Mercer County Career Center: Preparing Students for the National Career Readiness Certificate

Posted on Categories Employability Skills, Industry Certifications, Online Learning Tools & Resources, Postsecondary Transitions

At a Glance

Mercer County Career Center (MCCC) students may use the World Wide Interactive Network (WIN), an online, self-paced curriculum designed to prepare students for the WorkKeys Assessments.


According to ACT’s website for the NCRC, the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is awarded to individuals who demonstrate achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in Applied Mathematics, Workplace Documents, and Graphic Literacy. Students may earn the NCRC by successfully taking the WorkKeys assessments, which measure “real world” job skills.

Since 2013, MCCC juniors and seniors have been given the opportunity to enroll in the WIN program to help prepare for the NCRC assessment. Both the program and the assessment are offered at no cost to students. The program is funded through grant money and partnerships with WIB, WIOA and the local Career Link fund the program.

Students participate in the program during a two-week period each year. During this time they do not attend their lab classes. (They also need an additional two days to take the NCRC assessment.) Some students find they need to complete WIN coursework at home to finish in the two-week period while others may not need the entire two weeks to finish the program.

MCCC requires students to complete all the Level Six modules of the WIN program to be eligible to test for the NCRC.

MCCC finds the WIN program provides benefits to students beyond NCRC preparation. The program helps prepares students for:

  • the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), SAT, ACT, and TEAS assessments; 
  • scholarship and other award applications; and
  • employment and trade school entrance exams.

To encourage program participation, MCCC show students a video that explains how employers use NCRC and the value of obtaining one. Parents also receive information about the program.

Scheduling the program is a challenge because it needs to be planned around several other events, such as the Keystone exams, NOCTI testing and SkillsUSA events. Fortunately, MCCC teachers are flexible with the program coordination because they value the certification.


During the five years since MCCC implemented the WIN program, 277 students have earned the NCRC. Most of them earned the silver or gold certificate. Typically, just above 50 students test each year.

There is consistent growth between the WIN pre-assessment data compared to the NCRC final scores. Based on the success of the WIN program, MCCC will continue offering it.


Mercer County Career Center

Andrea Hoovler, Support Instructor
724-662-3000 ext.1162