Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness

a project of the Nebraska Department of Education in partnership with the Department of Labor, Future Force Nebraska, and Partnerships for Innovation


In this round of work, teams took on the role of a different stakeholder and defined "career readiness" from that vantage point.

Short cuts (jump to the team work and the conversation that followed):
Team 1
| Team 2 | Team 3 | Team 4 | Team 5 | Team 6 | Team 7 | Team 8 | Team 9 | Team 10 | Team 11 | Team 12 | Conversation



This round of work is focused on creating concise definitions of what we mean when we say career ready. Each group has a different perspective, and is to create their definition from that perspective.

Team One: Business
Team Two: Business
Team Three: High School Graduates
Team Four: High School Graduates
Team Five: Postsecondary Education Faculty (Not 2- or 4-year)
Team Six: Postsecondary Education Faculty
Team Seven: Secondary School Faculty
Team Eight: Secondary School Faculty
Team Nine: Job Seekers
Team Ten: Job Seekers
Team Eleven: Immigrants to the US
Team Twelve: Immigrants to the US


Develop a definition statement of 1 to 3 sentences, from your team's perspective, of what it means to be career ready in 2015.


Team One - Business

Report Out - Beth Haas, Bonnie Mayer, Dave Buchholz, Jean Brown, K.C. Belitz, Nicole Coffey

We defined career readiness as a mature, self-motivated individual. An employee who can earn the respect of their peers and take risks.

Team Two - Business

Report Out - Donna Vrbka, Jill Finkey, Joe Higgins, Micki Hernandez, Rich Katt, Ron Hanson

A career ready individual demonstrates a knowledge base, a high level of personal responsibility, an ability to communicate, and an ability to be flexible.

Business Themes

Themes: responsiblity and self-motivation. There is a lot of overlap. Basic content and skills.

Earning the respect of peers has to do with fitting in with a team.


Team Three - High School Graduates

Report Out - Carol Renner, DeLayne Havlovic, Jim Scheer, Julie Hippen, Pat Roschewski, Vicki Scow

A graduate is ready (knowledge, skills and personal responsibility) to take the next steps for career success. (Thank you Wikipedia.)

Team Four - High School Graduates

Report Out - Cherie Larson, Donlynn Rice, Kathy Shirley, Bob Hastings, Melissa Hansen, Pat Timm, Terry Snyder

We sent a text to our own kids to ask them. Their response: im redy 2 b ndpndt :).

A high school graduate has the necessary knowledge and skills, they have a lot of goals (which may change), they've had experiences, and they know how to find out the information they need.

High School Graduates Themes

Both of you used resources outside of the room. "im redy 2 b ndpndt" would make a great poster!


Team Five - Post-Secondary Faculty (not 2- and 4-year colleges)

Report Out - Bart McCoy, Janet Drudik, Joan Modrell, Julie Sorensen, Kelly Christensen, Rebecca Wrede

A student must be able to master the technical skills necessary in an identified career field, and have the soft skills needed to advance in their career.

Team Six - Post-Secondary Faculty

Report Out - Catherine Lang, Cindy Johnson, Mike Wortman, Marty Gilson, Matt Hastings, Rebecca Valdez

Post-Secondary Faculty - my students are career ready when they've acquired the knowledge and skills, when they know when to apply those knowledge and skills, they can perform responsibilities with enthusiasm and passion, and they can employ alternative options when appropriate.

Post-Secondary Faculty Themes

Mastery is important. Applying knowledge and skills appropriately in different contexts.


Team Seven - Secondary School Faculty

Report Out - Carol Andringa, Don Johnson, Gregg Christensen, Jeff West, Kelly Means, Marty Mahler

Students have the knowledge and skills to advance in their chosen career fields.

Team Eight - Secondary School Faculty

Report Out - Becky Golden, Dave Gee, Donelle Johnson, Elizabeth Mulkerrin, Pat Narouth, Scott Swisher, Summer Stephens

Preparing graduates who are resilient and responsible workers: critical thinking, core knowledge, and leveraging personal strengths.



Team Ten - Career Ready Job Seekers

Report Out - Carolee Ritter, Kandy Imes, Linda Peters, Patty Campbell, Steve Joel, Sue Heine

Technical skills and qualifications for a job and network connections needed to find an appropriate job.

Team Nine - Career Ready Job Seekers

Report Out - Bill Eakins, Cynthia Baum, Jane McClure, Karen Stohs, Peter Kotsiopulos, Sue Burch

Confidence, practical & transferrable skills.

Job Seekers Themes

Confidence was a new and interesting theme.


Team Eleven - Immigrants

Report Out - Dean Folkers, Karen O'Conner, Larry Johnson, Richard Ross, Stacy Athow, Steve Hollinrake, Willie Barney

Willingness and ability to learn and relearn, adaptability, and skills necessary for the work.

Team Twelve - Immigrants

Report Out - David Gordon, Erika Volker, Jeff Cole, Kate Bolz, Liane Philmalee, Tim Erickson

Skills to make the money needed to support my family. Language ability. Cultural competence and expectations.

Immigrants Themes

Cultural competence. Language.



What patterns did you see across the different perspectives? There seemed to be a greater focus on the technical skills required for a job. We lost a little bit about the economic and global issues that were important in the last round. Academics came back to the forefront in this round. Application of knowledge and skills seems to be important.

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