K-12 Archives

Career Convergence K-12

Expanding Career Opportunities for High School Students, One Step at a Time

By Stace Puerta and Drews Mitchell

Building an internship program for high school students can be overwhelming. This article provides an overview of considerations involved in developing a meaningful learning experience. Weighing the input from stakeholders, creating career exploration activities and designing a program around the strengths of the community are the foundations of this pursuit.

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Reality Town: A Social Learning Theory Strategy for Success

By Aaron H. Oberman, Meriwether Galloway, and Shannon Loughran

The Reality Town program is a good resource for school counselors to support the career exploration and life planning strategies of their students by making decisions about finances, housing, transportation, and childcare, etc. This in-person event helps students to develop a real-life perspective on what it may be like for them in adulthood.

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Virtual College and Career Fairs

By Tanya Guinn and Rosalynn Tennie

Students need career and college exploration. This can be provided through virtual career and college fairs, as evidence by the successful implementation of such programs during the height of the global pandemic and school closings. This step-by-step guide will help other career development coordinators create such programs in their school districts.

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Special Education: From Career Development to Employment

By Edgar Hobbs, Jr

Manhattan School for Career Development assists students with disabilities to develop their academic and vocational skills. Assessments begin upon admission through completion of school requirements. We provide person centered career planning. Students that successfully navigate through our school will enroll in post secondary training programs and obtain employment upon completion. [Eds. Note: This article was originally published in June 2013. It is being included here in honor of disabilities month and the need to bring attention to special education.]

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Growing Careers: Using School Gardens to Help Promote Career Development

By Josh Mangin

It has been well established that career development is a lifelong process. However, this concept may be difficult for K-12 students to fully grasp without personal experience. The nature of gardening allows the career professionals to give students the chance to gain hands-on experience with lifelong development by practicing important transferable skills, improving their self-understanding, and promoting a sense of teamwork and community.

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Mock Interview Day Perspectives

By Ann Couyoumjian, Richard Grieves, and Jane Miloch

At some point in life, nearly everyone will be in a job interview. Oftentimes in academia, the learning environment cannot be as practical as one would desire. With the Mock Interview Unit of Study for select high school students, the instructors and career development facilitators provide an opportunity to gain practical experiences.

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Empowering Parents to Prepare Their Middle/High Schoolers for Post-School Transition

By Jaimie Patterson

In a perfect world, students graduate high school, pursue the career path that is best for them, and live a successful life. To do this, career preparation needs to start in middle school. Then students may select or by-pass a four-year college degree so as to travel different avenues to arrive at their dream job. This article contains easy steps to help parents prepare their children for the post-school preparation and transition. Editor's Note: this article originally appeared in Career Convergence in 2017. It is included here now due to the release of a new resource for parents.

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Using YouScience in High School Group Career Counseling

By Jill S. Minor, Kimberly Farley-Smith and Huma Bashir

School counselors play an important role in the preparation of high school students for postsecondary educational experiences. To ensure that students are being provided with the best guidance, it is imperative that school counselors can employ evidence-based tools in group career counseling to meet the needs of the given population.

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Expanding Secondary Student Career Options Through Career Constellations

By Jennifer R. Curry and Dawn Mann

Students’ interests are a valuable piece of career decision-making and it is important for them to relate their interests to post-secondary pathways and the world of work. This article describes career constellations, a technique to assist students in choosing a secondary pathway while also keeping their post-secondary and career options flexible.

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Collaboration between Teachers and Career Specialists in Middle School

By Courtney Mincey

Career development in middle school can be valued low on the priority list for teachers and students. However, the benefits of integrating career development within all courses can lead to more advantages in planning, instruction, and communication than difficulties. Career specialists can assist teachers in enhancing their lessons through collaboration with instruction, activities materials and parent engagement.

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Helping High School Students Understand the Benefits of Career Services in College

By Natasha Barnes

While career services are recommended as a part of moving forward in one’s career development and planning, few high school students understand the benefits of college career services. School counselors may need to ensure they are aware of the avoidance issues as well as the services that career centers have to offer to best prepare high school students for successful navigation of their college journey.

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Integrating Disability Competence into the Career Development of High School Students

By Allison Levine

Adolescence is a turbulent time, which can lead to new experiences with an existing disability, emerging mental health symptoms, and other anxieties due to shifts in social experiences. Therefore, it is opportune for career counselors to integrate disability competence into their practices when working with high school students.

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Preparing High School Students for the College Experience Using Technology and Artificial Intelligence

By Dr. Ouida McAfee and Dr. Aikyna Finch

High school students have grown accustomed to using technology in the classroom settings. Covid responses included an increase in video conferencing (e.g., zoom) in classrooms, post-secondary institutions and the workplace. There are additional technological resources that can be used to assist students, as well as tapping into aspects of artificial intelligence, that can be beneficial as students prepare for their future.

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Promoting Women in Careers to High School Students

By Janet Norling

Career Fairs are often used strategically to introduce students to different career fields, particularly those with limited exposure to available career options. Targeting women, from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds who are in positions of power, can help students better understand a woman’s role in the workforce and bring clarity during the career exploration process. By focusing on a specific group, career fairs can create a positive impact on an entire school population. Editor's Note: this article originally appear in Career Convergence in 2021. It is included here now due to its relevance to Women's History Month.

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Bringing All Students Inside the Circle: DEI and Career Development in K-12 Schools

By Jennifer K. Strattman

Gottfredson’s circumscription and compromise theory demonstrates how the interplay between societal expectations and social-cognitive development significantly limit career acquisition. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are therefore essential to facilitate career development in K-12 schools. This article presents implications and strategies for schools that promote career development for all students.

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Tomorrow’s High School: A Revolutionary Resource for Forward-Thinking Educators

Book Review By Rebecca Dedmond and Niel Carey

Dr. Gene Bottom's new book, Tomorrow's High School, is intended to be a study guide for educational and community leaders who are working to improve the quality of educational experiences for all students, with an emphasis on the most challenged. It is a critical resource that all school stakeholders, particularly school counselors, can use to achieve career-readiness.

