Faculty Tips for Integrating Career Development into the Classroom

Integrating career development into the classroom is a great way to ensure students see the connections between coursework and their future career or continuing education goals.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), or Higher Education, Below are a few examples of simple ways faculty can engage career development into the curriculum.

Career, Alumni & Employer Guest Speakers

Career staff, alumni, and local employers can make great classroom speakers, to help make connections between course content and real-world applications. Need help identifying a guest for your classroom? Contact us – we are happy to assist you with uncovering professionals that align with your course content.

Case Studies & Projects

Bringing case studies into the classroom in partnership with local employers can be a great way for students to understand how their academic learning applies to real-world problems. These projects not only elevate our University of Denver talent to local organizations, they also help students develop project-based experiences that can add value as they apply to graduate school or full-time employment.

Informational Interviews

Incorporating an informational interview with a local professional or alum as a course assignment is a great way to encourage students to build their professional network and learn practical applications for their field of study. Career Services staff members can not only teach your students how to effectively conduct these meetings and uncover professionals in their network, we can also show students how to leverage Pioneer Connect to access over 5000 alumni career volunteers in the OneDU community of support that are eager to aid student career success.

Highlighting Skills in Your Syllabus

Students often fail to recognize how the coursework they are taking develops transferable skills for their future career goals. Consider adding a brief statement to your course syllabus identifying the professional skills that the course content and assignments are helping students develop for the future. Integrate transferable skills into your learning outcomes to help students see those connections.

Faculty are in a great position to link classroom learning to posts-graduation goals to help students see the value of their major coursework and common curriculum requirements. Writing, research, verbal communication, critical thinking, and data analysis are just a few examples of skills developed in the classroom that are highly sought by employers for a wide variety of positions.

Bloom’s Taxonomy[1] consists of various levels of observable actions that help describe and classify knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors and abilities. Consider describing your course outcomes or objectives using an action verb that is most appropriate to the level of your course. For more information on the skills employers seek in your field of expertise, contact DU Career Services for assistance.

Introductory Intermediate Advanced  
§  Categorize §  Structure §  Assess
§  Classify §  Order §  Restructure
§  Contribute §  Strategize §  Lead
§  Describe §  Link §  Plan
§  Demonstrate §  Clarify §  Restate
§  Discover §  Collect §  Synthesize
§  Discuss §  Prepare §  Debate
§  Estimate §  Calculate §  Transform
§  Express §  Persuade §  Negotiate
§  Infer §  Deduce §  Predict
§  Interpret §  Compare §  Adapt
§  Listen §  Comment §  Moderate
§  Locate §  Appraise §  Integrate
§  Observe §  Predict §  Hypothesize
§  Record §  Edit §  Mix/Remix
§  Relate §  Share §  Facilitate
§  Retell §  Explain §  Convince
§  Search §  Organize §  Integrate
§  Summarize §  Compare §  Analyze
§  Tabulate §  Calculate §  Extrapolate
§  Utilize §  Reformulate §  Create
§  Visualize §  Illustrate

§  Design


Sample Syllabus Statements

“The learning objectives for this introductory course will develop critical thinking skills that employers seek. They include: (1) discovering the qualitative differences between primary and secondary historical sources; (2) observing different time periods of politics, economy, and culture, and (3) expressing the complexity of American history in regards to significant social topics and events.”

“This upper division course will progressively improve those collaboration and leadership skills valuable in the work place. Course outcomes: (1) contribute to an assigned team task; (2) strategize a task solution in a way that fosters positive team relationships; and (3) lead a group task that makes a contribution to team goals.”


[1] Churches, Andrew. (2009). Bloom’s digital taxonomy. Educational Origami4.

By Jane Kolb
Jane Kolb Career & Professional Development