Center for Occupational Research and Development

Center for Occupational Research and Development

Center for Occupational Research and Development

Welcome to CORD

For more than 40 years, providing innovative changes in education to prepare students for greater success in careers and higher education

Core Tenets

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Contextual teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines

We support the teaching of knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the contexts in which they are used in today’s rapidly evolving workplace.

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Seamless transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and careers

We help educators and employers work together in ensuring that all learners have access to credential-earning Career Pathways.

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Training solutions to help America’s technicians excel in the global labor market

Our projects and resources help learners acquire the technical and employability skills necessary to be globally competitive, today and in the future.

News and Views

By our team members and partners


Academic Esports: Gateway to STEM-Related Careers

Esports as an academic CTE pathway can ignite a student’s passion to discover the endless opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related careers as well as orbital careers associated with esports.

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Unlocking Potential Through Technology

What skills does a technician coming into the workforce need? Career Pathways, apprenticeships, and certifications are providing strategic inroads for students as well as a valuable pipeline of talent for industry.

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Preparing Technicians for a Cross-Disciplinary Future

Technologies such as machine learning, AI, and the Internet of Things are transforming industry. Skilled technical workers of the future will need to function well in the diverse platforms and systems that drive multiple sectors.

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Featured Resources

A Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core, produced by the NSF ATE project Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work (a project of CORD), consists of recommendations for incorporating knowledge and skills in three broad areas—advanced digital literacy, data knowledge and analysis, and business knowledge and processes—into associate degree technician preparation programs.

Topics within these areas have been prioritized by educators and industry as essential to work of the future, across industry sectors. The framework represents a paradigm shift for institutions that provide technician education and is suitable for implementation, with regional customization, by any community college technical program. In summer 2022 the Preparing Technicians project released a supporting resource titled Adopting the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core: A Toolkit for Action. The toolkit facilitates implementation of the framework by laying out six steps covering topics such as recruitment of the implementation team, identification of curriculum gaps, and development of real-world scenarios. The toolkit also provides short self-assessment checkpoints and links to resources designed to assist in the adoption process.

Current Projects