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Supporting College and Career Readiness in the Wake of COVID-19

By Lia D. Falco and Brian Calhoun

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the educational and occupational landscape in the United States. As Americans reckon with new challenges and opportunities, career practitioners must learn to adapt their approach when working with K-12 students to effectively support their college and career readiness. This article provides an overview of current research and implications for practice.

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Social Emotional Learning Skills to Enhance Career Readiness of Young Adolescents

By Carrie B. Sanders and Keith M. Davis

Employees are expected to demonstrate certain social and emotional skills in the workplace. Tier 1 and 2 interventions can be implemented in a middle school environment to support the development of these skills and prepare young adolescents to be ready for success as they transition to high school and post-secondary life.

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STEM Career Development with the Help of Industry Experts

By Susan Marchese

The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted STEM careers into the spotlight, and as a result, students excited about science became more aware of possibilities in STEM careers. Industry experts created free STEM career resources for counselors guiding middle school and high school students such as toolkits for counselors committed to preserving occupational and environmental health and safety in workplaces.

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School Safety: Advocating for Best Practices in K12

By Celeste Hall and Ryan Love

School shootings remind career professionals of the risks that are inherent in the work that happens every day. Intentional school safety interventions in K-12 education is fundamental to the welfare of our schools and communities. Highlighting and advocating this is an ethical action on the part of the career professional.

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The Significance of Internship Programs in Secondary Education

By Dominique A. Branco

Internship programs at the high school level are essential for career development. Through theory and practice, students can have the foundation of learning skills that will prepare them for the next phase of their professional life. As schools are a catalyst to student’s vocational goals, it is imperative that a foundation be laid out as early as freshmen year.

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Preparing Teenagers for the Future of Work

By Betsy Jewell

The future of work is changing. Employers are struggling to find employees who are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. College degrees, while important, may not be the only way to prepare for a career. The future of work will include careers that do not exist yet, so identifying the critical skills and mindset needed for success will help prepare young people for jobs of the future.

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Summer Activities to Explore Career Options for High School Students Interested in College

By Tiffany Phu

Maximizing summer to explore career options comes with many benefits for high school students interested in college. This article discusses summer activities to become a more impressive college applicant and how career professionals can assist in the journey.

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Why Career Exploration Matters for Middle School Students

By Richard Wong

Middle school is a crucial time for career exploration as adolescents are developing skills necessary for the world of work yet are at a greater risk of disengagement and unrealistic career plans. Given the barriers that could present for middle school students, it is important career professionals help to fill the gaps to increase career exploration at this level.

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Career Development for Youth in Low-Income Communities Using Super’s Model

By Natasha Barnes

Many barriers present for youth in low-income communities, especially related to career development. Super’s theory of adolescent development offers concepts aiding career professionals in working with the youth in these communities. Also, career professionals are equipped with strategies to encourage the youth to develop aspirations beyond their environments using Super’s developmental concepts. [Editor's Note: this article originally appear in Career Convergence in 2019. It is included here today due to its significance to the work of a career professional with youth and the changes in today's work world.]

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Experiential Learning Options for High School Students

By Tamara Royce

Understanding the differences in the various formats of experiential learning is the first step in helping high school students choose a career path. The purpose of this article is to outline three types of experiential learning programs that will assist high school students with career development and planning. These programs include externships, internships, and apprenticeships.

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Storytelling: Connecting Culture, Creativity, and Career Development in the Classroom

By Karoline Jarr and Janae Hunderman

Students have stories that matter and want work that matters as well. This article will introduce practitioners to three free and useful tools, grounded in Narrative Career Counseling Theory, for connecting student stories to career development. Practitioners can use these easy strategies to equitably integrate culture, creativity, and career learning in any classroom setting.

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Expanding Digital Literacy Standards: A Solution to Student Need in a Post-Pandemic World

By Tammy Alva

The Covid-19 pandemic created an abrupt shift and realization that most students are not equipped with the technological tools and skills needed to perform in a digital society. Expanding digital literacy standards to reflect these pandemic-triggered technological trends can facilitate the development of new skills to advance students' abilities in the post pandemic world.

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The American Dream Project: Embedded Career Exploration Curriculum

By Jacqueline Cherry, Ann Couyoumjian, Kaitlin Pyles

Students experience a greater sense of direction when they are given more time to explore career possibilities. The American Dream project involves partnering with classroom teachers to find meaningful ways to increase students’ exposure to career guidance by embedding career exploration activities into school curriculum while meeting the state-level standards.

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Career Goal-Setting for Black, Indigenous and Students of Color from High-Poverty Urban Areas

By Sherri L. Turner and Carolyn A. Berger

Anticipating racism in future employment mitigates the setting and reaching of viable career goals among students of color from high poverty urban areas. In this article, we review the results of two studies and suggest strategies that career counselors can use to intervene.

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Adopting a Whole School Approach to Career Development in High School

By Holly Whittinghill

Why are schools not taking a whole school approach to career exploration in high school? Career counselors can take the lead, working with other school staff to implement career exploration curricula from first-year students to seniors in every content area. Utilizing a whole school approach can minimize the gap between what students learn in school and the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.

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Consideration of Flexible Work Schedule in Post-Pandemic High School Career Exploration

By Paula Mooty

A trend of “telecommuting” became common and necessary for many since the emergence of the pandemic in 2020. Alternative work schedules can be beneficial to both employers and future employees, including students. New and exciting post-pandemic workplace possibilities await these students with the introduction of the flexible work schedule into the career exploration process.

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Email or Fail: Preparing Youth for Professional Communication

By Camille Elmore

Capturing the nuances of professional email communication can be a challenge for youth. Career professionals can equip youth with the tools to overcome communication missteps by proactively teaching them the simple steps to crafting an excellent email message in high school. Enhancing this skill may enable youth to become successful in the workplace.

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Adopting a Social Emotional Learning Program: Assistance for School Counselors Adjusting to the “New Normal”

By Kristie Frost

Career counselors will benefit from having an outlet for the emotional toll pressed upon them by the advent of the 2020 pandemic. A Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) system is a wellness program to help these school professionals to find a departure for the pandemic related anxiety and frustrations, providing them with the opportunity to slow down, self-assess, self-manage, and rejuvenate emotionally.

