Orientation Guide to the Academy of Digital Sciences

Welcome to the UNE Academy!

The UNE Academy of Digital Sciences was a professional development program providing accelerated, blended (online/offline) courses to help learners gain professional and digital competencies to advance their careers.

This Orientation Guide was designed to accompany them on their professional learning journey together. We wanted to make sure that learners knew what to expect from their course, how they would communicate and collaborate with others, and how to make the UNE Academy work for them. Our goal was to ensure they would be successful in learning and applying this knowledge to professional workplace practices.

If learners had any questions or concerns, or simply wanted to start a conversation about their professional success in the UNE Academy that wasn’t addressed by this Guide, we encouraged them to contact their Advisor for general questions or their Mentor during the course itself. They could also post to the forums in our online learning platform, and we got back to them as soon as we could.

Introducing the Digital Sciences

Students don’t need a Ph.D. in computer engineering to notice that digital innovations — from smartphones, apps, and social media, to the Internet and sensors in our homes and in our clothes — are transforming our world at a breathtaking pace.

Typically, the professionals who create experiences across this global digital platform have been drawn from academic disciplines such as Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology, Management Information Systems, and Data Science.

By themselves, those disciplines are no longer enough. As the digital platform becomes more powerful, more versatile, and easier to use, non-technical skills — such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and team collaboration — play an increasingly central role in digital innovation and the development of digital solutions to the multitude of human problems. Today’s Digital Sciences learner, and future professional, must be fluent in a variety of approaches.

As the scale and scope of today’s digital platform expands, the work itself is drawing people with an ever-wider variety of interests. Employers in businesses, organizations, and government agencies are interested in meeting learners with these broad abilities to go along with technical skills. Every business, organization, and agency — in every industry — incorporates some aspect of the Digital Sciences.

Introducing the UNE Academy

The UNE Academy’s goal was to help learners gain the skills they needed to succeed as digital problem-solvers in their professional lives — in business, government, nonprofit, and public settings.

UNE developed the Academy to meet the needs of contemporary learners and to serve employer demand for these digital, computing, information, and data competencies through:

  • Self-paced learning elements to fit flexible schedules
  • Blended learning that integrates online instruction and workplace practices
  • Competencies and skills aligned with employer needs


The Academy delivered a selection of accelerated, blended learning courses to help learners advance their careers. Eight-week sessions continued throughout the year, and 5 courses were available to learners each session. Learners took about 60-70 hours to complete a course, or about 8-10 hours a week.

Each Fundamentals course focused on one of 4 digital technology career areas — development, interaction, analysis, and project management — plus an Essentials course that introduces all four.

These were the primary elements of a UNE Academy course.

  • Relevant, up-to-date, online technical instruction that was self-paced and could be completed to fit learners’ own schedule: days, nights, or weekends
  • A real-world Project Cycle experience that is designed to help learners apply new knowledge through a process common in digital workplaces
  • Learning Labs to help identify and develop learners professional narrative: what brought them to the digital sciences and what they would like future employers to know about them
  • Professional mentoring through our online learning platform, email, and during regular weekly live mentoring meetings
  • Advising provided from initial contact through post-course events

Although many Academy learning elements could be completed on learners’ own schedules, we encouraged them to stay on pace throughout learners’ 8-week courses.

Learners were supported by a Professional Advisor — providing guidance from initial contact through introductions to employers — and a Professional Mentor — providing coaching on the activities and assignments within a specific course.

Reasons for Enrolling

In the Find Your Fit survey learners completed before enrollment, we asked for the reasons they enrolled in the Academy. We kept those reasons in mind throughout our journey together. Here were some common career advancement goals:

  • To explore the field
  • To be better equipped for a current job
  • To earn a raise
  • To earn a promotion
  • To be better equipped to find a new job
  • To improve preparation for a new job
  • To change to a new career
  • To start a new business
  • And others!

Our Approach to Learning

Continuous learning in the professional workplace is different from the traditional classroom. Rather than lectures and textbooks, contemporary professional learning is curated from online learning resources, accessed just when needed, and facilitated by colleagues within and beyond the organization.

