CSM and Workforce Development

Skills for education, work and life success

CSM develops a broad range of competencies to build personal agency -- a person's ability to be resilient in the face of setbacks and to have the knowledge, mindsets and confidence to grasp opportunities. CSM delivers:

  • college level math and strategic literacy skills
  • college math credit
  • learning agility
  • problem-solving strategies and mindsets
  • attention to detail and conscientiousness
  • persistence and self-reliance
  • high personal expectations and an intention to excel
  • the skills of making career decisions throughout your life
  • an employability skills certificate aligned with the Common Employability Skills framework
  • self-efficacy

The CSM Course is appropriate for -- and these outcomes are available to -- people across a range of abilities, from those with 4th grade skills to those with college degrees, and even those with mild learning or intellectual disabilities or those with mild English-language challenges.

The CSM Course

Powered by next-generation learning technology that simultaneously personalizes instruction in academics and how you learn, act and feel.

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The CSM Certificate

Certifies High Performance, employability skills, and gains college math credit.

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Career Strategies

A new approach to career development focusing on learning the skill of making career decisions throughout your life.

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Case Study: Pre-Apprenticeship

Pepco/Exelon (the Washington, DC electric utility) was struggling with low passing rates on the CAST (Construction And Skills Trades) test in their pre-apprenticeship program with the District of Columbia's Infrastructure Academy. To remedy this, participants earned their CSM Certificates in an intensive 6-week program before progressing to other pre-apprenticeship training.

They found that:

  • Passing rates on the CAST test rose from 20% to 67%
  • 90% of participants agreed that the CSM Course helped them learn how to fix mistakes, that they are more careful in their work, and that they spend longer trying hard problems
  • 85% of participants agree that they learned useful skills from the CSM Course
“I was very pleased with the results of the CSM pilot program. We observed that individuals that progressed to the Pathway to Energy training (only those who earned their CSM High Performance Certificates), were better prepared and had an extra boost of confidence.”
— Conrad Samuels, Manager, Talent Acquisition, Pepco Holdings

Applications and Benefits

High School Equivalency test preparation

Skills + Self-Efficacy

The CSM Course is highly personalized and can fill in math and literacy gaps as low as 4th grade skills. Every answer is evaluated formatively to determine the path through the skills that will keep learning efficient, effective, and enjoyable.

The CSM Course is also unique in its focus on self-efficacy, especially in math. Many student have never done well in school, and approach high stakes testing with fear. The CSM Course can boost both their skills and their confidence, leading to success.

Postsecondary transition

Build college aspirations and success skills

Half of adults don't think that they have the skills for postsecondary success (Strada-Gallup, 2020), and this lack of confidence is a huge impediment to college access. The largest hurdle to college completion is math requirements, which many people attempt many times before dropping out.

CSM builds deep math skills, and is often accepted by colleges as math credit that fulfills graduation requirements. Furthermore, CSM is unique in its focus on developing earning self-confidence. Combined with its strong support, short duration, and low cost, this makes CSM an effective stepping-stone into college.


Embedded employability skills

The CSM Course adds deep employability skills to apprenticeship programs, which are generally focused mostly on industry- and job-specific skills. The CSM Course also builds learning agility to allow participants to dig deeper into their other coursework.

The CSM Course is embedded in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in a variety of fields, from technical (e.g., energy and water/wastewater) to white collar (e.g., human resources).

Employment preparation

Skills for a whole career

Workforce development often ends when a client gets a stable job, but the true measure of success is when the client earns a promotion, setting them on a career trajectory. The CSM Course builds the transferable skills that place a person on that path: the math, literacy and problem-solving skills to interpret and make decisions from memos and data; the ability to "learn from a firehose" during training for new positions; and the attention to detail and intention to excel that characterizes good managers.

Summer/Opportunity Youth Programs

Many benefits and straightforward implementation

CSM delivers many important outcomes: strong academic skills; college math credit; employability skills and a certificate of High Performance; and the skills of making career decisions throughout your life. These outcomes provide a major leg up for preparing students for high school graduation, work or college.

The CSM Course can serve as a stand-alone option for a summer program, combined with other programming, or be embedded at job sites.

Evaluation Evidence: Academic Skills

An evaluation by SRI compared CSM to ALEKS (McGraw-Hill) and MyFoundationsLab (Pearson). SRI found that CSM had the highest math and literacy gains relative to classroom learning, as well as the highest student engagement.

Case Study: College Transition

In an program for adults to earn high school diplomas, Cuyahoga Community College was surprised to find that:

  • 28% of people who earned their CSM Certificate registered on their own for associate degree programs (expected: 0%)
  • 80% of those who matriculated have either completed their degree or have multi-semester persistence (national average: 20%)


We provide free professional development and tools for coaches at your organization, including a 4-6 hour self-paced professional development course and access to our path-breaking Toolkit that provides real-time intervention suggestions tailored to each student.

With our Expert Coaching services, we take care of administration and coaching your employees through their CSM experience. Our Expert Coaches will design an implementation plan that works for your needs, and communicate frequently with your training facilitators to ensure a successful program.                    

Case Study: Employee Upskilling

A major health insurance company implemented CSM for upskilling across all positions -- frontline to managers. Employee education levels were nearly evenly distributed across high school diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor's degrees and postgraduate degrees.

I found parts of CSM challenging


I found CSM motivating


There are more task I can handle at work


I feel more prepared for further education


I feel more excited about further education


"So what did [CSM] teach me? That I can overcome fear and anxiety, that I'm not a quitter when the going gets tough...I learned about math but I also learned about my own personality. I learned about logic, but I also learned about my own patience (or lack of at times). It's not about smarts - it's about utilizing our skills and trusting that we can slug our way through a tough spot."

— Roxolana T., Manager of Compliance Audit

Partner with us

We aim to develop deep relationships with our clients to ensure success. Some examples of our free assistance include:

  • brainstorming with you during implementation planning and reviewing your plans
  • check-ins with CSM staff to discuss individual participants, classes, etc.
  • creating and participating in Communities of Practice with coaches in your program
  • connecting with local colleges to gain the best college credit for your participants
  • helping design outreach to local employers to inform them of the CSM Course and Certificate in order to gain hiring preferences for your students, or to solicit CSM program funding
  • providing outreach materials and presentations as needed to communicate with your students, staff, board, etc.
  • supplying language for and reviewing your grant proposals
  • considering changes to CSM reports based on your administrative needs

If there are any other ways we might be of assistance, please contact us.

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