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Career Ready Badge Program

In response to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)  development of Career Readiness Competencies, Career & Professional Development has developed a Career Ready Badge Program.

        Definition of Career Readiness: the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.

Career & Professional Development will be awarding 3 Career Ready Level Badges in which students can work toward by earning sub-badges.

NACE has outlined 8 Career Ready competencies. These are the basis for the badge program and will serve as the core of our sub-badges:

Critical ThinkingOral/Written CommunicationTeamwork/CollaborationDigital Technology
Professionalism/Work EthicCareer ManagementGlobal/Intercultural KnowledgeLeadership

Career Services will also be awarding badges for 2 additional competencies:

SustainabilityCivic Engagement/Knowledge

Career Ready Badge Poster

Why a badging program?

        Career & Professional Development wanted to engage students in providing evidence-based verification (micro-credentials) that will show employers that not only are our students academically prepared (by conferral of degree), they are also career ready.

        Today’s badges are digital credentials that represent skills, interests, and achievements earned by an individual through specific projects, programs, courses, or other activities. There is a learning ecosystem behind the badges that make them powerful and connected credentials.

        –Alliance for Excellent Education (2013), Expanding Education and Workforce Opportunities through Digital Badges

Evidence-Based Verification

        Students may verify competency attainment by submitting documentation of academic involvement, job/internship experiences, activities, etc. by self-enrolling in the course Career Readiness course located on D2L.

        In the content section of D2L, students will find sub-badge verification outlines for each competency. Students may use the experiences listed in the outline or submit documentation for other experiences not listed for consideration. Students will also find tailored documents for requesting supporting verification from employer/faculty/advisors etc.

Student Expectations:

To participate in the program, two criteria must be met before badges will be granted.

  • Students must maintain and update their Handshake account AND have a current, updated resume posted to their account

  • Students must attend at least one Career Fair on the Fox

Additional Expectations:

  • ALL criteria must be completed and submitted at the same time for a badge to be granted.

  • Proof that the appropriate number of needed sub-badges have been obtained must be completed and submitted when requesting a level verification badge.

  • It will be the student’s responsibility to request sub-badges and level verification badges. Career & Professional Development will not be monitoring student progress.

How the Badge Program Works

Students may participate in the Career Ready Badge Program in two ways:

1.     By earning competency badges (see the list of 10)

2.     By accumulating competency badges to earn one of the three level verification badges

Master Level Verified – earn 8 to 10 competency badges

Advanced Level Verified – earn 6 to 7 competency badges

Developing Level Verified – earn 5 competency badges

Once a student has obtained a competency or level badge it may be displayed on social media accounts or shared in the interviewing process.

When a student achieves the Career Ready Master Level badge, Career & Professional Development will add a label to the student profile in Handshake. This label is searchable by employers seeking Career Ready Verified students.

How to Earn Badges

To submit materials to earn badges, students must self-enroll in the Career Readiness Course on D2L.  The Career Readiness Course link is on the D2L homepage under Student Resources (Other Resources). Once enrolled badge specific information can be found in the content section. Each section has an associated drop box where students submit materials for consideration.

Level Badges

Students earn Level Badges by:

  • earning 8-10 competency badges and will be awarded the Master Level Career Ready  Badge
  • earning 6-7 competency badges and will be awarded the Advanced Level Career Ready Badge
  • earning 5 competency badges and will be awarded the Beginner Level Career Ready Badge

Master Level Badge






Competency Badges

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Badge

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

NACE Definition:

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

Keywords: Analyze, Process, Creative, Problems, Strategic, Decisions, Issues

What does it look like?

  • I collaborated on a research team to gather and analyze data to develop a research hypothesis
  • I am able to devise a classroom management plan to address student misbehavior
  • I am able to apply my problem solving skills to resolve a customer complaint
  • During my project management internship I analyzed data to anticipate production issues

Examples of experiences that qualify. 

  • Participation as a member of a faculty-led research team
  • Participation in a case-study review that was graded/evaluated that demonstrates critical thinking and/or problem solving
  • Successful completion of a course or experience where I interpreted data, issues, or concerns to determine the scope of a problem and suggested/implemented a meaningful solution

How is the competency proven?