As researched and reported by John Seely Brown, founder of the Institute for Research on Learning, this is a “new culture of learning,” based on several assumptions about the world and how learning occurs:

  • The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life
  • The world is getting more connected than ever before
  • In this connected world, mentorship takes on new importance and meaning
  • Challenges we face are multi-faceted requiring systems thinking and socio-technical sensibilities
  • A new culture of learning needs to leverage social and technical infrastructures in new ways
  • Skills are important but so are mindsets and dispositions
  • Innovation is more important than ever – but turns on our ability to cultivate imagination
  • Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation
  • Understanding play is critical to understanding learning1

Our Guiding Principles

As this new culture of learning emerges through continuous professional learning, we aspired to these Guiding Principles for the UNE Academy:

  • We considered learners to be colleagues and ourselves to be coaches, not experts. Learners led their own journeys. We served as “guides on the side rather than sages on the stage.”
  • We focused on the development of talent more than the mastery of content.
  • We believed the process was as important as the product.
  • We supported learners by helping them understand and communicate their past experience and future aspirations.
  • We helped learners leverage their goals, interests, and passions to identify incremental goals — starting with their current level of experience and knowledge — to help them step up to the next level.
  • We used inquiry-based, reflective questions rather than lecturing or jumping to answers.
  • We did not aspire to bring all learners to a single level but help each learner take their own next steps, starting from where they were.
  • We focused on building and recognizing learner successes and foster lifelong learning skills.

Professional Competencies in a Growth Mindset

In a growth mindset, people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This approach supports the development of the lifelong learning and resilience skills essential for professional advancement. Here are some attributes of a person with growth mindset.

  • Cultivates a sense of purpose
  • Emphasizes growth over speed
  • Acknowledges and embraces imperfections
  • Views challenges as opportunities
  • Values the process over the end result
  • Places effort before talent
  • Cultivates grit
  • Rewards actions, not traits
  • Portrays criticism as positive
  • Replaces the word “failing” with the word “learning”
  • Provides regular opportunities for reflection
  • Takes ownership of attitude2

Think about learning to ski. As learners gain experience, learners grow through levels of expertise — beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert. Although learners’ ultimate goals may be to ski or board down an advanced trail, they start at the beginning and work toward that goal, step by step. An instructor doesn’t punish learners for only being beginners but encourages them along their journey.

In the same way, we worked with learners as professionals who are continuously growing, demonstrating more and more often the competencies expected in the workplace. So, as beginners, learners started understanding and practicing those competencies, and then used them more and more often as they grew toward intermediate or advanced expertise. Some advanced further in some areas than in others.

That is why we developed a set of intensive learning experiences to give learners a chance to practice these competencies.

The Academy Competencies

National and local employers have confirmed the importance of professional competencies in tandem with technical skills. These highly sought-after skills are not unique to digital careers; they are valuable across all careers. That is why they are sometimes also called “foundational” or “transferable skills.” Throughout each course, we helped learners develop these competencies.

Indeed, dozens of key Maine employers pledged to recruit and hire candidates based on those demonstrated skills regardless of where they gained them.3

We worked with regional employers to review a nationally-researched collection of competencies from the U.S. Department of Labor4 and selected eight Professional Competencies that are critical to success in business, coupled with seven Project Competencies designed to cover the key components involved in a continuous improvement project cycle. (See the Appendix for more detail.)