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Assisting Opportunity Youth in Developing a Winning Job Search Strategy in the Age of COVID-19

By Andrea Leszczynski

Opportunity youth are considered out-of-school and out-of-work youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who face employment barriers. Their unemployment rate nearly tripled at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Career specialists are uniquely positioned to assist opportunity youth market themselves to employers in the post-pandemic economic landscape.

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ProjectMe: An Approach to Career Exploration in High School

By Destiny O’Rourke

High school students are faced with the challenge of deciding which postsecondary path to take, oftentimes without proper structure for action. This article presents ProjectMe, a program that combines the State of Kentucky’s model with Super’s career development theory to develop an effective career preparation and exploration framework for high school students.

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Career Exploration in High School: Utilizing Two Online Inventories to Assess Students’ Strengths, Interests and Aptitudes

By Julie Yanosik

Career assessments play a critical role in allowing counselors to learn about students’ unique characteristics to aid the career planning process. The VIA Character Strengths Survey and the YouScience Assessment are two relatively recent online inventories to add to counselors’ repertoire of tools as a catalyst for high school students’ self-discovery, career exploration and career planning.

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Experiential Activities for Teaching Career Counseling Classes and for Facilitating Career Groups

Book Review by Erin Harvey Bennett

Readers will gain from the ideas presented in the third volume of this resource from NCDA. When used in a group or classroom setting, practitioners can learn and implement new activities, increasing their own creative and experiential interventions within their practice. [Eds. Note - this book review originally appeared in the web magazine in 2012. Because of its significance to today's readers, we are re-running the book review.]

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Supporting Early Career Development of Transgender and Gender Expansive Children in Elementary School

By Nathan Mather, Ellen H. McWhirter, and Peter P. Ehlinger

The early career development of transgender and gender expansive (TGE) children may be limited by negative school experiences such as unsafe school environments and gendered career exploration activities. We offer suggestions for how career development professionals can make elementary school career education gender-affirming, optimizing career possibilities for TGE children.

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[Recognition Award Winner] Career Development Keys to Post-School Transition Success for Students with ADHD

By Abiola Dipeolu, Jessica L. Sniatecki, and Marvin Lalin

Career counselors possess the skills necessary to assist students with ADHD attain post-school transition success given their unique blend of skills and training. This article will discuss targeted career counseling and development ideas and activities aimed at helping students with ADHD successfully prepare for the world of work. [Editor's Note: This article was recognized by NCDA in 2013 for the authors' contribution to the web magazine. Career Convergence is re-running the article in July 2020 in honor of all award winners typically recognized at the annual NCDA Global Career Development Conference.]

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Middle School Students’ Plan for High School and Beyond: Texas Model

By Lesley Casarez, Rachel Gandar, & Michael O’Briant

Middle school counselors provide students the opportunity to explore interests and select courses for high school related to future career opportunities. Because these students face a significantly different world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which unemployment and job loss run rampant, it is imperative that they understand the connections between skills, education, and careers sooner rather than later. School counselors are in a prime position to provide those connections.

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Reducing the Critical Skills Gap Likely to be Widened by COVID-19 Pandemic

By Michael Herrera

The critical skills gap in areas such as construction, advanced manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare continues to widen in the United States. Predictably, the timing and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will further expand this existing gap. The gravity of the anticipated job losses is quite alarming This article highlights ways to promote career and technical education to help close the existing skills gap.

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Learning by Doing: Tiny House Brings Community Together

By Caroline Bertrand

Community support allowed a school to build a livable tiny house on wheels and teach students technical skills and team work. This article describes how a comprehensive high school partnered with business community stakeholders to assist with students’ career exploration activities in the construction industry.

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A Student to Student Approach: Sharing a Passion for Robotics

By Lindsay Fabricant and Daniel Flyer

The field of robotics is expanding, but many career professionals may lack information or resources to support students seeking to learn about this path. High school students who are active in robotics can assist career counselors by sharing their knowledge with less experienced students, which may help bridge this gap and bring STEM opportunities to more students. In this article, a student-run pilot robotics program is discussed and suggestions for engaging interested students are offered.

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Linking Learning to Careers in Vermont: A Model for Career Practitioners Nationwide

By Elizabeth King and Richard Tulikangas

In an effort to expand work-based learning opportunities and to improve post high school outcomes for transition aged youth with disabilities, a competitive grant was awarded to five states. Vermont utilized its funding to develop the Linking Learning to Careers program. This article details the implementation of the grant with implications for career practitioners nationwide.

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Early in the Story: Career Curriculum in Elementary Schools

By Hande Sensoy-Briddick and William C. Briddick

Although the importance of career programs during childhood has been discussed, little attention has been given to implementation. The following is a description of a developmental curriculum developed for a Turkish elementary school to address such a need with implications for counselors in the United States.

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Helping At-Risk Youth by Emphasizing Career Literacy

By Laura Richards-Farwell

Working intentionally with at-risk students is vital to helping them overcome the barriers created by poverty and open the doors of educational opportunity that are necessary for eventual career success. Improving career literacy is an essential key. This article highlights the barriers and four possible interventions when working with at-risk youth.

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Promoting Career Exploration through Travel Abroad Programs in High School

By Delasia Rice

Studying abroad, which has been steadily increasing for college students, has shown to have many benefits. It can also serve as a career exploration strategy for high school students. This article identifies ways career professionals can assist high school students in considering and benefiting from study abroad programs.

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Understanding and Enhancing Career and College Readiness Self-Efficacy: Evidence-Based Practice

By Stanley B. Baker

School counselors are well-positioned to enhance the career and college readiness self-efficacy of their students. If students believe they can persevere in mastering the related challenges, they are more likely to persevere. Background about the career and college readiness concept is presented, and examples of how professional counselors can apply the concept and engage in evidence-based practice are shared.

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Career Development for Students Experiencing Homelessness

By Carrie Sanders and Stacey Havlik

Promoting college and career readiness throughout K-12 provides a foundation for students to make informed decisions about life after high school. This article suggests ways to provide access to college and career resources for students experiencing homelessness. [Eds. Note - this article originally appeared in the web magazine in Dec. 2015. Because of its significance to today's readers, we are re-running it now.]

