Career Readiness Lesson Plans: Ohio Leads the Way Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on January 19th, 2015

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Career Readiness Lesson Plans: Ohio Leads the Way

Career Readiness

Career readiness is dominating education headlines. What does it mean for you and other CTE teachers? Maybe nothing today, but tomorrow? Prepare yourself for big changes in career readiness standards.

Case in point: Ohio.

Ohio teachers must now cover Strand 1 Business Operations/21st Century Skills standards with all students.

But how can you make students ready for the careers of tomorrow? 

It's true that you can always use resources like checklists, especially for middle school students

It's equally important to understand how Ohio's department of education perceives career readiness! 

With that in mind, here's what you need to know about career readiness in Ohio!

Ohio Strand 1 Business Operations/21st Century Skills

Everyone knows about the infamous skills gap. Unemployment is too high, yet employers say that it’s difficult to find qualified workers.

Ohio is doing their part to help bridge that gap by taking a look a their career readiness lesson plans and standards. The result: Strand 1 Business Operations/21st Century Skills. Strand 1 is a core requirement, and it is the same for all CTE career fields in Ohio. Awesome!

"This document seeks to provide the basis for educational programming that will provide the employee with fundamental skill‐sets that employers demand. This ensures that Ohio’s workforce of tomorrow is competitive in a global environment. An environment that requires knowledge and skills can be applied in a broader context, aimed at innovation to support new products and services in an ever‐changing economy."-- Ohio Department of Education.

Specifically, here are the outcomes that Ohio has developed:

Strand 1: Business Operations/21st Century

  • Outcome 1.1: Employability Skills
  • Outcome 1.2: Leadership and Communications
  • Outcome 1.3: Business Ethics and Law
  • Outcome 1.4: Knowledge Management and Information Technology
  • Outcome 1.5: Global Environment
  • Outcome 1.6: Business Literacy
  • Outcome 1.7: Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurs
  • Outcome 1.8: Operations Management
  • Outcome 1.9: Financial Management
  • Outcome 1.10: Sales and Marketing
  • Outcome 1.11: Principles of Business Economics

Developing your own career readiness standards

What does a school need to look at when thinking about developing and implementing new CTE requirement for career readiness? What topics should a middle school career readiness course include?

We've developed a career readiness skills checklist that you can use to get started. Take a look at the list of 20 career readiness skills and make sure you are teaching these skills in your middle school career readiness courses. You can score yourself, and then read more about each skill and why they are critical in developing a comprehensive career readiness standards document.

You'll find some are obvious, like written and verbal and non-verbal communication. But you may find some that you haven't considered, like active listening skills, financial literacy and business ethics.

Career readiness lesson plans for middle school's piece, "Common Core State Standards & Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide between College and Career Readiness," says:

"Right now, the moment is here, and the opportunity is clear: As states are working to align their education systems with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in support of the goal of graduating all students ready for college, careers and life, academic and career and technical education (CTE) leaders at the state and local levels can and should maximize this opportunity to finally break down the silos between their disciplines and  collectively find ways to ensure that the new standards rigorously engage all students in both academic and CTE courses."

And so where can you go right now to find career readiness lesson plans that support the idea of breaking down this divide? CareerCenter21 will provide you with engaging, interactive, and up-to-date curriculum. After content is presented, students can take quizzes. Later, module tests verify their achievement in the content areas. And not only is the curriculum provided, the best programs will include a grade book. The grade book helps you gauge how well your students are learning and understanding the content. You can reset quizzes and test and allow students to take them over as needed.
This is more than a digitized textbook thrown online. This is a fully developed tool that includes many resources that follow "Understanding By Design" techniques, starting with what students need to understand and then designing curriculum that will bring students to that end.

What topics are covered?

  • Career Research
  • Job Seeking Skills
  • Resumes & Interviews
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Web Research
  • Professionalism
  • Personal Finance
  • Personal Project Management
  • Written Communication
  • Telephone/Verbal Communication
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Career Soft Skills
  • Microsoft Office Fundamentals
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Ethics/Law
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Online Safety
  • Cyberbullying
  • Computing/Network Systems

What does it include? You will get a library of content that can be assembled into a customized course, based on your state standards and local needs. We also provide pre-defined templates for 45, 60, and 90 hour courses. The library includes the following:

  • Interactive eLearning Curriculum
  • Hands on Classroom Projects
  • Formative Assessment
  • Pre-Testing and Post-Testing
  • Competency Reports
  • Lesson Plans
  • Teacher PowerPoints

Join Ohio and their push for meaningful, purposeful career readiness lesson plans and standards that will help students span the skills gap.

Are you a teacher in Ohio trying to meet these new standards? Check out our Strand 1 Teaching Guide!

College and Career Readiness Skills for Students


About Sarah Layton

Sarah has been with AES since 1998, first serving as a curriculum developer, and now as a customer support analyst and content creator. She is committed to helping instructors gain experience and confidence using our solutions and to providing excellent customer care.