Professional Competencies

  • Critical and Analytical Thinking (PF1) – Uses logic, reasoning, and analysis to address problems
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making (PF2) – Applies critical-thinking skills to solve problems by generating, evaluating, and implementing solutions
  • Communication and Writing (PF3) – Communicates verbally and in writing well enough to be understood.
  • Interpersonal Skills (PF4) – Demonstrates skills for working with others from diverse backgrounds
  • Professionalism and Reliability (PF5) – Maintains a professional demeanor and displays responsible behavior
  • Planning and Organizing (PF6) – Plans and prioritizes work to manage time effectively and accomplish assigned tasks
  • Initiative and Flexibility (PF7) – Demonstrates both a willingness to work and the capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements
  • Continuous Learning (PF8) – Demonstrates a willingness to learn and apply new knowledge and skills

Project Competencies

  • Problem Analysis (PJ1) – Analyzes data/information for accuracy, relevance, and validity
  • Problem Clarification (PJ2) – Details problem with clear scope and output definition
  • Project Planning (PJ3) – Demonstrates a clear understanding of the project and identifies problems, working cohesively towards resolving problems within the project scope
  • Prototype Solution (PJ4) – Develops a prototype that demonstrates a strong understanding of project and action plan and clearly shows how problems are being addressed.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance (PJ5) – Provides clear direction and accessible testing environment.
  • Data Evaluation and Synthesis (PJ6) – Displays clear understanding of test results; makes connections and see patterns
  • Final Analysis (PJ7) – Presents recommendations for revision that are logical, complete, and consistent, and demonstrates some unique or creative insight.

Technology Skills

Technology skills evolve rapidly, and so we selected and updated online instruction modules each session to make sure topics stayed current.

How Did We Observe Competencies?

Since Academy staff approached learning from a growth mindset, we provided activities and assignments to help learners develop: from becoming aware of the competency (beginner) to demonstrating learners use it all the time (expert). Here are the categories we used as we observed each competency.

  • Beginner – aware of competency
  • Intermediate – demonstrates competency sometimes
  • Advanced – demonstrates competency often
  • Expert – demonstrates competency at all times
  • N/A – not applicable or nothing to observe

Career Areas and Courses

UNE Academy courses were designed to help learners find their way toward — and gain experience in — the career areas that best matched their own interests. We envisioned the Academy as a series of stepping stones to help learners move forward.


Essentials course: The Digital Sciences Essentials course provided an overview of four major career areas so learners could get a better sense of which interested them the most. The Essentials course also introduced learners to the Project Cycle, a common approach to continuous improvement in the workplace.

Fundamentals courses: UNE Academy Fundamentals courses provided introductions to each career area so learners could explore each in more depth.

  • Development and Programming Fundamentals
  • Interaction and Interface Fundamentals
  • Analysis and Data Fundamentals
  • Project Management Fundamentals

If learners didn’t know anything about digital careers, we recommended they enroll in the Essentials course first.

Note: We created these four career areas based on the Holland system of work style preferences5 and occupations tracked regionally and nationally by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education.6

2-Orientation-Guide-EssentialsDigital Sciences Essentials (050)

Curious about digital careers? Start with our Digital Sciences Essentials course, an introduction to major career areas in the profession.

Success in our increasingly digital society and economy is empowered by the ability to work with and effectively leverage digital technologies. The Digital Sciences Essentials course provided learners with working knowledge of, and foundation in, the basics of digital communication, development, interface, analysis, and management.

This course was designed to introduce learners to the range of career areas as well as build a foundation of basic knowledge and skills upon which learners could continue to advance along a self-selected path. Learners explored their interests, strengths, and abilities while establishing sought-after competencies working with digital technologies.

Digital Sciences Essentials was a foundation for next-level discovery in four Fundamentals courses grouped by work style preferences.

2-Orientation-Guide-062Development and Programming Fundamentals (062)

Do you like to solve problems by building things? Do you have a high attention to detail and logic? Do you have an aptitude for the technical side of computers and technology?

Software developers and programmers write and test code that allows smartphone applications, software programs, and websites to function properly. They solve problems, test scenarios, and create new functions to ensure expected results — all by writing code.

In this course, learners received a hands-on introduction to computation and problem solving through programming. Learners studied the fundamental building blocks of programming and began learning how to understand and write fun, useful, and practical code.

Work style preferences (Holland code): R – Realistic/Doer. Foundation for all paid internships. Focused career areas: Software Development 15-1132.00, Computer Programming 15-1131.00, Web Development 15-1134.00, Quality Assurance Testing 15-1132.00, Client Support 15-1151.00.