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Group Career Counseling: An Effective Intervention for Increasing Soft Skills

By Carra Beam

Refined soft skills are highly sought assets by employers that high school graduates are missing. This article documents the benefits of group career counseling and encourages career specialists to consider this modality in high schools as it may be the most cost effective and time efficient approach for soft skills development.

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Mini Med School - Fun, Hands-on Exposure to the Medical Field for High Schoolers

By Kyle Enfield, Frank Lawson, & Caroline Bertrand

Inspired by University of Virginia’s (UVA) Mini Med School, medical professionals work with teachers and students to plan and deliver presentations to expose rural high school students to a variety of medical careers. The focus is on hands on experience - suturing pigs’ feet, correlating brain anatomy to MRI scans, extracting a patient from a car - bridging the theoretical with the practical.

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3 Key Reasons Counselors Need to Explore Skilled Trades with Their Students

By JP Michel

When compared to traditional college education, skilled trades have been seen as a fallback profession. Yet, skilled trades provide the same, if not more, opportunities for those who choose this path. In this article, we discuss three key reasons why counselors need to explore skilled trades with their students.

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Career Services for Refugees, Immigrants and their Children

By Mopelola Oluwadare

Although the refugee and voluntary immigrant have similar needs, differences exist that affect their approaches to navigating the United States educational system and career options for their children and themselves. Whereas the voluntary immigrant is able to return home to visit family and friends, this is not the case for a refugee. Refugees must take up permanent residence in their country of refuge, which leads to long-term investments in the country.

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Preparing Teens to Succeed in the Workplace: A Foundation Initiated Effort

By John G. Bendt

Today, most teens lack knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the workplace. The information and strategies they can use to enhance their readiness to compete successfully for a job at the start of their careers is sorely needed. This article describes how a foundation addressed this knowledge gap with a career preparation seminar for their ninth grade scholarship recipients.

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My Career Story: A Useful Resource for High School Populations and Beyond

By Hande Sensoy-Briddick, William C. Briddick, Suzanne Savickas

High school students often need a more personalized approach to career counseling (Johnson, Rochkind, Ott, & Dupont, 2010). Although this can be perceived as a daunting task, alternative approaches such as My Career Story (Savickas & Hartung, 2012) can complement career exploration activities that are already taking place in schools.

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Comprehensive Career Guidance Program for Grades 1-12 Schools: An International Application

By Mauli Mahajan

A comprehensive career guidance program was developed for Grades 1 to 12 in India, with the purpose of providing students with successful educational experiences. The program was pilot tested before implementation. Through collaborative effort by the career team, teachers, parents and the community, the program was implemented and evaluated.

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Career Decision Making of African-Immigrant Students: What Career Counselors Need to Know

By Grace Wambu

African-immigrant students face a multitude of challenges while navigating the American education system and choosing a career. This article aims to address the unique career development issues, and career decision making challenges faced by African-immigrant students and recommend some strategic interventions for career counselor to use.

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Successful Career Counseling Interventions Used with Students in Poverty: A Preliminary Report

By Valerie Couture, Na Mi Bang, Angela McCoy Harless

With an estimated 41% of school aged children in the U.S. coming from a low-income home, career counseling interventions that address poverty issues and work-life goals are needed. The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand the career counseling interventions that school counselors use while working with students from poverty backgrounds.

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Enhancing the Delivery of Career-Related Information with High Schoolers

By Ann Couyoumjian

A constant challenge exists to find unique ways to present career materials to aid high schoolers’ career exploration. When faced with career-related inquiries, students’ reactions range from excited to highly anxious as they contemplate their uncertain future. This article presents one successful approach to addressing this problem.

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Post-High School Planning for Graduates Who are Not College-Bound

By Heather Robertson

The importance of assisting the non-college-bound high school graduate in post-graduation planning is explored. Ideas are presented for this population, as well as collaborating with outside partners, and the importance of buy-in from administrators, parents, and students.

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The Right MIX for Social Skills Development in Middle School

By Todd Smith

A desire to improve students’ interpersonal and communication skills --skills necessary to thrive in the world beyond high school -- birthed the mock job interview simulation titled, The MIX. This article describes the training and preparation program set up to be as close to a real-life experience as possible for middle schoolers.

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Promoting Equitable Practice in the Delivery of Career and Technical Education

By Shannon Baker

Career coaches and counselors can sometimes find themselves with unintended biases while providing career counseling to students. This article will address counseling practices applicable to federal laws and provide counselors with some self-reflection questions to increase awareness of appropriate non-biased counseling practices that promote the development of all students.

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Leveraging High School Career Advisory Boards to Promote Student Growth

By Pamela Ennis

Similar to a business Board of Directors, the right Advisory Board for a high school career development program is integral to its success. Looking for specific attributes and commitment, while being clear about expectations, can result in opportunities for student growth.

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Career Pathways Through High School Advisor-Advisee Programming

By Mary Ellen Bell

Implementing informational interview and job shadow seminars into existing high school Advisor-Advisee programming, can be an effective ‘whole school’ way to give students skills and tools to explore career interests and pathways. Involving teacher-advisors, as career mentors, utilizes existing resources and helps students see varied career pathways in a real world environment and strengthens Advisor-Advisee bonds.

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Workforce Counseling: A Conceptual Model to Better Prepare High School Students for the School to Work Transition

By Brian C. Preble

The world of work continues to change, requiring extensive career development in high school. Research was conducted and a model of workforce counseling developed. Comprised of five elements, workforce counseling proposes school-wide and systematic career development. School counselors maintain an active role, routinely incorporating career counseling in their practice.

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Responding to Students’ Career Development Needs by Promoting Career Literacy

By Amanda M. Galvan and Aracely Negrete

There is a significant gap between the transition from high school to college in terms of career decision-making guidance. Too many students are unable to see the connection between their program of study and the tangible opportunities in the labor market (Symonds, et al., 2011). This article aims to assist school counselors in developing programs that enhance career outcomes by closing the existing gap.

