NE Career Readiness Standards

What do you need to know?

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards are employability skills identified by Nebraska businesses and industry as the most essential skills sought after by employers in our state and nationwide. Career development is intentional about teaching these skills through opportunities offered throughout PreK-12 classes with increasing complexity and relevance, as students progress in career maturity.

This set of skills support individuals for transitions in life. They are transferable to any career and many other environments outside of the workplace. Every Nebraska student, regardless of background, interests or intent after graduation, need these skills.

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards apply to all education settings. Educators at all levels should seek to develop these skills and dispositions in their students. The Nebraska Department of Education is aligning career readiness standards with all core academics such as math, language arts, social studies and science.

Applies appropriate academic and technical skills

Communicates effectively and appropriately

Contributes to employer and community success

Makes sense of problems and perseveres in solving them

Uses critical thinking

Demonstrates innovation and creativity

Models ethical leadership and effective management

Works productively in teams and demonstrates cultural competency

Utilizes technology

Manages personal career development

Attends to personal and financial well-being

Why Nebraska Career Readiness Standards?

Career readiness skills are about the basics: a solid academic foundation and strong personal ethics; speaking and writing effectively; analyzing situations and solving problems; understanding fundamental concepts in math and science and fulfilling responsibilities and professionalism.

Career readiness is about relationships: collaborating with co-workers; respecting the opinions, privacy and cultures of others; working independently as well as on a team; accepting responsibility and understanding consequences of decisions; making healthy choices and understanding how work and employment impact the community, state, nation and the world.

Career readiness is about generating a powerful, homegrown workforce across Nebraska: creating a steady supply of responsible leaders and skilled employees in a wide range of industries; inspiring young entrepreneurs and young professionals to start businesses in their hometowns.

Career readiness is about knowing what is needed to be successful; understanding available technology plus knowing how and when to use it appropriately; using skills to address new challenges and new opportunities; and navigating the known and unknown while having enthusiasm for life-long learning.

Career readiness is not always about working for someone else. Creating opportunities to be self-employed requires career readiness skills plus specific knowledge, drive and confidence in starting a business.

Career readiness skills are transferable!

Career readiness skills are positive assets to have in a variety of places:

  1. At home for positive family dynamics
  2. At school for a positive learning environment
  3. At workplaces for career success

Learning Progressions and Indicators for NE Career Readiness Standards

ENGAGE! is a middle school career development curriculum designed for students to learn to use career assessments, explore careers with the Nebraska Career Education Model, develop Nebraska Career Readiness Standards and create a PLP-Personal Learning Plan. Learn more at:

Habitudes for NE Career Readiness Skills are a set of innovative lessons for high school students to develop career readiness. Learn more at:



Engage! Career Exploration and Readiness

This is a project based course designed to help middle school students explore career options using the Nebraska Career Education Model and understand the Nebraska Career Readiness Standards. The course is organized by three themes – Making it My Choice, A World of Options and Charting a Direction – with culminating individual and group projects. Students will define career clusters and pathways, describe examples of career readiness, utilize self-assessments to better understand interests, establish a career portfolio and create a personal learning plan to provide direction to high school and post-high school activities. This course is aligned to American School Counselor Association Standards for Students and integrates EducationQuest tools and resources for middle school students.

Recommended Level: Grades 7-8
Course Code:  320300

Engage User Guide

Unit 1 Overview

Unit 2 Overview

Unit 3 Overview

Unit 4 Overview

If you are interested in Engage, contact Donna Hoffman

Reality Check



Nebraska Department of Education Links

Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Career Education
Nebraska Department of Education Curriculum & Instruction Team

Outside Links

American School Counselor Association
NCAA Eligibility and Recruiting
Nebraska Career Connections
Nebraska Association of School Boards
Nebraska School Activities Association
Nebraska Council of School Administrators
States’ Career Clusters
US Department of Health & Human Services
US Department of Education


Nebraska School Counseling Brochure (PDF)
Personal Learning Plans (PLP) Brochure (PDF)
PLP Goal Setting Guide (PDF)
Nebraska Sample Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) (NDE Link)
NCE Model (NDE Link)
C4C Curriculum for Careers Brochure (PDF)
School Counselors as CTE Stakeholders (PDF)

Personal Learning Plan

A Personal Learning Plan is a student’s current plan of coursework and extended learning activities to meet the student’s education, career, and life goals.


Click the image above to view the Personal Learning Plan Booklet

Parent Information

Parent information about Career Development

Watch this video to learn how to
help your child with career development 
Guiding Your Children to Career Success Video

NEW! Reality Check:
Guiding Your Children to Career Success

Be careful of how your student is planning postsecondary education.  
Is this a plan?
4 Year Plan Youtube

These are important skills employers want!  
Start now to help your student build these skills

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards checklist


This model shows how Nebraska schools introduce different types of careers!
Nebraska Career Education Model


Help guide your child to H3 jobs  
Discover Hot Jobs in Nebraska!
(This website is updated every week!)

Here are some typical jobs for each career area that need different levels of education


Here is an opportunity to see Nebraska
businesses and career opportunities!

Nebraska Career Tours
To learn about financial aid
to prepare for college
Free online career information system
for students and adults.  
There is a parent section too


Check this out!
 A parent guide for career planning  
Parent toolkit for academic, social emotional and health and wellness from pre-kindergarten through high school.  Website is developed by NBC EducationNation.


Nebraska Research

2010 Nebraska School Counseling State Evaluation

School Counseling Does Make a Difference!

