SkillsUSA Career Essentials

In today’s world, it’s not enough for students to have technical skills. If they want to advance their career potential and compete in today’s job market, they need to stand out, be distinct and be a step ahead. That’s a tall order. As an instructor, how can you ensure your students are career ready?

Here’s how. We are excited to announce the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite. These products ensure your students have the foundational skills, attitudes, and values to distinguish them from other applicants in the skilled labor marketplace. Once on the job, your students will be productive and promotable. The SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite is the solution to your needs in producing career-ready graduates who are prepared to face the 21st-century demands of employers.

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations (formerly called Career Readiness Curriculum [CRC])*
*The CRC content has not changed

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences (replaces Professional Development Program [PDP])

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments (formerly called Workforce Ready System Skill Connect Assessments) **  **The Employability Assessment has changed, but all others remain the same

SkillsUSA has been working hard to update and improve the Professional Development Program (PDP). The end result is a completely new online curriculum. Created to facilitate the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills in students, it is the next level of instruction after the Career Readiness Curriculum (CRC). The important PDP employability competencies and skills are still in the new curriculum, only now they are easier to deliver and much more relevant and engaging for students.

SkillsUSA Career Essentials Suite of Products

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences

Replaces Professional Development Program (PDP)

Working together in teams, understanding leadership, communicating clearly and demonstrating integrity are required in any career. However, these skills aren’t easy to teach — until now. SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences is the next generation of employability skill-building curricula developed for today’s students. SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences is everything you need to give your students what they need to be career-ready.

While SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations develops an awareness level of learning, SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences takes your students to the next level of demonstration within the SkillsUSA learning continuum. It prepares students for the transition to the workforce or higher education through authentic project-based experiences. The online curriculum empowers teachers with high-quality skill development resources and advances the impact of the SkillsUSA Framework.

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences has 15 project-based learning experiences that contextualize the essential elements of the SkillsUSA Framework in real-work situations. There are nine fundamental experiences that can be completed within one academic year but can be extended or shortened to meet local needs. In addition, the curriculum has five advanced experiences and a capstone experience that can be completed within an academic year.

Each experience spans two to three weeks and includes a 30-minute, instructor-led entry experience. This is followed by student-led, individual or group project modules to provide just-in-time, bite-sized learning. Instructors have the flexibility to adapt each experience to the local context.

All of the resources are delivered digitally through an e-learning site that provides:

  • 24/7 access to students and instructors on computers, tablets or smartphones
  • Turnkey tools and resources for instructors
  • A built-in grading and badging system
  • A learning community for instructors to share best practices and additional tools and resources

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments

Formerly Work Force Ready System Skill Connect Assessments

With SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments, we can now provide a path to other professional certi­fications and pave the way ahead for our future workforce.

The SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite provides assessments for career and technical education that are supported by industry, education and policy leaders. SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments parallels SkillsUSA’s successful philosophy of hands-on, authentic methods. The system helps instructors prove the benefit of their programs and helps students develop rewarding careers.

Available in more than 40 technical and employability areas, including co-branded ones with ASE/AYES and PrintED/GAERF, the assessments offer a reliable evaluation of technical knowledge and skill. Assessments are supported by a comprehensive system that makes administration simple. They are designed to be used for end-of-unit, end-of-course or end-of-program, depending on the design of your curriculum.

Advances in media technology have made it possible to deliver rich-in-media assessments that are much more than electronic versions of a paper-pencil test. To ensure clarity, items are multiple-choice and drag-and-drop with photographs, videos, animations and illustrations.

Each assessment consists of approximately 50 questions and takes an estimated 60 minutes to complete. Questions are delivered in random order.

SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations

Formerly known as the Career Readiness Curriculum (CRC)

The SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations can help ensure that you prepare your students for entry into the world of work. SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations builds an awareness of the SkillsUSA Framework, which includes personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics — all essential to a successful career and technical education program. This turnkey curriculum includes 29 teacher-facilitated lesson plans based on Common Core State Standards. It infuses 21st-century skills into student engagement activities and is considered the first building block in the Career Essentials continuum. Career Essentials: Foundations is a free member benefit as part of SkillsUSA professional membership dues.