Strengths & Career Readiness: An Integrated Life Design Course

  • Career Level: Intermediate career services professionals
  • Competency: Interpersonal skills
  • Fee: $69 (member); $89 (nonmember);
    Add to Cart Order by Phone: 610.625.1026

  • Summary

    In today's complex job market, equipping students with the tools to understand and articulate their strengths, envision their career paths, and demonstrate career readiness to prospective employers is critical. This is especially true for liberal arts and sciences students who are equipped with a broad range of skills and competencies that can be creatively leveraged in designing a unique career path in this ever-changing job market. We are in a time when career education must evolve beyond traditional teaching methods to incorporate content that encourages a growth mindset, fosters curiosity, emphasizes innate strengths, and provides a framework for implementation at every phase of one's career.

    We recognize the value of this type of course offering within the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences where 54% of our students are first-generation college students and often lack the guidance and professional networks that can be crucial in navigating the early stages of career planning and job searching. First-generation students may not always have access to information about how to leverage career resources, seek out career support, or the know-how to effectively transition from academic environments to professional settings.

    This presentation will outline an innovative 8-week, 1 credit, career strengths-based course that has been meticulously crafted to address this need through an integrative framework that leverages proven methodologies such as CliftonStrengths, principles of "Designing Your Life," and the NACE Career Readiness Competencies.

    According to Gallup, the CliftonStrengths assessment is instrumental in fostering students' self-awareness, confidence, clarity, and empowerment. Gallup's research suggests that when students have a clear understanding of their innate talents, they are more likely to excel academically, socially, and in their future careers. Therefore, it is advantageous for educational programs such as a course like this one, to incorporate the CliftonStrengths assessment to aid students in identifying and cultivating their unique strengths.

    The "Designing Your Life" framework emphasizes that that there are multiple "good" paths and that the process of designing your life is continuous and ever evolving. This approach encourages adaptability, curiosity and “trying things”. This framework is integral for liberal arts and sciences students in translating their broad education into successful and adaptable career paths while ensuring personal growth and resilience. Lastly, as the students reflect on their innate strengths, recognize that they are in control of how they want to pave their unique path, they are learning about what it means to be career ready based on NACE's Career Readiness Competencies. Students refine these competencies through intentional exercises and activities built into the curriculum.

    Attendees will explore the course's transformative framework, engaging in interactive exercises that promote strengths-based development and life design. The presentation will showcase key assignments, the syllabus, learning objectives, and impactful student feedback. A highlight will be the showcasing of student-created videos, illustrating their key takeaways and next steps after taking the course. Attendees will view data demonstrating the significant increase in student confidence post-course based on this integrative approach. 

    Following this program, you will be able to:

    • Develop an understanding of how to integrate CliftonStrengths and Life Design in a course to help students identify their talents to help pave their career and foster career readiness;
    • Integrate NACE's career readiness competencies into a career course and discover strategies for helping students articulate and apply these competencies in real-world scenarios, such as resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and interviews; and
    • Explore the collection and use of quantitative and qualitative impact data to measure and validate the course's effectiveness in enhancing student confidence and career readiness.


Visit the professional development FAQ page, or contact the NACE Education & Events Team via e-mail or phone, 610.625.1026.