Complete any of the three options:

Option 1:

  • Provide one letter of support from a supervisor/faculty/professional that directly observed concrete examples of your success with critical thinking/problem solving abilities

Option 2:

  • Documentation of participation in a case-study and received a B+ or higher

Option 3: (Complete both parts)

  • Successfully complete a behavioral-based interviewing worksheet and submit a completed custom interview via Big Interview (found in Resources of Handshake)
  • Share an ethical dilemma that you’ve encountered and detail the approach you used to resolve the scenario

Oral/Written Communication Badge

Oral & Written Communication

NACE Definition:

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.

Keywords: Articulate, Public Speaking, Expression, Sell, Influence, Convey

What does it look like?


  • I developed an internship training manual for my internship supervisor.
  • As the Psychology Club Secretary, I wrote meeting memos, letters, and end of year reports.
  • I interviewed campus community members and wrote an article that was published in the Advanced Titan.


  • As an events intern, I am able to present to students organizations about upcoming campus events.
  • I led a workshop and facilitated activities for participants during a conference.
  • I conducted a poster presentation at the Rotunda describing the research project I completed.

What experiences qualify?  


  • Evidence of a published article or paper
  • Approved Thesis/Research paper
  • Held an internship, leadership role or participation in an organization where primary responsibilities required professional writing skills (i.e., served as a secretary of a club – created agendas & kept minutes; Events & Marketing Intern)
  • Wrote a script for a short film, documentary, or TV show


  • Completion of an advanced public speaking course, 300-400 level (e.g., COM 304)
  • Present at a meeting or conference
  • Deliver a sales pitch at the Sales Pitch Competition
  • Participation in Model United Nations
  • Principal acting role in a theater production
  • Commencement Speaker

How is the competency proven?

Complete one requirements in both oral and written communication:


  • Documentation of technical report and received a B+ or higher.
  • Submission of unofficial transcript with course and passing grade highlighted
  • Submit published paper or article


  • Public presentation – submit a conference program or event agenda with name listed
  • Submission of unofficial transcript demonstrating a grade of A or B in a 300-400 level advanced speaking course


Specific to major:  (these would complete this badge)

  • Passing EdTPA  – Upload certificate and submit a written lesson plan
  • COM major with a major GPA of 3.0 or higher- Submit STAR report
  • RTF Major: Submit a sample of you on-air 

Teamwork/Collaboration Badge


NACE Definition:

Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.


Keywords: Collaboration, Relationship, Team, Conflict


What does it look like?

  • As team lead, I am able to give constructive feedback and provide support to my peers in order to perform tasks.
  • During group projects, I am able to identify strengths of group members and assign tasks appropriately.
  • As a CA, I am comfortable with disagreements and can effectively facilitate roommate mediations.


What experiences qualify?

  • Active involvement in: campus clubs, community organizations, sports teams, research team, Greek organizations and committees
  • Serve as a mentor or train new employees
  • Participation in Hands on Oshkosh


How is the competency proven?

Completion of 2 or more of the following:

  • Provide one letter of support from a supervisor/faculty/professional/peer that directly observed concrete examples of your success with teamwork and collaboration abilities
  • Passing grade in clinical / student teaching / practicum experience that involves collaboration/teamwork
  • Successful completion (B+ or better) in a Quest 3 community engagement project
  • Reflection of involvement and participation in three separate collaborative groups or events (300 words or less)

Digital Technology Badge

Digital Technology

NACE Definition:

Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.

Defining your competency for UW Oshkosh

Keywords: Technology, Digital, Computing

What does it look like?

  • As a computer science intern, I am able to apply computing skills to solve problems.
  • I can use programs such as Photoshop and InDesign to create promotional posters and graphics to market Career Services.
  • For my research project, I efficiently used Excel, SPSS, and research databases

What experiences qualify?

  • Demonstration of advanced database management features
  • Demonstration of advanced Excel features (graphs, macros, pivot tables)
  • Completion of a 300 or 400 level course focused on digital technology (e.g., Information Systems, Graphic Design, IWM, Journalism)
  • Develop and update a website for a course, job or internship

How is the competency proven?

