What This Program Teaches:
Financial Literacy (50%)
JA Business Communications, part of the JA High School Experience courses, is a one-semester teacher-led course that equips high school students to focus on communication skills necessary to succeed in business, including communicating up, down, and across organizations, talking about performance, and writing in a business setting. Volunteers engage with students through a variety of activities that includes subject matter guest speaking and coaching or advising for case study and project course work.
– Learn the necessary concepts applicable to state and national educational standards.
– Apply these standards-based concepts to the real world.
– Synthesize elective concepts through cumulative, tangible deliverables (projects).
– Analyze a business situation or principle through the use of a case study.
– Demonstrate the skills necessary for future career pathway success.
1.1 Communication and Professionalism (Theme: Interpersonal Communication Skills)
Students learn about communication strategies and the consequences of poor communication in the workplace. They also learn how communication skills affect a person’s perceived professionalism.
– Describe the consequences of poor communication in the workplace.
– Explain how using effective communication skills can affect the perception of professionalism.
– Identify and use the best communication strategy for a specific audience.
1.2 Active Listening (Theme: Interpersonal Communication Skills)
Students learn about the levels of listening and effective listening strategies. Students complete a listening skills self-assessment and make recommendations to improve listening skills in the workplace.
– Explain effective listening techniques.
– Analyze workplace situations and make recommendations for improving listening.
– Self-assess listening skills and identify strategies for improvement.
1.3 Polished Presentation (Theme: Interpersonal Communication Skills)
Students learn about the components of a presentation and how to deliver an effective one. They also learn how to organize information in a logical manner. Students create a persuasive presentation, which they deliver to the class.
– Recognize effective presentation techniques.
– Determine the appropriate information and a logical sequence for sharing it in workplace presentations.
– Create and deliver an appropriate presentation for a workplace situation.
1.4 Meeting Management (Theme: Interpersonal Communication Skills)
Students learn steps they can take to facilitate an effective meeting. They compare face-to-face and virtual meetings and when each might be used. Students also learn about virtual meeting tools.
– Identify and use effective strategies for facilitating meetings.
– Compare the differences between face-to-face and virtual meetings.
– Evaluate virtual meeting tools and select the best one for a given situation.
2.1 Writing a Clear Message (Theme: Business Writing)
Students learn how to evaluate their audience and clarify the purpose of their message. Students identify the difference between clear and unclear messages. They also use technology to create clear messages.
– Describe how an effective message addresses the needs of the audience and the purpose of the message.
– Differentiate between clear and unclear written messages.
– Use different technological tools to compose clear, succinct, and accurate messages.
2.2 Writing Persuasive Messages (Theme: Business Writing)
Students learn about creating persuasive messages. They create and use credibility, logic, and emotion to persuade an audience. Students also use social proof to strengthen the persuasiveness of a message.
– Identify the type of strategy (e.g., credibility, logic, emotion) used in persuasive messages.
– Describe how audience characteristics influence persuasive messaging strategy.
– Use social proof to enhance the persuasiveness of a message.
2.3 Writing to Inform (Theme: Business Writing)
Students learn about common types of business correspondence and when to use each. They also learn how to use appropriate language in business correspondence.
– Describe types of business correspondence used to share information internally and externally.
– Use appropriate language for business correspondence.
– Analyze the purpose and audience for a message and write an informative letter, memo, or email to share the information.
2.4 Writing for the Internet (Theme: Business Writing)
Students learn about different ways that businesses can communicate online, including using websites and social media. Students draft an online message to launch or promote a business of their choosing.
– Identify the best online platform for a variety of business communications.
– Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using online platforms for communicating a business message.
– Effectively use online platforms for a variety of business communications.
3.1 Communicating Within the Organization (Theme: Organizational Communication)
Students learn about communication within a business and how it changes as the business grows. Students explore different tools for communicating within a business and practice sharing information with people at different levels of the organization.
– Describe how communication within a business changes as the organization grows.
– Identify appropriate tools for communicating within businesses of various sizes.
– Identify the most appropriate methods for communicating with people at different levels of an organization.
3.2 Communicating Up the Organization (Theme: Organizational Communication)
Students learn about upward communication strategies and why they are important to a business. They learn about barriers that prevent effective communication. Students also identify techniques to facilitate effective upward communication.
– Explain why upward communication is beneficial to a business.
– Describe barriers to upward communication in an organization.
– Identify methods for encouraging upward communication in an organization.
3.3 Communicating Down the Organization (Theme: Organizational Communication)
Students learn about downward communication and how to improve it within an organization. They also determine whether downward communication is effective and role-play downward communication skills.
– Identify methods for improving downward communication within an organization.
– Interpret communication cues that demonstrate the effectiveness of downward communication.
– Demonstrate the skills used in effective downward communication.
3.4 Communicating Across the Organization (Theme: Organizational Communication)
Students learn about horizontal and diagonal communication and the strategies they can use to improve these communication flows. They also learn about the organizational grapevine.
– Define horizontal and diagonal communications.
– Identify strategies for improving horizontal and diagonal communications.
– Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the organizational grapevine.
4.2 Positive and Negative Feedback (Theme: Communicating About Performance and Expectations)
Students learn the difference between positive and negative feedback and how to give effective feedback. Students evaluate the effectiveness of feedback and use verbal communication techniques to deliver feedback effectively.
– Describe characteristics of effective feedback.
– Identify ineffective feedback.
– Use effective communication techniques to give feedback.
4.3 Handling Criticism (Theme: Communicating About Performance and Expectations)
Students assess their ability to receive feedback. They also learn strategies for using feedback effectively, including how to use verbal and nonverbal communication skills to manage their response.
– Assess your ability to receive criticism.
– Identify and apply strategies for using feedback constructively.
– Use verbal and nonverbal communication skills to manage personal response to constructive criticism.
4.4 Documentation (Theme: Communicating About Performance and Expectations)
Students learn about the importance of business documentation. They identify the stakeholders who benefit from different kinds of documentation. Students also develop a policy and procedure document for a business.
– Recognize documentation requirements for a business.
– Develop a business document that communicates a policy, establishes an agreement, or meets a regulatory need.