2-Orientation-Guide-064Interaction and Interface Fundamentals (064)

Are you a visual problem solver? Do you enjoy changing how something looks or works so that it’s easier to use? Does making a basic version of something and having people test it sound interesting to you?

User experience and user interface designers are team members that work on the bridge between software and the person using it. They work with market research and develop digital experiences that allow people to successfully use an organization’s services or products. UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) specialists also help implement designs that may be been programmed by someone else.

This course introduces methods for designing, testing, and implementing digital interfaces to improve user experiences.

Work style preferences (Holland code): A – Artistic/Creator. Foundation for all paid internships. Focused career areas: Interface Design 27-1024.00, Web Development 15-1134.00, Video Game Design 15-1199.11, Client Support 15-1151.00.

2-Orientation-Guide-066Analysis and Data Fundamentals (066)

Are you data-driven? Are you able to organize and communicate information to others? Do you review large amounts of information before making an important decision? Are you comfortable with spreadsheets and reports?

Data, business, and systems analysts collect, interpret, and organize data for use in decision making and are both “number crunchers” and communicators. They are the members of a team that help organizations figure out what information to collect, how to organize it, and how to arrange presentations to inform decisions. They might determine which new customers to target, which problems to focus on, or what the best return on investment will be in the future. Above all, they have an affinity for making data relevant and valuable.

This course introduced collecting and interpreting data to make decisions and improve systems. Learners discovered the science behind data and how it can be utilized to better understand problems and solutions.

Work style preferences (Holland code): I – Investigative. Foundation for all careers. Focused career areas: Systems Analysis 15-1121.00, Business Intelligence Analysis 43-9111.00, Information Security Analysis 15-1122.00, Client Support 15-1151.00.

2-Orientation-Guide-068Project Management (068)

Do you find yourself naturally leading groups of people? Do you tend to make detailed, thoughtful plans and then act on them? Are you able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical people? Are you goal oriented? Do you want to better understand your role as a team member?

Project Managers plan and maintain initiatives at their businesses, organizations, and agencies. They are the members of teams that both lead and guide technical staff, and also communicate with business staff. They make sure that goals are accomplished, standards are met, and the team is working effectively.

This course introduced methods for analyzing, planning, initiating, maintaining, and improving digital technology projects. Learners discovered how to utilize project management and strategy methods which have been proven to be effective in delivering products within cost, schedule, and resource constraints.

Work style preferences (Holland code): E – Enterprising. Foundation for all paid internships. Focused career areas: Computing and IS Management 15-1142.00, IT Project Management 15-1199.09, Client Support 15-1151.00.

The UNE Academy of Digital Sciences was also developing next-level concentration courses in high-demand skills and careers.

Course Overview and Elements

While technical topics varied for each Academy course, the overall learning elements remained consistent. Learners accessed and completed online instruction modules, experienced an Academy Project Cycle, and benefitted from opportunities to connect with peers, colleagues, and employers.

All UNE Academy courses followed a standard model with these 7 learning elements:

  • Study Elements­ Technical instruction and assessments (about 35 hrs) – Individual, online, self-paced
  • Apply Elements -­ Project Cycle and weekly writing assignments (about 10 hrs) – Individual/group/mentor, blended (in-person or remote engagement)
  • Connect ElementsGroup and individual mentoring (about 10 hrs) – Individual/group/mentor, in-person or remote engagement
  • Employer Roundtable – Group meetings with professionals and recruiters (about 2 hrs) – Individual/group/mentor, in-person or remote engagement
  • Learning Labs -­ Professional development workshops (about 6 hours) – Group, in-person or remote engagement
  • Final Project Report – Summary of project cycle experience (about 2 hrs) – Individual, with group feedback
  • Final Professional Reflections – Self-awareness, interests, aspirations (about 2 hrs) – Individual, with group feedback



Learners were supported by an Academy Advisor — providing guidance from learners’ initial inquiry all the way through introductions to employers — and a Professional Mentor — who provided coaching on the specific activities and assignments within a course.