Complete one:

  • Documentation of an app or website development on a public platform
  • Documentation of leveraging digital technology within field – reflection (300 words or less)
  • Technical coursework – Submission of unofficial transcript with course and passing grade highlighted
  • CS, IS, IWM,  major with a major GPA of 3.0 or higher

Leadership Badge


NACE  Definition:

Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

Keywords: Coach, Guide, Motivate, Assess, Actively Participate, Delegate

What does it look like:

  • As a student lead in my campus job, I am asked to coach and mentor other student employees to provide good customer service.
  • As a team captain, I have the ability to assess the emotions of my teammates during competition and redirect them for positive outcomes.
  • As a member of my student club’s executive board, I am able to influence the direction of our organization by delegating committee goals and work.
  • In my internship, I took initiative to implement a new event where I lead other staff and interns to successfully accomplish the event outcomes.

What experiences qualify?  

  • Executive Board Member i.e., President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Committee Leader
  • Athletic Team Captain
  • Student Employment Lead
  • Lead Intern
  • SSS Group Leaders
  • Titan Gold Corp
  • USP Peer Mentors
  • Health Advocates
  • CSO
  • Other – with description of level of leadership outlined

How is the competency proven?

Leadership skills vs. Demonstrated leadership

There are times when you may use leadership skills at your internship, job, etc. but we are seeking a higher level of demonstrated experience for this particular badge.

  • Letter of Support/Certificate of Completion from a Coach, Club, Organization, Supervisor, Faculty

Professionalism/Work Ethic Badge

Professionalism/Work Ethic

NACE Definition:

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.

Keywords: Accountability, Ethical, Integrity, Image, Responsibility, Respect

What does it look like:

  • I am able to professionally communicate with my supervisor when I have schedule changes at my internship.
  • I am able to make ethical decisions based on the policies and norms of my work location.
  • I demonstrate effective work habits such as consistently arriving on time, being responsive, and courteous to my co-workers and manager.
  • I maintain professional social media profiles – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • As a CA/CSO, I am able to confront my peers successfully to enforce campus policies, statutes, and/or expectations.

What experiences qualify?

  • Professional networking events – Examples: Career Fair on the Fox, Creating Connections, C2C, Dining with Professionals, Tables of Titans, Business After Hours, Chamber of Commerce events (provide documentation for other events for consideration)
  • Active demonstration of professionalism and work ethic in an internship, part-time and/or full-time job.

How is the competency proven?

Option 1: All of these must be proven:

  • Have gone through a professional orientation at a job, internship, campus job, etc. and provide documentation of date
  • Submit a social media review worksheet (PC202 worksheet)
  • Participate in at least one networking event and submit a reflection of participation and documentation of date attended

Option 2: All of the following must be proven:

  • submit a copy of an evaluation from your current work location/internship that explicitly outlines the professionalism/work ethic outcome
  • Submit a social media review worksheet (PC202 worksheet)

Career Management Badge

Career Management

NACE Definition:

Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Keywords: Strengths, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional Development, Initiative

What does it look like?

  • I am able to tailor my resume/cover letter appropriately for the position I am applying
  • I am able to appropriately identify professional opportunities within my organization/internship that lead to further developing my skills and abilities.
  • I am able to apply what I am learning in the classroom to my internship or job.
  • I understand current industry’s market and am able to interview for jobs/internships with confidence.

What experiences qualify?

  • Successful completion of a Professional Skills course – PRF CNSL 202, HUM SERV 204, INTRDSCP 208, INTRDSCP 209, BUS 284 – receiving a passing grade or a B or higher
  • Successfully complete an advanced internship related to your major or career goals (minimum 140 hours)
  • Attend a regional and/or national conference for your major or industry of interest or as part of a student club/org
  • Participate in a faculty lead research team

How is the competency proven?

Anyone seeking the Career Management badge must have – an updated profile and resume approved on Handshake.

