CareerSmart Classrooms

National Center for College and Career Transitions

CareerSmart Classrooms integrates career exploration and employability skills into academic content customized for different levels of instruction, including adult education foundational skills.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Innovation, Information Technology, Diversity, Leadership, Professional Mindset, Lifelong Learning, Problem Solving, Oral Communication, Teamwork, Leadership

Learner resources

  • Self-assessment of interests and strengths
  • Career exploration resources to research careers and create an education and career plan
  • Career Focus Kits, with in-depth information about specific occupations within career clusters
  • Employability class activities to learn about workplace and college success skills

Instructor resources

  • Career Focus Kits cover thirty career clusters aligned to popular U.S. pathways, such as healthcare, sports, and transportation, with information for each job category, including job responsibilities, a video profile, sample job titles, education level required, wage and job growth projections, and the O*Net and Holland Interest Codes
  • Career exploration resources include lesson plans for self-assessments with Holland code and O*Net handouts
  • Employability skills lesson plans and activities to build workplace and college success
  • Think Tank professional learning activities for staff to build constructive dialogue and peer-to-peer learning around career readiness

Key Takeaways

  • The Adult Education Career Focus Kit focuses on careers that do not require a bachelor’s degree in fields such as healthcare, law and public safety, restaurant and hospitality, although learners have access to all of the kits if they want to pursue a job requiring a higher education degree.
  • The employability curriculum includes a factory floor role-play to highlight the need for teamwork, communication, and other workplace success skills.
  • Learners use a soft skills scorecard to measure their progress.
  • The resources in this system are contextualized for middle school and high school teachers, postsecondary faculty, and adult education program instructors, with terminology and vocabulary appropriate for each group.
  • Think Tank activities for small groups of teachers and/or students help build dialogue amongst colleagues and with students and employers about college and career readiness.

The National Center for College and Career Transitions (also known as NC3T) provides coaching, technical assistance, and tools to help community leadership teams plan and implement college and career pathways and strengthen employer connections. Its co-founder and president, Hans Meeder, is the former U.S. Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. NC3T offers the CareerSmart Classrooms system, as well as a series of other products aimed at career readiness and planning, along with coaching, workshops, and keynote speeches. The center’s website houses a monthly blog, papers about college and career pathways, a sign-up for its free bi-monthly newsletter, and a podcast series in which Hans Meeder interviews leaders across the U.S. about career connected learning.


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Leadership & Initiative

Respecting Differences


Teamwork & Collaboration

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