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SCANS Report

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Table I: SCANS' Five Competencies

Resources: Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources


  • Time - selects goal-relevant activities, ranks them, allocates time, and prepares and follows schedules
  • Money - uses or prepares budgets, makes forecasts, keeps records, and makes adjustments to meet objectives
  • Material and facilities - acquires, stores, allocates, and uses materials or space efficiently
  • Human resources - assesses skills and distributes work accordingly, evaluates performance and provides feedback

Interpersonal: Works with others

  • Participates as member of a team - contributes to group effort
  • Teaches others new skills
  • Services clients/customers - works to satisfy customers expectations
  • Exercises leadership - communicates ideas to justify position, persuades and convinces others, responsibly challenges existing procedures and policies
  • Negotiates - works toward agreements involving exchange of resources, resolves divergent interests
  • Works with diversity - works well with men and women from diverse backgrounds

Information: Acquires and evaluates information

  • Acquires and evaluates information
  • Organizes and maintains information
  • Interprets and communicates information
  • Uses computers to process information

Systems: Understands complex interrelationships

  • Understands systems - knows how social, organizational, and technological systems work and operates effectively with them
  • Monitors and corrects performance - distinguishes trends, predicts impacts on system operations, diagnoses deviations in systems performance and corrects malfunctions
  • Improves or designs systems - suggests modifications to existing systems and develops new or alternative systems to improve performance

Technology: Works with a variety of technologies

  • Selects technology - chooses procedures, tools, or equipment including computers and related technologies
  • Applies technology to task - understands intent and proper procedures for setup and operation of equipment
  • Maintains and troubleshoots equipment - prevents, identifies, or solves problems with equipment, including computers and other technologies

Table 2: A Three-Part Foundation of SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities

Basic Skills: Reads, writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens, and speaks

  • Reading - locates, understands, and interprets written information in prose and in documents such as manuals, graphs, and schedules
  • Writing - communicates thoughts, ideas, information, and messages in writing; and creates documents such as letters, directions, manuals, reports, graphs, and flow charts
  • Arithmetic/mathematics - performs basic computations and approaches practical problems by choosing appropriately from a variety of mathematical techniques
  • Listening - receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues
  • Speaking - organizes ideas and communicates orally

Thinking Skills: Thinks creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how to learn, and reasons

  • Creative thinking - generates new ideas
  • Decision making - specifies goals and constraints, generates alternatives, considers risks, and evaluates and chooses best alternatives
  • Problem solving - recognizes problems and devises and implements plan of action
  • Visualizing - organizes and processes symbols
  • Knowing how to learn - uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills
  • Reasoning - discovers a rule or principle underlying the relationship between two or more objects and applies it when solving a problem

Personal Qualities: Responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty

  • Responsibility - exerts a high level of effort and perseveres towards goal attainment
  • Self-esteem - believes in own self-worth and maintains a positive view of self
  • Sociability - demonstrates understanding, friendliness, adaptability, empathy, and politeness in group settings
  • Self-management - assesses self accurately, sets personal goals, monitors progress, and exhibits self-control
  • Integrity/honesty - chooses ethical courses of action

Tables excerpted from What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000, U.S. Department of Labor, June 1991, pp. xvii-xviii.

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