The heart of the learning experience was the online learning platform, Blackboard. In it, learners found week-by-week activities and assignments to keep them on pace, links to online instruction modules, and the guides, samples, and templates they used in their courses.

2-Orientation-Guide-StudyStudy: Online Modules

For each course, the UNE Academy selected online instruction modules targeted to in-demand technical skills and practices. Instruction modules consisted of written text, video, interactive activities, and assessments.

Instruction modules were changed, as needed, to remain aligned with developments in today’s business technology environment.

How long did it take to complete online instruction?

Completing all instruction modules in a course generally took about 35-40 hours, about 8 hours each week just for these modules.

Learners found a dashboard of modules selected for their course linked from the sidebar of their Academy Blackboard. The platform provided recommendations for on-pace completion in a week-by-week roadmap. Learners had access to the instruction modules for the full 8 weeks of their Academy course.

Were learners graded?

The UNE Academy was based on a growth mindset (see above). This means learners didn’t get a grade, such as A, B, or C, they simply completed the instruction modules in their course. Their Professional Mentor reviewed their level of completion each week and provided relevant and timely feedback.

2-Orientation-Guide-ApplyApply: The Project Cycle

Each course included a Project Cycle experience in which learners applied the knowledge they gained in the online modules to a proposed improvement to a digital product or service.

The Project Cycle consisted of the following four phases that represent an iterative approach used in businesses for project management. This is called an “agile” approach.

  • A: Plan – Analyze a digital product or service and envision an improvement
  • B: Design – Plan and create a prototype to demo the improvement
  • C: Evaluate – Test learnersr demo and evaluate whether it was effective
  • D: Recommend – Envision potential improvements for the next cycle

This means learners were learning and practicing how to design, develop, and implement improvements in an area of personal interest while gaining knowledge in a new skill area.

How did learners document their work?

There were two primary documents that learners used to record their work: a Project Cycle Report and a Professional Reflections Report. To get started, they downloaded and saved a local copy of templates from the Blackboard sidebar under “Guides, Samples, and Templates.”

The Project Cycle Report

In the Project Cycle Report, learners worked on the description, details, and definition of their project cycle. They returned to this document during each phase of the Project Cycle by adding 1 to 3 paragraphs detailing what they had accomplished. By the end of the course, the Project Cycle Report was intended to be a 2- to 3-page document concisely summarizing learning, development, and growth throughout the program.

The Professional Reflections Report

Learners captured their weekly, and overall, progress in the Professional Reflections Report. This was an opportunity to capture and share their thoughts, actions, and reactions to the learning elements in their course and on their journey. Learners came back to it each week to add 1 to 3 paragraphs about that week.

How were weekly writing assignments shared and observed?

Each week, learners submitted the text from both documents to the Blackboard Forums to be shared and reviewed by their Mentor and peers. This was an important method for communicating learning progress throughout their course.

Observations on these weekly writing assignments were not tests learners needed to pass. Rather, they were intended to help learners revise and improve their work for the coming week. Mentors used consistent “rubrics” or criteria as a framework and vocabulary that can be used to communicate progress.

Academy staff helped learners create or improve a public digital portfolio and, once they completed the final versions of each document, they posted the documents and shared the links with employers and professionals.

2-Orientation-Guide-ConnectConnect: Communicate and Collaborate

Academy learners had two kinds of opportunities to connect and communicate with their peers and mentor: live weekly events and online messaging.

Live Weekly Events

Weekly live events were at the heart of each Academy course. They originated at our Academy Learning Hub on the UNE Portland campus and were available via Zoom video conferencing for those at a distance. These events consist of two parts.

Learning Lab. The first hour of each weekly event was a Learning Lab, when learners participated in collaborative professional development activities. We strongly advised learners  to attend the first Lab during week 1 — and at least 5 more throughout the session — in person at the Portland Learning Hub. We also highly recommended learners attend the Employer Roundtable during week 1 as well as the Roundtable at the beginning of the next session.

