Career and Life Skills Academy

Our Partnership – The INSPIRE Coalition 

The INSPIRE Coalition is a partnership among students and their families, agencies, instructors and teachers, organizations, business partners, and Doña Ana Community College. 

Our Mission 

The mission of the INSPIRE Coalition is to foster the self-reliance and independence of individuals with exceptionalities through a variety of educational, vocational, and work-based opportunities that lead to inclusivity. 

Our Vision 

A strong, diverse workforce for our community. 

Current Partners 

DACC Student Accessibility Services, DACC Workforce Development & Career Readiness Department, NM Department of Vocational RehabilitationTresco, Inc., NM Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Las Cruces Public Schools, Beloved Community, Community Members and Students.





Our Current Project:  The Career and Life Skills Academy 

The INSPIRE Coalition’s Career and Life Skills Academy is a four-month program designed to engage participants in career exploration and self-discovery, work and professional skill development, technical skills development, and work-life balance.  Participants will complete job-shadowing and course-shadowing experiences as well as a month-long internship experience.   

The Program Participant Outcomes   

  1. Program Participants will develop a vision for their future based on a deeper understanding of their personal skills, attributes, and experiences as well as knowledge about available jobs and careers and career pathways. 
  2. Program Participants will develop and practice employer-valued work skills of teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and customer service. 
  3. Program Participants will develop and practice personal habits to enhance their well-being especially in the world of work. 
  4. Program Participants will obtain practical work experience in a supportive setting that will lead to employment in their chosen career area. 


Get Involved! 

Join us in creating a strong, diverse workforce for Doña Ana County!  We need partners in the business community for job-shadowing experiences, internships and employment opportunities for our participants and graduates of the Academy 

Job Shadowing – or “Two hours in the Work of… 

The job shadowing experiences offer participants a glimpse into various jobs, businesses, and workplaces.  In pairs or individually, the participants will spend two hours with an employer/worker at their place of work.  They will observe the work, the location, and get more details about that workplace and job as well as a little hands-on experience.  The job shadowing experiences will be offered on Fridays during the first two months of the program. 


Participants will have the opportunity to intern in a local business to gain practical experience in the career area and apply the classroom knowledge in real work situation.  The main goals of the internship are to observe the work in person, to learn basic operations and processes of the work, and practice the workplace skills they have learned in the classroom.  Interns will have completed the Career and Life Skills training program. Internships will be scheduled for 4 weeks for between 8-10 hours a week, depending on the employers’ and the participants’ schedules. 

Other ways for employers to participate in the Career and Life Skills Academy 

  • Be a Guest Speaker to talk about your business/career, application process, interviewing, what you look for in an employee 
  • Sponsor a student in the program ($250 per mini-semester) 
  • Promote the program to your network