Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Steven Bingham


Advanced Career Essentials (ACE) is a model of the North Carolina Basic Skills Plus program that is designed to meet the specific needs of the Transitional and Career Studies program at Lenoir Community College (LCC). The North Carolina Basic Skills Plus initiative was approved and implemented in 2010. This initiative is designed to allow basic skills students the opportunity to complete a high school equivalency credential, an occupational extension credential, and the Career Readiness Certificate at the same time. These students must have a 9.0 grade equivalency score based on the results of the official placement test.

Currently, there is not a specific state-wide tracking process for the Basic Skills Plus initiative. Each community college has been tasked with tracking performance and updating career pathways as necessary to best serve the learners of the community. The Director of the Transitional and Career Studies program identified this initiative as a problem that he has tried to fix. He expressed the desire for an outside consultant’s view for solutions and organization for the program. He mentioned the major issues being students who do not understand the importance of completing all three components of the program and instructors who do not truly offer contextualized instruction for the benefits of the Basic Skills Plus Model.

ACE is a curriculum framework for contextualized instruction and Workforce Readiness. This model of Basic Skills Plus is comprised of the original three components of the initiative and an added bridge series and advising model that help keep students engaged, supported, and enforce the much needed soft skills development opportunities. The Bridge series of the ACE program was created with the intensive research of Emotional Intelligence and Basic Skills Learners (Appendix K). The elements of emotional intelligence were used to build the curriculum for the Foundations class. Emotional Intelligence was used to create a course that was embedded with social emotional learning concepts. The second course of the bridge series is Soft Skills offered by the Human Resources and Development program at LCC. The third course of the series is Digital Literacy. This course is designed to help students understand the importance of digital communication, computer use, internet safety, online job board usage, and social media branding.

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