Expertise in Technical Assistance & Professional Development

The NCTN works with a wide range of clients in our customized consulting practice. Services are aimed at helping clients effectively design and implement career pathways, college and career readiness programs, comprehensive student support services, and viable multi-stakeholder partnerships. As a way to learn more about our services, here is a sampling of our work:

Arizona Comprehensive Operations Action Plan

Our consultancy with the Arizona Department of Education/Adult Education Services effectively integrated Arizona’s College and Career Readiness standards. Through professional development activities and leadership coaching, over sixty adult education administrators and instructional leaders can successfully transition adult students to college and career pathways. NCTN led activities included program and practitioner based need assessments, customized online courses, evidence-based study groups, and in-person trainings.

Brookline Teen Job Readiness Assessment Project

In collaboration with an advisory group consisting of Brookline High School faculty and staff, Brookline Teen Center staff, and a senior town planner, the NCTN is assessing the workforce training system in Brookline, Massachusetts. This assessment will develop an action plan to improve Brookline’s ability to provide youth with the skills necessary for success in whatever career path they choose. Data collection activities include conducting parental and youth focus groups, facilitating student focus groups, and interviewing Brookline public housing and community advocates. The project is funded by Governor Baker’s Community Compact initiative.

Massachusetts Career Readiness Initiative

The initiative accelerated the state’s ability to assist low-income residents with basic literacy skills to access career pathways. Working closely with funder Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the NCTN provided training and capacity building activities to assist career centers, community colleges, and adult basic education programs embed ACT Career Ready 101 online learning tools in their programs and services. Our work also included training in strategies for engaging employer interest in the National Career Readiness Certificate. During the course of the project, the NCTN planned and facilitated 30 statewide and regional meetings and events for 900 attendees and contributed to the overall strategic direction of the initiative.

Navigator and Coach Capacity Building Consultant Services

The NCTN is a nationally-recognized leader in developing and promoting the role of college and career navigators and career coaches at the center of programs that foster student persistence and success. Our face-to-face and online training program for college and career navigators has been offered in 15 states to hundreds of front line staff and administrators in education and workforce development programs. In most cases, the training supported statewide scale-up of career pathways and integrated education and training initiatives. Two hundred career coaches working in secondary and postsecondary programs have completed a Career Coach Certification Online Course that NCTN wrote for the Virginia Community College System to standardize approaches to coaching across all college access grant programs. We also offer training for trainers for states and institutions scaling up a navigator or coach initiative.


The NCTN team customized a practitioner toolkit and associated training materials to promote greater use of regional labor market data for the State of Texas Education Agency. The toolkit informed adult learners’ career choices and facilitated effective transitions to postsecondary education. In addition, the NCTN made recommendations for statewide implementation of the training materials.

VETRN: Promoting Veterans’ Success

In collaboration with Northeastern University faculty, VETRN advisory board members, and potential students the NCTN developed a user-friendly web-based tool to assess whether or not applicants have the competencies in reading comprehension, writing, math, and computer literacy needed to successfully complete the VETRN program. VETRN provides veteran participants with the skills, resources, networking, and mentorship necessary to launch or grow a small business. A fundamental element of the tool is its congruence with the VETRN program’s mission and learning objectives.

Waubonsee Community College

The NCTN team guided the design, development, and implementation of Waubonsee Community College’s transition pilot program for students in the adult education program based at the Aurora, Illinois campus. A core element of the pilot program was a college transition course incorporating the academic, career, college, and personal readiness knowledge areas.

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