SIP 12.14 Connect Career-readiness Competencies to Course Objectives

Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?

Crystalann Archuleta working at a desk.Helping students identify and develop meaningful professional directions can be one of the most rewarding and sometimes-daunting aspects of teaching. While students can receive support by working with Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Classroom to Career Hub, faculty members can also create academic experiences to promote career development. One way faculty members can contribute to their students’ career-readiness is to make salient the connection between student learning objectives (SLOs) and career competencies on course syllabi. Including this connection in your classes will help students articulate the career-ready skills they’ve learned in your course.

Take a SIP of this: Connect career-readiness competencies to course SLOs

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has outlined eight career competencies valued by employers:

  • Critical/thinking problem-solving
  • Oral/written communications
  • Teamwork/collaboration
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/work ethic
  • Career management
  • Global/intercultural fluency

Many of these competencies are naturally addressed through course activities and assignments. However, by encouraging students to make direct connections between coursework and the skills they are building, students will be better-positioned to successfully discuss these skills in a graduate-school application or in a job interview.

Suggestions on how to highlight the connection between course objectives and the NACE competencies:

  • Examine the SLOs and identify embedded transferable skills that reflect the NACE competencies. Include text or imagery in your syllabus that explicitly makes that connection. For ideas on how to do this, check out SIP 8.14SIP 3.1 and SIP 8.11.
  • Host a class discussion about the SLOs listed in the syllabus. Provide students with a description of the NACE competencies and ask the students to generate the connections.
  • Invite a guest speaker from the C2 Hub to lead a discussion about the connections among course SLOs, the NACE competencies and presenting that information to future employers on a résumé or in an interview.
  • Label each course assignment on the syllabus with at least one NACE career competency.
  • Set aside time at the end of each course section to explore the connections between the content covered and NACE competencies.
  • Invite local professionals to class to speak about how the course content connects to their work environment.
  • Show students position descriptions and ask them to discuss how the course content relates to the qualifications listed.
  • Pair students and ask them to present an elevator pitch to each other that articulates the content of the class in the context of NACE skills.
  • Include an end-of-semester discussion or assignment that requires students to articulate how what they learned in the class relates to the NACE competencies and to their career goals.
  • Still stuck? Reach out to Pam Ansburg, Ph.D. (ansburg@msudenver.edu), director of Faculty Engagement and Curriculum Integration, to schedule a consultation for your course.

Still thirsty?  Take a SIP of this:  

Permanent link to this article: https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip_12-14_12-14_connect_career_readiness_competencies_to_course_objectives/

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