Core Skills Mastery


Core Skills Mastery (CSM) is an online, self-paced course that builds essential quantitative-reasoning and employability skills to ensure that older youth and adults have the skills and confidence needed for any career.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Integrity, Initiative, Dependability & Reliability, Adaptability/Flexibility, Professionalism, Teamwork, Communication, Respect, Critical Thinking, Planning/Organizing/Scheduling, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Working with Tools & Technology, among other literacy and numeracy skills

CSM course

  • Literacy, numeracy, and career readiness lessons build quantitative-reasoning and problem-solving skills, while supporting lessons address remedial needs for optimal comprehension
  • Optional add-ons include Career Strategies and the CSM+ Course Library for advanced lessons
  • Programs may opt to have coaching services provided by CSMLearns, or CSMLearns can train coaches from your program

Credentialing and badging

  • CSM Certificate available upon completion
  • Credly/Acclaim badge available upon completion
  • An ACE CREDIT® recommendation for college credit and transcript available upon completion

Instructor guidance

  • Toolkit for teachers addresses ways to track student progress and use, and provides classroom management tools
  • Professional development webinars and videos on the coaching approach and practices, and unlimited check-ins with CSMLearns staff to support onsite learning coaches
  • Unlimited implementation, planning, and technical support

Key Takeaways

  • The CSM course customizes lessons by using adaptive learning technology to track reading habits, distraction levels, decision-making tendencies and metacognition.
  • Completion time can range from 15 to 100 hours and learners can complete the course within a few weeks or over the course of a year.
  • Course can be accessed through a desktop, laptop or tablet computer and is accessible to those with beginning digital literacy levels.
  • The course draws on or aligns with the Common Employability Skills Framework to build and certify attainment of these transferable skills.
  • Course can be taken by an individual or group, delivered as is, integrated into an existing course or customized to contain specific sector or academic content.

CSMLearns was founded by two tech entrepreneurs, David and Marty Goldberg. The Core Skills Mastery learning system was developed by CSMLearns and was initially funded by the U.S. Department of Education. CSMLearns is a public benefit corporation. The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) evaluated the CSM Course and recommended that colleges accept the CSM Certificate as three semester hours of quantitative reasoning credit. The CSM course contains the Common Employability Skills framework, which has been adopted by the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (NNBIA), representing 75 percent of job growth in the United States.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Leadership & Initiative

Navigating & Using Information


Teamwork & Collaboration

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