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Rethinking Career Development for Youth: Focus on Challenges and Opportunities

By Jean-Philippe Michel

In a world of work that promises rapid change, a career development approach focused on jobs is not effective. Instead of choosing jobs, students need to identify challenges and opportunities they want to work on. This approach will help them prepare for, and succeed, in the future world of work.

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A New Consortium Works to Expand School Counselors’ National Reach

By Edward A. Mainzer

The National Consortium for School Counseling and Postsecondary Success (NCSCPS) was founded by a group of school counselor educators in 2015 in response to then First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative. NCSCPS advocates for and supports research around best practices for PK-12 college and career readiness. The purpose of this article is to highlight its development and implications for counselors.

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A Process for Guiding Middle School Students Through Career Exploration

By Laura Lanham

Holding a Career Day is not always enough to engage young adults in the career exploration process. Other approaches and resources exist that allow for a more thorough and engaging experience for students. Assessments, websites and exploration models, such as the Career Compass, are discussed as part of a comprehensive approach to utilize.

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Working with the Common Core Standards: The Career Counseling Approach

By Edgar Hobbs Jr

Common Core State Standards and Social Emotional Learning Standards are essential tools for students to become college and career ready. Career counselors combine standards with an action plan to prepare students for the postsecondary world. This article will provide an overview of how students can be college and career ready.

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Applying the I-search Approach to Student Directed Career Exploration

By Terry Templeton

An I-Search report is traditionally known as an informal research paper about a topic of interest to the writer, developed by Ken Macrorie in the late 1980’s. Using the I-Search method for students to explore future careers makes the exploration process more meaningful, relevant and engaging.

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Beyond Career Assessment: Preparing Students for Life After High School

By Anthony P. Carnevale and Jennifer Landis-Santos

The pressure to go to college has increased in recent years. For many students, “career preparedness” has become synonymous with “college preparedness.” Yet students struggle with overall post-school preparation. This article provides an outline of resources for counselors to help students sort through their career path options.

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A Baby Boomer and Millennial Inspire Counselors By Highlighting the Value of Industrial Careers

By Jason Dodier and Peter G. Martin

Baby Boomer Peter Martin and Millennial Jason Dodier firmly agree when it comes to opportunities in the industrial sector. This article provides tips for career counselors to steer promising young Millennial talent toward industrial careers, despite Millennial's tendency to avoid searching in this field.

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Lifting the Lid: Social Justice in High School Career Exploration

By Suporn Chenhansa and Trisha Tran

Young individuals from at-risk backgrounds face multiple barriers to academic/career success. These barriers may create a self-defeating mindset, ultimately limiting their own potential. The Ohlone College's Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center is implementing a coordinated approach of multiple programs to help these students overcome barriers and realize that their potential is not defined by obstacles.

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Using Gottfredson’s Theory of Circumscription and Compromise at the Elementary Level

By Glenda S. Johnson

Professional school counselors provide career exploration activities as part of a comprehensive school counseling program (ASCA, 2012). Gottfredson’s theory of circumscription and compromise posits that children eliminate several career occupations based on societal influences (Gottfredson, 1981). Career Day speakers can expose students to role models in non-traditional careers.

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The Utility of Modified Course Methodologies in the Classroom

By Jonathan D. Olson

Modified curricular methodologies (such as flipped classrooms and integration of video technologies) provide additional tools for students to find success in the classroom and beyond the classroom, ultimately helping them to become successful in a career setting and as independent life-long learners.

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K-12 College and Career Readiness Standards: Transforming Postsecondary Planning

By Leann M. Morgan

This article highlights the use of Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs) to ensure every K-12 student’s pathway to success, including transforming traditional “sit and get” college planning lessons into meaningful career and postsecondary conversations.

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What Does the NCDA Code of Ethics Call For?

By Edward Mainzer and Abiola Dipeolu

The National Career Development Association (NCDA) revised its Code of Ethics in 2015. At over 17,000 words it covers a great deal of ground. All of it is important, and this article aims to assist practitioners, including career professionals who practice in schools, by providing a brief overview of some of the major areas it addresses.

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21st Century or Retro Skills

By Alanna Russell

In preparing students and clients for the workforce, focus is placed on the more technical skills. Millennials refer to these as, “21st century skills” while the older generation calls them “good work habits”. Perhaps giving old skills a new name is a way to revive those skills in a world where technology reigns. This article argues for promoting the “retro skills” in the 21st century work place.

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Pop Culture Music Clears Career Cluster Confusion

By Mary Vitro

Students in career-related classes often struggle to understand the fundamentals of career clusters, career pathways, and related concepts. The proposed activity brings the Arts, Audio/Visual Technology, & Communications career cluster to life by leveraging popular culture in the form of rap music.

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College is Not for Everyone, But Postsecondary Credit Is!

By Brittany Lawrence

Educators often label students “college” or “career” bound based upon their academic performance and interests, which limits some students' access to postsecondary credit for coursework. Many community colleges offer articulated credit towards technical certificates in several associated areas. This article encourages educators to look into other viable options to determine the best plan of action for each student.

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Collaborative Field Trips to Promote Manufacturing Careers

By Allen Reynolds

A unique partnership in Southeastern Wisconsin is addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the manufacturing industry. High-school students are taken to manufacturing facilities to tour and receive information about opportunities in that particular industry and then taken directly to visit the corresponding skills program at the local technical college. The article presents the successful collaboration.

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Skilled Worker Shortage: A Unique Opportunity for Career Counselors

By Mike Wilson

Career counselors are working to change perceptions about the skilled trade careers. To effectively do this, counselors must increase their awareness of the need for trained skilled workers in the US labor force. The current nationwide shortage creates opportunities and career options for many students and job seekers. This article challenges counselors to lead the way in changing core perceptions of these viable and often lucrative careers.

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Draw My Life: An Exercise to Help Students Connect with Counselors and Peers

By Trisha Nhu-y Tran

Draw My Life is an interactive story telling activity that can help even the most introspective student to open up and share intimate details about life. Through illustration of significant events, and personal narrative, this activity allows students to reflect on their experience and recognize progress toward their future.

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Revisiting Challenges And Reviving Hope While Career Counseling Undocumented Youth

By Cassie Storlie

Navigating a career and preparing for the future can be highly complex, particularly if you are undocumented in the U.S. This article provides career development professionals and counselors an overview of salient challenges affecting undocumented youth and outlines supportive tasks that can provide hope to this marginalized population.

