• Career Awareness & Exploration (CAE), formerly known as Career Readiness, encompasses the K-8 curriculum and experiences designed to help students see what, and who, they can be at an earlier age. Through a deeper and more purposeful self-exploration process, elementary and middle school students will gain a better understanding of themselves and potential career opportunities while simultaneously examining 21st Century job skills.

    The CAE curriculum and experiences are tailored to connect students with high-demand careers which will align with Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education (CTE) programming - strengthening the education-to-career pipeline.

    To kick off the CTE redesign process, the CAE team began implementing the innovative Career Exploration programming for sixth through eighth grades in the fall of 2020.

Career Exploration Experiences | 6th-8th Grade

  • 6th Grade: Explore Interests & School Subjects at Work

  • 7th Grade: Explore Careers & Lifestyle Cost

  • 8th Grade: Explore Employers & Entrepreneurship


  • An evolution of Career Cruising, Xello is an academic and career planning program that prepares K-12 students for success through an engaging platform that builds self-knowledge, personalized plans and critical life skills. As part of the Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education rollout, Xello is now available to every K-12 student across Kalamazoo County.

    The innovative career planning program provides students with a wide range of tools and data trackers to assist them on their journey to personal understanding. From assessments to help identify learning styles, storyboards for students to build a professional talent portfolio, recognize career pathways of interest, upload videos, projects, letters of recommendation and much more, Xello has the tools students need to gain a better understanding of their interests, how they fit into career fields and eventually potential occupations.

    Broken down into three sections, “About Me,” “Goals & Plans” and “Explore Options,” Xello is a comprehensive program that tracks a student's career and interest data throughout their K-12 education. With many built-in opportunities for self-reflection, Xello helps students realize the difference between a hobby and a potential career. By exploring these possibilities more deeply and at an earlier age, students are exposed to many more opportunities.