  • Show class completion from Titan Web to prove passing grade or a B or higher in a Professional Skills course – PRF CNSL 202, HUM SERV 204, INTRDSCP 208, INTRDSCP 209, BUS 284
  • Letter of support from internship supervisor demonstrating completion of internship related to major or career goals
  • Show proof of attendance approved by your faculty/club advisor
  • Letter of support from faculty member on research team
  • Successful completion of a Career Exploration course (PC201) – receiving a grade of B or higher and attending 3 career related workshops/experiences

Global/Intercultural Knowledge

Global/Intercultural Knowledge

NACE  Definition:

Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact with all people and understand individuals’ differences.


Diversity, Inclusivity, Sensitivity, Awareness, Respect, Interaction, Understanding

What does it look like:

  • As a social work intern, I provide resources on daily basis for low income families to reach financial independence.
  • As a history major and a spanish minor I studied abroad in Spain, where I interacted with local community members to increase my conversational spanish speaking skills.
  • I spent a summer with the Guy Healy USA Summer Camp program teaching English to Japanese youth.
  • As a research assistant I accompanied my faculty research supervisor and spent a semester on a Native American reservation.

What experiences qualify?  

  • Participate in a study abroad or volunteer/internship abroad
  • Attend a campus event that focuses on diversity and social justice topics
  • Participate in a job or internship that focuses on customers or clients from diverse backgrounds (e.g., refugees, low income families, individuals in urban communities)

How is the competency proven?

  • Letter of support from supervisor/faculty from volunteer, internship, study abroad   
  • Show proof of attendance of three events signed by organizer/leader of campus or community event and submit a one-page, single-spaced reflection

Sustainability Badge


UW Oshkosh Definition:

Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the multiple dimensions of sustainability (i.e, environmental, social, cultural, economic, political, technological, institutional, and spiritual) and its applications on local and global earth systems. The individual is able to maintain qualities of ecological integrity by taking actions to restore, preserve, and eliminate/minimize negative impacts on people, communities, and the environment and generating positive impacts to protect and enhance human health and encourage wellness.

Keywords: Environmental, Social, Cultural, Ecological Integrity, Preservation

What does it look like?

  • I seek to strengthen and further develop my current knowledge of sustainability by obtaining my sustainability management minor
  • I spent the semester in Ireland and can demonstrate knowledge of environmental, social, economic and political ideals and understand how they apply to local systems.
  • I participated in sustainability research alongside faculty and staff
  • I participated in a Clean Boats, Clean Waters internship over the summer.

What experiences qualify?  

  • Participation in a study abroad or volunteer/internship abroad experience that focuses on sustainability.
  • Attend a campus event that focuses on sustainability topics
  • Participate in faculty/staff lead research regarding sustainability


How is the competency proven?

  • Letter of support from supervisor/faculty from volunteer, internship, or study abroad experience focused on sustainability.
  • Show proof of attendance of three events signed by organizer/leader of campus events that focused on sustainability and submit a one page reflection
  • Letter of support from supervisor/faculty that they directly observed research focused on sustainability.


Civic Knowledge/Engagement Badge

Civic Knowledge and Engagement

UW Oshkosh Definition:

An awareness and understanding of the various political and social processes that impacts the nature and quality of life in campus, local, state, or global communities. The individual participates in learning, reflection, and demonstrates an appreciation for civic engagement values by taking action in real world settings, to improve quality of life and to create better communities.

Keywords: Reflection, Engagement, Community, Knowledge, Activism, Advocacy  

What does it look like?

  • I can demonstrate knowledge of local/state government by advocating, lobbying, or running for a position.
  • I volunteered for a non-profit which has a mission to improve the quality of life for citizens in the community.
  • I took part in a service-learning project, which established a connection between the community and UW Oshkosh.

What experiences qualify?  

  • Participation in Quest III course and received a B+ or higher and participated in a service learning project
  • Participating in local/state government by contributing to a consultation or making a submission on a council plan, attending council meetings, or participating in a local/state campaign
  • Volunteered 50 + hours at an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for citizens in the community

How is the competency proven?

  • Have participated in a Quest III course and service learning project and can provide documentation and letter of reference from faculty/staff
  • Provide one letter of support from a supervisor/faculty or professional that directly observed concrete examples of your success with civic engagement
  • Signed documentation for volunteer coordinator proving 50+ hours of volunteer work