Power Skills Suite


Project Type

site design


user research, tree testing, user journeys, workflow, wireframing, and interface design

Project Team

project manager, UX designer, visual designer


Dawn Pfeifer Reitz, assistant teaching professor and CAS 100 coordinator at Penn State Berks, recognized a gap between “power skills” that employers value, like oral and written communication and adaptability, and how they fit into the rigid academic constraints of STEM programs. This Faculty Fellows project created a digital “tool kit” that will engage students with specific work designed to improve their soft skills.


The Power Skills Suite (PSS), a TLT Faculty Fellows project with faculty from Communication Arts & Sciences, leverages our previous work on the Penn State Badging platform with a new, user-focused informational website where users learn critical professional competencies that set them apart from others and provide a competitive edge. I have been doing discovery with the team, collecting user requirements, and conducting research testing like open-ended card sorts and tree tests to identify the content structure and establish the site’s information architecture. Using this data, we’ve assessed what information needs to be highlighted on the site, what information stays within the badging platform, and how to engage site visitors and convert them into active PSS program users.

Why Develop Power Skills


  • Empowers undergraduates and early-career graduates to learn and develop in-demand professional communication competencies for real world success.
  • Website provides entry point for students to access Power Skills badges on the Penn State Badging platform.
  • Badges can be exported and posted on LinkedIn and other professional platforms to signify additional professional development.


criteria for level 2 badge
grow and bloom Power Skills icons

Robin joined my Faculty Fellows team in the early fall of 2020, and her addition to our experience has been so fruitful.  She has a unique way of listening to what is being said and translating that into a tangible outcome – which becomes perfect for our eventual users.  

Her humor, reflection, understanding, and focus have been critical to our progress so far and will continue to impact our success as we continue to move forward with the Power Skills Suite.  She is integral to the molding of our “ball of clay!”

Thank you for being so amazing!

Dawn Pfeifer Reitz

Assistant Teaching Professor, CAS 100 Coordinator, and TLT Faculty Fellow, Penn State Berks Campus