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Beyond College Readiness: Expanding Career Opportunities for Students in the Construction Industries

By Jon Olson

Career opportunities in construction are booming yet educational opportunities in construction trades are dwindling. Career counseling efforts are focused towards college readiness and in many cases to the exclusion of non-college bound disciplines. This article provides school and career services professionals with information for expanding career opportunities for students in the construction industries.

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Making the Most of Community Partnerships

By Tom Frazier, Nicole Meyer and Maggie McCormick

In the October 2014 Career Convergence, Guy Alba wrote about "Career Counselors as Partnership Facilitators". A school in Bloomington, IL, is one example of a success story. By developing business partnerships in their community, the Bloomington Area Career Center significantly enhances their students’ learning experiences, efficiently manages and maximizes resources, and contributes to the community.

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Rediscovering Cultural Competence – A Book Review and Interpretation

By John E. Long

Gary Howard, author of We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know, contends that in our classrooms, there is a striking disconnect between White teachers and a diverse student body. A compelling need exists to prepare an educational work force of predominantly White teachers to effectively teach to a diverse student population. Topics discussed certainly span career development in the school setting.

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Career Counseling Intervention with Students with ADHD: A Case Illustration

By LaToya B. Gathers

The process of career exploration for young adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a complex process that takes time. It demands considerable amount of self exploration, commitment to the process, and openness to non-traditional interventions typically not considered part of school counselors' repertoire of skills. This article will focus on a case involving a student with ADHD to illustrate a non-traditional approach to providing effective career counseling intervention for this group.

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Financial Aid Planning 101 for School Counselors

By Debra Myton

Financial aid planning is a vital aspect of student college readiness. School Counselors need not be experts on financial aid, but they need to know basic information about financial aid in order to guide students and parents through the financial aid process. This article provides information associated with the overall financial aid planning to assist school counselors in simplifying the process for students and their families.

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Occupational Exposure for Students in Rural and Isolated Communities

By Meghan Brown

Schools in rural and isolated communities face uncommon challenges compared to their urban peers due to a variety of factors. This article suggests strategies to expose students in these communities to a wide variety of occupations and educational paths in order to expand their knowledge of the choices available to them.

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Creating A Personal Power Statement

By Cara D. Cockman-Bliss

A power statement is a clear concise statement used to briefly describe an individual, while clarifying the traits connected to school, business, industry, and/or community. A well-constructed personal power statement can play an integral part in successful educational and employment opportunities and should be reviewed throughout an individual’s educational career.

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Improving Students’ Employable Skills through Effective Communication

By Sandy Hocker

Job seekers have become vulnerable to the negative effects of unpolished communication skills brought on by increased use of social media. Employers are seeking candidates who can work effectively while maintaining professional non-verbal and verbal communication skills. To make students more employable in today’s labor market it is important for career counselors to recognize the positive effects of helping students develop effective communication techniques.

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Career Counselors as Partnership Facilitators

By Guy D. Alba

Career counselors and administrators are often overwhelmed and frustrated with their lack of sufficient resources. School budgets are strained to the limits. Embracing the diverse elements of the business world offers best hope for relief. Local businesses and organizations are great resources for school districts and career counselors. Business partners share career-related expertise in multiple ways and provide real-life opportunities and examples of meaningful work.

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ACT Profile: A Free College and Career Planning Tool from ACT

By Marilyn Maze and Gail Laferriere

Counselors need tools with high-quality assessments and information to help clients explore careers, majors, military options, and colleges. Often, funding for such tools is scarce. Here is a great tool, at the right price.

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Operationalizing the DOE’s Benchmarks by Preparing Special Needs Students to be College and Career Ready

By Edgar Hobbs Jr.

Common Core Learning Standard (CCLS), Career Development and Occupational Standards (CDOS) and Individual Educational Programs (IEPs) proposed by the Department of Education are essential for students’ academic and personal growth. Using the New York City Department of Education's benchmarks, instructional and guidance staff collaborate to assist students in managing their academic and personal behaviors, which enable students to be college and career ready.

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The Goldilocks Challenge: Getting Postsecondary Education Advice Just Right

By Janet Wall

Go to college and it will pay off. Historically, vocational guidance counselors have been giving that advice for decades. Is that really the best advice in the 21st century? This article provides information on certain realities that should be understood in order to provide the “just right” advice to clients as they make career decisions. [Eds. Note: This article originally appeared here in May 2013. It is being repeated in celebration of Career Convergence's All Conference issue. See NCDA NEWS for more details.]

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Career Transition Planning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Tips for High School Counselors

By Abiola Dipeolu, Cassandra Storlie, and Carol Johnson

School counselors have an important role in transition planning for all students, but may need additional strategies for working with students diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. School counselors are essential in opening doors to possibilities for lifelong success, while using academic strategies, personal-social skills and career planning to improve opportunities for advanced training, higher education and gainful employment. Eight tips are provided to enhance career counseling skills for high school counselors.

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Helping Students See High School as a Stepping Stone to Their Future

By Manesseh Moore

Though school counselors want students to realize that high school’s purpose is preparation for their future, many schools lack a structure to allow counselors to emphasize this fact regularly. These practical steps can be used to help students see high school as a stepping stone instead of a hurdle.

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How To Re-Direct Students When Taking Seemingly Unrealistic Career Paths?

By Clare Garman

This article calls attention to the problem of working with students who appear to have unrealistic career or post-secondary school goals based on their current school performance, grades and SAT scores. Simple strategies, interventions and insights are offered as well as resources for additional information.

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Profile First and a Plan of Action Will Follow!

By R. Kent Blessing

At the heart of a successful career development and exploration delivery system at the high school level, one should find the creation of personal career narratives. Helping students to create a fluid, career narrative or ‘personal profile’ is an ideal way to jump start a student’s career planning.

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Lighting The Path

By Tracy DiFilippis

The changing face of education embraces partnerships that augment traditional classroom instruction. Community organizations are providing an industry voice and perspective that help young people to connect-the-dots in a career exploration role. Three examples of volunteerism demonstrate how one region is engaging the business community in secondary education.

