This guide from the What Works Clearinghouse is worth reading, despite some of their claims that the evidence is low (as it is explained at one point that they had to rank it as such due to discrepancies in schedules and schools causing potentially abnormal data). The advice is sound, researched, practiced, and can help students get the skills and motivation they need for college.
I love this article because its resource pool is a selection of executives and educational consultants, so they had a balance of professional needs and discussions of feasible solutions in the classroom. It's also got fairly simple advice to follow, although some of the course choices they advise may be based on your school, district, or the individual student's choices.
This is interesting because it isn't actually written by an educator, but rather a young student. The anonymous writer speaks to trouble they found upon entering college and the troubles they know of from family and friends who found part of their high school curriculum to be useless in the real world. There are a few solutions they propose, but I found it most useful as evidence that many students are hungry for such a paradigm shift in education.
This guide specifically focuses on developing soft skills that are required in nearly any workplace, but the best part? The tips require very little change from your current curriculum, so you can still teach to your standards. All it requires is an ability to be flexible with assignment types and for you to hold your students to a high, specific bar.
An article that focuses mainly on first impressions, but the author's classroom implementations are interesting extensions of normal classroom greetings, behavior, etc. I would love to see his classes a few years later and see how much stuck, but it seems like a good way to drill down these first impressions and soft skills before students need them from career coaches later on.
One of the more interesting soft skills lists because there is a ton of crossover between the skills listed and a lot of the college admissions information I have seen in my experience. What are colleges looking for? Volunteering, jobs, extracurriculars, and a drive for knowledge. What does this list recommend? Volunteering, jobs, extracurriculars, and a drive for knowledge! It really emphasizes building character and dependability.
A fascinating article because it is based on future events. Virginia public schools as a whole are trying to address these workforce and college preparatory concerns by giving students choices starting in eleventh grade about which path they choose: workforce, 2-year college, or 4-year college. This won't start until 2018, but the theories and beginnings seem sound, and it's definitely something for educators to watch.
This is actually not education related, but the skills are crucial to model and teach students so that they have good communication in personal and professional relationships. I also find that, even aside from the other soft skills in this collection, communication can be one of the weaker skills that people have in the workplace. It helps to start teaching communication early and hold students to these standards all the time.