Every student success by having access to a variety of career readiness options to be able to obtain skills (academic and personal) necessary to succeed in life and enjoy seeking lifelong learning opportunities in the future.

All students who graduate by SY 2020 will have had access to options in career readiness tools including working resume, credential/work ready certification, early field based experience related to a career cluster of interest with understanding options for two and four year post-secondary instruction.

Career Specialist Team Purpose

Our Career Specialist team are connectors and coaches of academics relevant to career readiness including college success.  Our team provides connections to enable and promote student success making the connection to:

  • A mentor Career Specialist at each high school to assist with career planning and practice
  • Career based programs of study connected to industry and economic need
  • Early field based experiences through “ACE” Academic Career Experience (formerly EXCEL) with access to over 85 local business and offices in Dona Ana County
  • Opportunities for community leadership and volunteering
  • On-line career readiness tools, certification and post-secondary options
  • Student organizations which provide leadership and academic
  • Assistance to counselors and administrators in planning for graduation
  • Instructor connections to resources, training and connections to NM TEACH
  • Advisory Connections by providing Leadership for Career and Technical Education Program of Study Advisory members
  • Access to current labor market data
  • Identification of work ready certificate programs
  • Sharing of NM PED program of study evaluation tool and secondary accountability tools
  • Collaboration in alignment of Carl D. Perkins, WIOA and other grant funding sources


Preparing students for life – skills for life!  Providing students tools to build personal and academic Skills for Life to encourage life-long learning and personal success

Three major components within Career Readiness (Career & Technical Education)

Curriculum aligned to industry standards and benchmarks to provide students options for career readiness training for work ready certification which lead to life-long learning for college and careers. Inclusive of short cycle industry based assessments and data collection/reporting.

Training & Professional Development options for teachers to increase personal knowledge and experience centered being able to deliver up-to date curriculum (aligned), data collection while understanding student leadership roles in the community, co-curricular and early field based options for students which meet industry rigor.

Advisory are integral for program success as these partnerships provide base for which a program of study can build not only physically but also financially.  Balancing many factors including the identification of Department of Labor – Workforce Solutions to identify building training (including prep or college) programs of need to meet local and regional economic employment needs.  Advisory groups are inclusive of parents, teachers, community outreach, industry partners, administrators, counselors and WFS/WFC personnel engaged in common goals to ensure success of programs for our students.

Academic Career Experience (ACE) Program Information

What is ACE?

ACE –Academic Career Experience is an early work experience program in which students enrolled in the Las Cruces Public Schools can earn credit toward graduation through participating in work experiences related to career fields of their interest. The Career Readiness and Student Success team is here to insure our students continue to develop career ready and employability personal and professional skills by creating a partnership in which our students have access to a mentor in the field of study they are interested; experiencing actual workplace environments and cultures to develop personal and professional skills to be successful after graduation.

Your mentorship and coaching will enable our students to understand and demonstrate knowledge gained through actual work experience to learn how to balance personal and professional lives.   Understanding the complexity of demands and responsibilities that are part of the world of work by learning by doing–how to balance those roles in his/her own life will encourage life-long learning.  Essential core competencies to be mentored by you and your team are: learning the ability to work well with others; understand complex interrelationships; how to work with a variety of technologies; acquire and use information; critical thinking and problem solving skills while practicing active time management will enable student success in career readiness.

Our team conducts intake with each student before placement including a review of transcripts and personal interviews.  The team also utilizes ACT WorkKeys to assess levels of literacy, numeracy and social skill levels of each student.  From these notes we are able to place students with an employer who has similar knowledge skills base needs.

Our team is always available should the need arise.  Career Specialists will continue to coach students and pull students back to the classroom bi-monthly to assess knowledge gained, encourage practice of safety and security while giving students tools in the areas of work place literacy (technical writing), financial literacy and basic work place math throughout the semester.  Nine week employer evaluations are required and essential as we review progress with each student to ensure personal and professional growth.  Students will create an electronic work portfolio aligned to Workforce Solutions on-line portal and establish career ready practices for continuum after graduation.

ACE Student Expectations
  • be on your site every day
  • on time and prepared to work
  • possess a positive attitude
  • follow and abide by rules/regulations and company policy (provide a handbook or written example)
  • absences must be reported ahead of time if possible by contacting you first then the ACE Mentor/Career Specialist (students understand they must be able to provide a note if asked)

If at any time you feel a student is not following the expectations please refer them to any Career Specialist. We will correct the behavior, hold a meeting with student, counselor, parent or guardian to find root causes for correction or the student will be removed.

What is the role of the job site mentor?
  • hold an pre-placement intake interviews with the student
  • review your handbook and policies to understand the perimeters of the job(s) assigned
  • provide continuous jobsite mentoring to the student
  • provide communication back to ACE Mentor/Career Specialist achievements or areas of improvement needed
  • refer back to us if the student doesn’t fit into your area or is not following through as expected
How do we monitor and coach our ACE Students?

Students will use their phone upon arrival at the jobsite to use a GPS time clock application called TSheets which can be access by their phones or on-site computer. Students will be expected to follow your policy regarding cell phone use.  Students will use the app to log out of the work site.  Our team will follow time logs and contact student and employer of any discrepancies.

Attendance and progress will be reviewed with students biweekly during our status meetings. Students will hand to their ACE Mentor/Career Specialist a Good Standing Report signed by you throughout the semester. This is to insure students are attending and doing what is required. You may address any concerns on this report as well.

Communication with our team is done via email, text or personal phone call as needed.  We will also conduct site visits as necessary.

ACE Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who supervises the students?

A: The ACE staff works in a collaborative partnership with a jobsite mentor to oversee students and note progress.

Q: How do students get to and from the jobsite?

A: ACE students must arrange for their own daily transportation to/from the jobsite.

Q: What about liability and health/accident insurance?

A: ACE students must provide their own medical insurance or purchase school insurance.

Q: When will students be placed?

A: The goal is to have every student at their placement by the end of August.


When is their last day on the jobsite?

A: FALL SEMESTER:  December 14th

SPRING:  Seniors – May 10th – Freshman-Juniors – May 17th

Q: How am I supposed to figure out a schedule or know when the student is to show up?

A: Fall Calendar- Spring Calendar

Students may work when not in school, worked out between site, student, & teacher

Q: How students make up hours?

A: Students can make up hours during their free time at the worksite if possible. If not, students have assignments they can work on to make up hours. Students need 130 hours for credit.

Q: How are students evaluated?

A: Students will hand in Bi-weekly attendance sheets to their teacher.

A: Once a semester mentor evaluation:

Q: Who do I contact if I and ANY issues or concerns?

A: Any Career Specialist or the CRSS Coordinator, Carrie Hernandez (575) 527-6616 or (575) 644-3057.