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Building the Next Generation of Automation Professionals: Perspectives from One Long-Time Professional

By Peter G. Martin

The positive social impact of a career in industrial automation and the potential of such a career are on the rise. The time is right for career counselors to help encourage students to consider working in the field of industrial automation technology.

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Book Review By Susan Roudebush

Do you believe passion evolves as one becomes more accomplished rather than before? If you work as a career development professional serving students, reading this book will change your approach to career development, coaching, and counseling.

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A Perfect Storm Awaits Unprepared Graduates

By Phil Jarvis

Many students now exit education into underemployment, deep in debt. Employers say they can't find young people with the “soft skills” and "real world" experience they need. Students now need purposeful career exploration and work-based learning starting no later than middle school, and school counselors can’t carry the load alone.

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Targeted Career Panels

By Allen Reynolds

Have traditional school career fairs and career days lost their effectiveness? Is a more structured, targeted approach needed to replace the “one size fits all” career fair/career panel format used by many schools?

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Teacher Externships Work!

by Deborah Bilzing and Monica Butler

If students are to be educated for careers of the twenty-first century, every teacher needs to be able to glimpse into the work-world future. The Teacher Externship Program provides teachers with work site learning experiences that can then be applied in the K-14 classroom. In honor of NCDA's 100th anniversary, Career Convergence is publishing articles of historical significance. This month, our web magazine is reprinting articles from our debut issue in 2003.

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Roadmap to a Fulfilling Gap Year

By Lin Johnson III

Excitement immediately appears with the decision to take a year off between high school and college and do whatever she/he desires. Yet, the opportunity of complete freedom brings along anxiety. This article highlights how gap year students can grow, make a real impact, and do everything with minimal costs, including exploring the role of the career counselor in this atypical choice.

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Group Career Counseling: a Lesson Plan for School Counselors

By Candise Leininger

NCDA supports Wyoming’s Department of Education efforts to improve the quality of career services offered to students in schools. Richard Pyle’s three session Group Career Counseling model provides a lesson plan for counselors looking to start an effective and efficient career counseling program in their school. Career Development Facilitation training provides counselors an opportunity to hone their career counseling skills.

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Enabling Career Guidance Assessment for All: The Universal Encouragement Program

By Susan Roudebush

Guidance assessments quickly capture a wealth of information beneficial to school counselors, who aspire to provide effective and efficient student support services. This article looks at the Universal Encouragement Program (UEP), a free guidance assessment designed to: identify student interests, concerns and needs, support school counseling program goals, and measure the effectiveness of school counseling program interventions.

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Adult Learner - the K-12 Connection

By Marc A. Bertrand

If adult learners acquire necessary skill sets, they may be considered for better paying jobs, and be able to advocate for themselves and their children. A New York school has high expectations as they look to identify the talents of ESL adults towards helping them achieve their maximum potential. In 2008-09, the school received an “unacceptable” rating, which led the school leadership into taking a quality control initiative extracted from a K-12 model to improve student performance.

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Cognitive Information Processing Model and Students with LD/ADHD: Prescriptions for Intervention

By Rob Bahny and Abiola Dipeolu

Negative career thoughts are a particular challenge for career practitioners counseling students with learning differences. The Cognitive Information Processing model developed by Sampson, Reardon, Peterson, and Lenz offers a particularly effective framework for identification and remediation of these inhibitors to effective career decision making.

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Career Guidance - Creating Career Relevance for Core Courses

By Shantele Raper

The key to a strong career guidance program is building relevance through relationships. Career professionals can help teachers connect students’ math and literacy skills with future work.

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Teaching Students How To Make Career Decisions

By Kathy Harris

A northern Canadian territory found a career decision-making program their students needed. Career Focusing™ identifies the specific decision-making skills and steps to make them teachable. Implementation funding support came from a diamond minning company. Read about the partnership and the career decision-making program that, together, are making a difference in schools.

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Using Twitter as a Career Development Tool: A Middle School Experience

By Allison Rosemond

The use of social media in career development is growing. Whether by using Facebook to market career development services or when career-seekers use LinkedIn for networking, social media sites are fast becoming a mainstay in the career development process for adults and young adults alike. This article introduces counselors to the use of Twitter as a career development tool for a virtual job shadowing in a middle school.

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The Case Method: An Applicable Learning Experience

Book Review by Jackie Piela-Shuster

Reading The Career Counseling Casebook: A Resource for Practitioners, Students, and Counselor Educators (Niles, Goodman & Pope, 2002), proved to be an interesting and applicable learning experience. The individual cases and responses revealed the diversity and richness of career counseling.

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Fostering Human Agency: Working with Students in South Korea

By Hyung Joon Yoon and Brian Hutchison

Exercising human agency is vital for one’s development, self-renewal, and adaptability. A one-week intensive career leadership academy based on Albert Bandura’s human agency theory was delivered to a group of South Korean students. The program allowed students to practice and, in turn, increase self-reflectiveness, forethought, intentionality, self-reactiveness. Implications for U.S. 7-12 students are discussed.

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Writing Career Development Standards for K-12

By Ray Henson

Preparing students for college and career requires clear understanding of student learning expectations. Forty-five states realized the need for core standards with high order thinking skills resulting in the National Governors Association Common Core State Standards. This article is intended as a guide for writing similar frameworks using the Arkansas state career development standards as an example.

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Checklists Enhance School Counseling Services

By Susan Roudebush

Checklists are common within industry. Businesses and health care facilities use checklists for safety and quality assurance purposes. This article discusses the parallel merits of career guidance checklists in schools.

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Career and School Counseling: an Essential Component for Adolescent Literacy Development

By Janet F. McCarra and Teresa Jayroe

The importance of adolescent literacy as it relates to school and future employment opportunities cannot be overemphasized. Career and school counseling is an essential component for ensuring students have the necessary skills for success in both of these areas.

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The Career Spinner Activity: Career Crossing in Core Classes

By Carol Johnson

Career educators who can make the connection between school assignments and how learning applies to future careers may enrich the classroom by connecting students with opportunities to explore beyond the textbook basics. Using readings, science scenarios, global and historical perspectives, the arts, and writing, students can use this creative strategy to develop a a world of career opportunities.

