Core to Career

RSVP for the Spring 2024 Core to Career Event

RSVP for our Core to Career event on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in CUE 518 to learn more about the Core to Career program and to hear how colleagues in the third cohort approached implementation of career readiness this Spring semester.
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What Is “Core to Career”?

Core to Career is a professional development fellowship program at WSU that supports faculty members who are interested in intentionally incorporating career readiness into their UCORE general education courses.

UCORE remains committed to its central mission of providing WSU undergraduates with a broad general education to complement the depth of knowledge gained in their major areas of study. Too often though, students (and parents, and some faculty and advisors) fail to see the connections between this broad education and post-graduation employment prospects. However, employers repeatedly cite WSU’s undergraduate learning outcomes such as thinking critically, understanding diversity, and being adept at communication as among the most important qualities in potential hires.

To this end, UCORE aims to close this awareness gap by helping faculty to intentionally scaffold career-readiness competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) into course and assignment design. The first faculty cohort of Core to Career faculty participants met throughout fall 2021 semester and members have plans to incorporate career-readiness skill-building into their spring 2022 courses.

Faculty attending virtually.
Retired faculty member Carl Hauser (bottom left) funded the initial Core to Career effort and attended final presentations virtually with participants Michael Thomas and AJ Miller.

Career Readiness Defined

Career readiness is a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that broadly prepare the college educated for success in the workplace and lifelong career management. For new college graduates, career readiness is key to ensuring successful entrance into the workforce. Career readiness is the foundation upon which a successful career is launched. Career readiness is, quite simply, the new career currency.

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

Read about NACE’s career readiness initiative on its website. Included are descriptions of career competencies and the observable behaviors that students may exhibit.

Additional Resources

Provost Office’s Teach page

Explore this content area of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President’s website, which contains resources, tips, tools, and techniques to support excellence and innovation in teaching.

Assignment Design Resources

Read guidance from the Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness on developing powerful, clear assignments to impact teaching, learning, and assessment.

Required Learning Outcomes

Depending on the designation, your UCORE course will carry additional learning outcomes requirements.

UCORE Policy

View departmental responsibilities for class size, graduate student instructors, shared syllabi, and more.

Library Instruction

Emphasize information literacy by scheduling with a librarian a session that is specifically tailored to your course.

Syllabus Website

Use this website to confirm required syllabus elements and recommended syllabus elements before teaching a course.

Core to Career Faculty Cohorts

NameCourse Subject & NumberCourse TitleUCORE Designation
Mariana AmorimSOC 102Social Problems[SSCI]
Mark BillingsSOE 110The Environment, Human Life, and Sustainability [PSCI]
Christopher ClarkeECONS 102Fundamentals of Macroeconomics[SSCI]
Kristin CutlerSOC 101Introduction to Sociology[SSCI]
Marlene GaynairHISTORY 111American History Since 1877[HUM]
Samantha GizerianNEUROSCI 105Meet Your Brain[BSCI]
Tomie Gowdy-BurkeHUMANITY 103Mythology[HUM]
Nanda GrowANTH 220Perspectives on Race[EQJS]
Shawna HerzogHISTORY 271Southeast Asian History: Vietnam to Indonesia[DIVR]
William KabasenchePHIL 103Introduction to Ethics[HUM]
Laura KuhlmanENGLISH 210Readings in American Literature[HUM]
Xinmin LiuCHINESE 121Modern Chinese Culture[HUM]
David MartinENGLISH 101College Composition[WRTG]
Brenna MillerHISTORY 105Roots of Contemporary Issues[ROOT]
Iolanda PalmerART 1033D Art and Design[ARTS]
Catherine PerilloSOIL_SCI 201Soil: A Living System[BSCI]
Alejandro PreraECONS 101Fundamentals of Microeconomics[SSCI]
Marsha QuinlanANTH 203Global Cultural Diversity[DIVR]
Rachel SanchezENGLISH 101College Composition[WRTG]
Matt StitcherPHIL 103Introduction to Ethics[HUM]
Mandy StreyH_D 205Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills[COMM]