Mentor Meetings. The second hour was a group Mentor Meeting, when learners met with their Mentors to discuss activities and assignments of the week, consider topics related to the course, and focus on career advancement. These meetings were like regular office hours, and learners were encouraged to actively participate, collaborate, and contribute to the discussion at hand with their mentor and learner cohort.

Online Messaging

Academy learners had two ways to collaborate with mentors and learners via online messaging.

Forums. In the Academy Blackboard Discussion Board Forums, learners introduced themselves, asked questions, uploaded their writing for feedback, and interact with their peers by reading and commenting on each other’s work. This was especially valuable during the Project Cycle.

There were multiple forums in the Academy Blackboard — a general forum for overall questions and one forum for each assignment. They were labeled and identified clearly in the week-by-week roadmap and syllabus. We recommended learners subscribe to all Forums right at the start so they would receive email updates. Learners communicated with their Mentors primarily through these Forums.

Email. When learners needed to communicate about topics of interest not addressed in Academy Forums, they could send an email message to their Mentor’s @une.edu address. General questions about the Academy program — such as which courses to take and future enrollment dates — were sent to their Advisor.

Collaboration and Support in a Blended Learning Environment

The UNE Academy was a “blended learning” program, which means that some online elements were at a learner’s own pace — such as online instruction modules and weekly writing assignments — and some were “live” in person or via video conferencing — including weekly Learning Labs and Mentor Meetings.

Three skills helped learners succeed in a blended learning environment.

Time management was a high priority, especially when learners are working, at their own pace, through the online instruction modules. Although the actual time needed will vary based on the material, be sure to hold open the minimum Academy time estimates: 8-10 hours a week per course.

When learners are working online, we recommended a workspace free of distraction. A quiet desk with no interruptions is more conducive to immersive learning than a public location. During remote meetings, the professional quality of a learner’s video and audio makes communication easier and makes a good impression.

Clear and effective communication is crucial to learners success. All learning elements were designed to model a professional workplace, and so learners were advised to communicate with fellow learners and mentors in a professional manner, actively reporting their accomplishments and challenges with a constructive attitude and seeking feedback from others.

When to Contact an Advisor

When learners had general questions about the Academy, such as “When is the next UNE Roundtable?”, “When is the next enrollment date?”, or “Which Academy course is right for me?” we recommended they contact their Professional Advisor, whose role was to help learners throughout their entire journey, from the day they contacted the Academy through the day they met employers at the next UNE Roundtable. If the Advisor didn’t have the answer, they helped learners connect with someone who does. The Advisor aimed to respond to questions within 24-48 hours.

When to Contact a Mentor

Once learners bean the course, their Mentor helped them with course-related questions and online learning resources. We recommended learners should connect with their Mentor for the following issues:

  • Clarification of learner expectations or learning elements
  • Clarity on specific assignments and expectations
  • Unexpected life events that may interfere with participation or progress in the course

We recommended they gather their questions to share at one of the group Mentoring Meetings available each week or reach out to their peers and colleagues in the Academy Blackboard Forums. Others learners who had similar questions collaborated on solutions, building the network of learners.

If learners needed to contact their Mentor directly, we recommended they use their @une.edu email address. Mentors aimed to get back to learners within 24-48 hours, often sooner. In the meantime, learners continued working on other activities and assignments.

Competencies Report and Course Syllabi

Within one week following the end of a course, we delivered a Competencies Report which contains aggregate assessments of work across professional and project competencies.



Appendix: Competencies and Rubrics

Professional Competencies

Critical and Analytical Thinking (PF1) – Uses logic, reasoning, and analysis to address problems

  • Critically reviews, analyzes, synthesizes, compares, and interprets information
  • Differentiates between fact and opinion
  • Identifies connections between issues
  • Effectively and efficiently presents logic, reasoning, and analysis to others

Problem Solving and Decision Making (PF2) – Applies critical-thinking skills to solve problems by generating, evaluating, and implementing solutions

