of programs, director and coordinator of teaching and learning within universities in Canada and Australia. She also has served as a professional/academic/leadership developer across 15 countries. Prior to her academic career she worked in science research. Her research interests include: leadership and professional development of leaders, educators, and staff; quality teaching and learning; instructional and assessment strategies; and inclusion. Shelley has served as on the Executive of the Canadian Association for the Studies of Educational Administration (CASEA).




How to Cite

Lenci, S., & Scott, S. (2022). Implementation of professional skills into technical education programs. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 22(2), 140–180.