By Lionel Williams
CCSC Program Manager, Student Development & Outreach
There are several different views on what purpose education holds in modern society. It can be argued that schools are designed to support the healthy development of intellect, independent thinking and societal awareness.
However, there is an undeniably strong trend that has been surging worldwide, making a significant impact on American academia over approximately the last 25 years. The ever-evolving growth of industry, and its economic influence on the overall welfare of societies at an international level, has led to schools being the primary system to promote employment skills and readiness for the workplace.
Due to amazing technological advancements, companies are now able to expand beyond one location into having a global presence. This creates a marketplace that is more competitive than ever before. Today’s top employers realize that their human capital is quite possibly the most crucial element to the sustainability and growth of their organization. A product or service cannot effectively market itself. It requires exceptional people with a breadth of both applicable hard and soft skills to get the job done.
Grand Canyon University and the Canyon Christian Schools Consortium (CCSC) program are deeply committed to the personal, intellectual, spiritual and occupational development of the very individuals that top employers are competing to hire.
In order to become a CCSC scholar, a student must already possess an inherent drive to apply themselves academically. With GCU’s leading-edge facilities, top-notch faculty and industry-relevant program offerings, employers can rest assured that CCSC graduates are aptly prepared with a wealth of marketable skills.
What is even more appealing is the scholarship’s campus community service requirement. These projects not only support the overall functioning of GCU, but they also importantly offer students the chance to develop and exercise the attribute of servant leadership.
Why would an employer want to hire a strong servant leader? These individuals are known to generously value people and likewise view their occupations as opportunities to turn love into action, readily aiding colleagues and superiors toward meeting organizational goals. Soft skill traits such as being punctual, a team player, hardworking and optimistic are natural parts of a servant-leader’s modus operandi.
A Christian friend of mine, who owns an IT company, recently said to me, “I had to terminate one of my employees last week.” I asked him if it was because the individual was a poor performer. He replied, “No, he actually was my most knowledgeable technician, but he had the worst attitude. He hated to sacrifice anything beyond his job description. The negativity began to spread throughout my organization, so I let him go. He wasn’t thankful for his job and likewise didn’t give any extra effort.”
I believe my friend reflects a lot of the frustrations employers are experiencing today. Many companies are attracting college graduates that know how to perform the basic duties of the job, but are lacking the soft skills necessary to thrive in the workplace. Just imagine if the business owner had hired a CCSC graduate from GCU’s IT program. This student would not only possess career knowledge, but he or she would also have also completed over 100 hours of campus community service while growing closer to God through intentional Chapel attendance and bible study.
If my friend, as well as many other employers, were aware of the great things happening here at GCU, they may go to great lengths to recruit CCSC graduates to their company.
It is absolutely exhilarating that GCU’s CCSC scholarship program plays a major role in the production of industry-ready job candidates who are also highly desirable and well-rounded individuals.
GCU helps students learn about servant leadership through leading-edge degrees and outreach opportunities. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us today using the green Request More Information button at the top of the page.
More About Lionel:
Lionel Williams joined SEA and the Student Development & Outreach Department as the CCSC program manager in September 2016. Prior to this role, he taught eight years in the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) at both the middle school and high school level. He also has six years of regional marketing experience in the property and casualty insurance industry. Lionel’s wife, Felicia, is an elementary school principal at MUSD’s Saddleback Elementary School, where she has served for the last seven years. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation at GCU. Lionel is very proud to say that he comes from a family of educators. His father is a retired school psychologist and his mother is a retired school principal for the Cincinnati Public School System. Lionel is an active church member at Maricopa Assembly of God in Maricopa, AZ. He currently serves as the church’s worship leader, and he also youth pastored there for several years.