  • Identifies the true nature of the problem by analyzing its component parts
  • Locates, gathers, and organizes information relevant to the problem
  • Integrates information to generate high-quality alternative approaches to the problem
  • Chooses the best solution after contemplating available approaches to the problem, costs, and benefits
  • Develops a realistic approach for implementing the chosen solution

Communication and Writing (PF3) – Communicates verbally and in writing well enough to be understood

  • Practices meaningful two-way communication
  • Picks out important information in communications
  • Communicates clearly and confidently
  • Uses language appropriate for the target audience
  • Presents ideas that are well developed with supporting information and examples

Interpersonal Skills (PF4) – Demonstrates skills for working with others from diverse backgrounds

  • Shows insight into the actions and motives of others
  • Establishes a high degree of trust and credibility
  • Determines when to be a leader and when to be a follower depending on situations
  • Develops constructive and cooperative working relationships with others
  • Participates in virtual teams and uses tools for virtual collaboration

Professionalism and Reliability (PF5) – Maintains a professional demeanor and displays responsible behavior

  • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards work
  • Understands team goals, efforts, and requirements sufficiently to be able to understand the purpose of work
  • Fulfills obligations reliably, responsibly, and dependably
  • Deals calmly and effectively with stressful situations
  • Complies with organizational rules, policies, and procedures
  • Dresses appropriately for occupation and its requirements

Planning and Organizing (PF6) – Plans and prioritizes work to manage time effectively and accomplish assigned tasks

  • Plans and schedules tasks so work is completed on time
  • Prioritizes competing tasks and performs them quickly and efficiently according to their urgency
  • Keeps track of details to ensure work is performed accurately and completely
  • Works concurrently on parallel tasks

Initiative and Flexibility (PF7) – Demonstrates both a willingness to work and the capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements

  • Pursues work with energy, drive, and a strong orientation toward accomplishment
  • Strives to exceed standards and expectations
  • Integrates related and seemingly unrelated information to develop creative solutions
  • Changes plans and priorities in response to changing, unpredictable, or unexpected events and situations.

Continuous Learning (PF8) – Demonstrates a willingness to learn and apply new knowledge and skills

  • Demonstrates an interest in personal learning and development
  • Seeks feedback about how to improve, develop, and modify behavior based on analysis of past mistakes
  • Treats unexpected circumstances as opportunities to learn
  • Takes charge of personal development by identifying occupational interests, strengths, options, and opportunities

Project Competencies

Problem Analysis (PJ1)

  • Presents sufficient and appropriate data/information
  • Analyzes data/information for accuracy, relevance, and validity

Problem Clarification (PJ2)

  • Identifies most or all key issues and/or problems
  • Details problem with clear scope and output definitions

Project Planning (PJ3)

  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the project and identifies problems, working cohesively towards resolving problems within the project scope

Prototype Solution (PJ4)

  • Develops a prototype that demonstrates a strong understanding of project and action plan and clearly shows how problems are being addressed.

Testing and Quality Assurance (PJ5)

  • Provides clear direction and accessible testing environment.

Data Evaluation and Synthesis (PJ6)

  • Displays clear understanding of test results; makes connections and see patterns

Final Analysis (PJ7)

  • Presents recommendations for revision that are logical, complete, and consistent, and demonstrates some unique or creative insight.


1 A New Culture of Learning (2011). Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown. Retrieved on 2/12/16 from www.newcultureoflearning.com/

2 25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset (2015). Saga Briggs. Retrieved 7/11/16 from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/develop-a-growth-mindset/

3 Introducing TechHire Maine. Project>Login. Retrieved 4/25/17 from https://www.projectlogin.com/techhire-maine/about

4 U.S. Department of Labor Competency Model. Retrieved 3/18/16 from https://www.careeronestop.org/CompetencyModel/competency-models/information-technology.aspx

5 Holland Codes. Retrieved 4/12/16 from wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_Codes

6 O*Net, the Occupational Handbook Online. Retrieved 8/12/16 from www.onetonline.org

The work was originally licensed by the University of New England under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, and based on work at Educate Maine, Project>Login, and Leadership Maine. Updates made by The Compass LLC are released under the same license.