A statewide evaluation of Nebraska School Counseling programs was recently conducted by the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research University of Massachusetts Amherst to answer the following questions:

  1. Do school counseling programs in Nebraska high schools contribute significantly to students’ educational outcomes?

  2. What aspects of school practice contribute the most to students’ educational outcomes?

  3. Based upon these results, how might school counseling practice in Nebraska be improved?

Videos about Nebraska School Counseling

Crete Video Westside Video Lincoln East Video

Counselor-Student Relationships (Crete)

Counselor-Administrator Partnership (Westside)

Advantages of Having a School Counseling Program (Lincoln East)

Career Readiness and Parental Involvement (Westside)

School Counseling Advocacy Publications for Parents and All Stakeholders

College and Career Brochure Bookmark Summary Cover  

College and Career Trifold Brochure




School Counseling Data Publications for Counselors, Administrators and School Boards

Evaluation Cover Summary Cover Research Brief Data Brochure

Full Report


Research Brief,
Selected Segments

Data and Recommendations Trifold Brochure


Research Review Implementation Survey Practice Alignment School Counseling Week Flier

Effective Use



School Counseling Week Flier

News in Brief Powerpoint Image Middle School Initiative Brochure

News in Brief


Middle School Initiative Brochure

2012 Administrators’ Days Powerpoint Presentation

School Counseling Advocacy for Legislators

P16 Legislative Brief Research Brief Proclamation Powerpoint Image

Research Brief, Support of P16

Research Brief,
Selected Segments

School Counseling Week Proclamation


Summary Cover Data Brochure    


Data and Recommendations Trifold Brochure



2002 Nebraska School Counselor Survey

A survey was completed by 400+ Nebraska School Counselors in May of 2002. The data is available by ESU, Statewide and Statewide minus Lincoln and Omaha. Select the ESU data that you wish to view by clicking on the map below.

ESU 16

State survey

ESU 13 ESU 17 ESU 14 ESU 16 ESU 15 ESU 11 ESU 10 ESU 9 ESU 5 ESU 8 ESU 1 ESU 7 ESU 6 ESU 18 ESU 18 ESU 4 ESU 3 ESU 2 ESU 19

Professional Development Workshops and Conferences

Nebraska Career Education Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2017 NCE Conference! June 4-8, 2018


ASCA Annual Conference 2018

Visit the ASCA Website for more details

July 14 – 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA


NSCA School Counseling Academy

2018 NSCA-Academy November 9-10 in Lincoln, NE


Nebraska Policy

NDE School Counseling Policy | Adopted by State Board of Education 10/2015

NDE School Counseling EndorsementNEW – Effective 8/1/2017

Nebraska Accredited Schools
Pertaining to Guidance Programs (Rule 10)

007.05 Guidance Staff. Quality Indicator: A comprehensive, developmental K-12 guidance and counseling program assists all students in learning skills needed for academic success and for personal/social and career development. The guidance program includes planned classroom and group activities, counseling services responsive to individuals and small groups, and assistance to students in academic planning and placement. The school and community work cooperatively to provide appropriate support for students, families, and teachers.

Guidance and counseling programs are directed by professional staff with appropriate endorsements in guidance and counseling. Professional staff are assigned based upon local needs determined through a formal process documenting the needs.

007.05A Each K-12 and each secondary school system assigns at least a one-half time equivalency person to conduct a guidance and counseling program. The level of assignment is determined by the local school system and the person assigned holds a guidance and counseling endorsement appropriate for the level(s) assigned. When enrollment in a school system exceeds 400, the system assigns at least one full-time equivalency appropriately endorsed person.

007.05B School systems having a total of 300 or more students in the middle grades, secondary grades, or high school grades assign at least a one-half time appropriately endorsed person to provide guidance and counseling for the level. When the total enrollment in any of those levels reaches 450, one full-time equivalent appropriately endorsed person is assigned. Thereafter, an additional one-half time appropriately endorsed person is assigned for each 225 students at any of those levels.

007.05C School districts having 300 or more students in the elementary grades have guidance programs or services available for the elementary students. The procedures and time allotment are determined by the local school district.

007.05D Until September 1, 2006, a person holding a Nebraska Teaching Certificate with no endorsement appropriate for guidance and counseling may be assigned to fulfill the requirements of Sections 007.05A and 007.05B if such person acquires at least six credit hours each year toward an endorsement appropriate for guidance and counseling pursuant to 92 NAC 24. Persons employed by a Nebraska school to provide guidance and counseling services prior to July 1, 1989 and hold a Nebraska Special Services Certificate with an endorsement appropriate for guidance and counseling services may fulfill the requirements of this regulation.

007.05E In nonpublic schools, clergy holding a Nebraska teaching or administrative certificate may be assigned to fulfill the requirement of Sections 007.05A and 007.05B.

Nebraska Certification of Guidance Counselors (Rule 24)
School Guidance Counselor
Grade levels: K-6, 4-9, 7-12
Endorsement Type: Field

Persons with this endorsement may serve as school guidance counselors in kindergarten through grade 6, grades 4 through 9, or grades 7 through 12.

Certification Endorsement Requirements: The endorsement shall require the applicant to have had at least two years of teaching experience, 36 graduate semester hours and a master’s Degree in School Counseling, including;

•At least one hundred clock hours of clinical experience prior to internship; and
•At least four hundred fifty (450) clock hours of internship


Contact Nebraska School Counseling!

Donna Hoffman
School Counseling Specialist
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: 402.471.4811
Fax: 402.471.0117


Caitlin Davidson
Professional Assistant

Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: 402.471.2439
Fax: 402.471.0117