NameCourse Subject & NumberCourse TitleUCORE Designation
Tammy CrawfordSPMGT 101Sport and Popular Culture: Trends and Issues[DIVR]
Julian DodsonHISTORY 105Roots of Contemporary Issues[ROOT]
David HampsonMATH 140Calculus for Life Scientists[QUAN]
J. Gutierrez IllanENTOM 101Insects and People: A Perspective[BSCI]
Nik OvertoomHISTORY 120World History I[DIVR]
Somava PandeCOM 101Media and Society[SSCI]
Mary Kay PattonHD 205Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills[COMM]
Michael RitterPOL_S 101American National Government[SSCI]
Emily SablanMATH 105Exploring Mathematics[QUAN]
Danhong ZhangMATH 202Calculus for Business and Economics[QUAN]

First faculty cohort
Faculty members and organizers in the fall 2021 inaugural Core to Career cohort. Pictured in-person (l. to r.): Z. Rost, L. Tsui, T. Edwards, E. Smelyansky, K. Watts, A. Heile, E. Tomson (front, kneeling), C. Stratton, K. Whalen, C. Cooney, A. Whitehall, J. Martin, K. Faunce, M. Goldsby. Faculty and organizers not pictured are D. Deford, J. Hewa, J. Martin, M. Thomas (attended virtually), A.J. Miller (attended virtually), and K. Phoenix.
NameCourse Subject & NumberCourse TitleUCORE Designation
Daryl DefordSTAT 212Statistics[QUAN]
Teena EdwardsCOM 102Public Speaking in the Digital Age[COMM]
Ken FaunceHISTORY 105Roots of Contemporary Issues[ROOT]
Michael GoldsbyPHIL 201Psychology of Communication[QUAN]
Amy HeileENGLISH 101College Composition[WRTG]
Jeanette Martin MATH 171Calculus I[QUAN]
A.J. MillerMUS 262Rock Music: History and Social Analysis[ARTS]
Eugene SmelyanskyHISTORY 105Roots of Contemporary Issues[ROOT]
Michael ThomasENGLISH 105College Composition for Multilingual Writers[WRTG]
Erin TomsonCOM 102Public Speaking in the Digital Age[COMM]
Lora TsuiCOM 102Public Speaking in the Digital Age[COMM]
Kate WattsENGLISH 101College Composition for Multilingual Writers[WRTG]
Katy WhalenHISTORY 105Roots of Contemporary Issues[ROOT]
Anna WhitehallHD 205Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills[COMM]


  • Chris Cooney, Dept. of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship
  • Joe Hewa, Dept. of Human Development and Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership
  • Clif Stratton, DAESA/UCORE and Dept. of History
  • Zach Rost (staff)

An Awareness Gap

Public and private employers in Washington state and beyond demand that our graduates leave WSU with specialized, technical skills developed through major fields of study as well as transferrable skills, or core competencies. These are offered through WSU’s UCORE program and expanded through major fields of study and co-curricular activities.

These competencies help our graduates be adaptable in an ever-changing economy and society.

Undergraduates, and faculty and advisors who mentor and counsel them, are often unable to articulate “career readiness” to potential employers. The Core to Career initiative aims to close this awareness gap. It is not enough for undergraduates to encounter disparate opportunities to develop and apply transferrable skills; they must also be able to see connections among them, to development them coherently and consistently across WSU’s undergraduate curriculum, and advocate for themselves in career and life beyond WSU.

A Work in Progress

Core to Career began with a generous donation from long-time WSU faculty member Carl Hauser, who is committed to the ideals of a broad general education. The initiative takes as its inspiration several successful models at other institutions, including Georgia State University, University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts, and Clemson University.

Like each of these programs, WSU’s Core to Career aims to build faculty capacity to prepare graduates for growth within and adaptation to an ever-changing employment landscape.

At WSU, this multi-year process began in Fall 2021 with an invited inaugural faculty-fellows cohort. These educators will introduce students to career competencies in their First-Year Experience (ROOT) and Foundational Competencies (WRTG, COMM, QUAN) UCORE courses.

The intention is that the fellows program will expand to other lower-division UCORE courses and campuses beyond Pullman in subsequent faculty cohorts. The goal is that by 2024, it would be relatively difficult for a four-year matriculating undergraduate not to engage the habits of mind and action that signal career readiness in their first two years.