Skills Win

Basic skills to do well and do good.

The Skills Win Program

When Coplin started teaching at Syracuse University in 1969, he realized that the traditional model of reading, lecturing and testing had little impact on students. 

The Skills Win Program is based on a series of principles resulting from 60 years of collaboration with college faculty, high school teachers, and most of all, Coplin’s students and alumni, who call themselves “Coplinites.” Coplin and his students have developed and applied the Skills Win materials in his courses, his work designing a new New York City high school, teacher training, and community projects since the mid-1970s.

The ideas are basic and are supported by the theories and research of educational experts. The foundation of the Skills Win materials are have been identified by  Coplin in his book “10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College.” 

Why Skills Win?

Our current high schools and college graduates lack the basic skills that are critical to workforce preparation, citizenship, and daily living. The over-emphasis on content and under-emphasis on skill development limits students’ opportunities to develop these skills. The traditional approach, which still dominates K-16 education, of lecturing, readings and testing may work for content. It does not work for skills development. Skills Win believes in training students on how to think instead of what to think. Or, as Lao Tzu said, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The Skill Win Program recognizes the limitations of the traditional approach which needs to make room for skills-based education. The Program will offer supplementary materials that can be inserted into the existing curriculum without requiring extensive revision or teacher training. It also provides teacher training and consulting for more systematic curriculum revisions.