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The Career Institute: A School-Based Collaborative Career Development Program

By Lourdes Rivera and Mary Beth Schaefer

The Career Institute, a collaborative career development program, has been implemented in an early college (a 6th through 12th grade school) during the past seven years. This article describes the program and highlights the impact the program has had on students.

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The Challenges of Career Counseling with Undocumented Immigrant Youth

By Cassie Storlie

The career development trajectory of undocumented immigrant youth is irregular and brings unique challenges to career counselors providing services in the schools. This manuscript focuses on the complexities of working with undocumented immigrant youth and the importance of using specific multicultural theories when providing career counseling in the school setting.

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Career Development Keys to Post-School Transition Success for Students with ADHD

By Abiola Dipeolu, Jessica L. Sniatecki, and Marvin Lalin

Career counselors possess the skills necessary to assist students with ADHD attain post-school transition success given their unique blend of skills and training. This article will discuss targeted career counseling and development ideas and activities aimed at helping students with ADHD successfully prepare for the world of work.

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E-Mentoring: A Middle School Experience

By Sherry Lussier

Seventh-grade students are matched with E-Mentors in the workforce. Throughout the school year, they discuss aspects of a career to which they aspire. The school counselor facilitates the letter exchanges with a secure method of email.

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Specialized Vocational Planning for People with Autism

By LaToya B. Gathers

Just like everyone else, kids with autism will eventually need to function in the "real world" and make a living. Vocational training is one way to help autistic children to develop a bankable skill. Vocational training can be obtained through high school education programs, online courses, and local community colleges and even through home activities. This article will focus on specific vocational tools and strategies to help students with autism.

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Where Do I Begin?

By Susan Roudebush

Deciding where to begin career development curriculum to engage students can challenge the best school counselor or career educator. This study found that students rank "Know Myself" activities most useful.

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AVID: College Readiness and Career Prep for High School Students

By Edward A. Mainzer

Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) is a school-based intervention designed to help prepare high school students from historically underrepresented groups for college success. However, it also has potential to help those students prepare for challenging careers. This article focuses on the connection between AVID and preparing students for career success.

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Dispelling the Big Myth about the Military

By Janet E. Wall

Counselors and other professionals sometimes advise young people that if they don’t have other career options, they can always join the military since the military takes anyone. Nothing could be further from reality. Too many of our youth – estimated at 75% – are not eligible academically, physically, or morally to enlist in the military.

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Parent’s Guide to College and Careers: How to Help, Not Hover

Book Review By Mark Veronica

High school parents can benefit from this 2010 book by Barbara Cooke. High school advisors everywhere would appreciate it if all parents of teenagers read this book!

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Preparing Students with Disabilities for Transition to College: A Framework Based on the PATH Model

By Ksenia Wojcieszek-Arjomand and Marie Helene Gosselin

Successful transition-to-college for students with disabilities requires skills to meet individual needs and goals. These include self-advocacy, self-determination, and knowledge of national disability legislature. We present an 8-step framework to guide counselors as they develop individualized transitions plans and necessary skills for students to make a successful college selection and transition.

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“Gameworks” An Innovative Approach to Engage Youth-at-Risk in Learning

By Madelaine Currelly

It is difficult to engage youth-at-risk in learning. An unusual methodology called “Gameworks” offers structure, yet uses creativity as the learning tool, through the creation of a board game. Youth work collaboratively, researching and designing board games related to careers.

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Using the Family Tree of Careers: Branching Out with Others!

By Carol Johnson

Negotiating for classroom time to give career related presentations to students can present an obstacle for school counselors. By working collaboratively with the teachers to find untapped opportunities, counselors may become more visible in the classrooms.

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An Interactive Activity to Address Stereotypes About Career Roles in Middle Schools

By Brian Stevenson

Stereotypes about careers based upon appearance can have a strong influence on how middle school students navigate the career decision-making process. Interactive activities, such as “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover,” are a great way for counselors to encourage career exploration, while dispelling any preconceived notions that form the basis of stereotypes.

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Matching Job Descriptions to Personality Preferences

By Melissa H. Windham

Counselors often play various roles in order to fulfill their job descriptions. When counseling departments work together, these duties may be redistributed in order to better match each counselor’s job description with his or her personality. Use of the DiSC® Profile is a beneficial resource to making this possible.

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Soldiers Returning from Deployment: Considerations for School Counselors

By Jessica L. Sniatecki

This article provides an overview of potential issues facing children of deployed soldiers and offers suggestions to assist school counselors in recognizing and responding to challenges faced by these students.

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High School Counselors: Make the Most of College Admission Visits

By Mark Veronica

High school counselors frequently invite college admissions representatives to visit prospective students at school, but often do not participate in the meeting and miss the full benefit of the experience. This article shares my observations of several visits including suggestions to help maximize the experience.

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Building Adolescent Self Understanding as a Bridge to a Brighter Future Aligned with One's Multiple Intelligences Strengths

By C. Branton Shearer

This article describes how a multiple intelligences assessment and educational activities can be employed to enhance high school students' career planning and self-understanding. The goals of this program are to provide students with a realistic sense of hope based on enhanced self-awareness that a valued adult career may be obtained that is aligned with their MI strengths through the utilization of the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS).

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Chronic Illness and Career Exploration: School Counselors and Students Navigating the Journey

By Lindsey M. Nichols & Brian Hutchison

Chronic illness impacts the career decisions of up to 125 million Americans. Navigating career exploration can be challenging for students with chronic illness. This article reviews specific needs of students with chronic illnesses, using Super's Life-Span-Life-Space Theory. Information presented is aimed at helping counselors address students' career development needs.

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A World of Possibilities: Career Development for Gifted Students

By Jennifer Kass & Marion Cavallaro

Although gifted students may seem to have the internal resources to navigate the career counseling process on their own with little counseling intervention, they have unique needs that school counselors should be aware of to best serve this population.

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K-12 Schools Facing New Challenges: The ADAAA

By Vernon Sheeley

The newly amended American with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) (2008) is a revision of the American with Disability Act (ADA) 1990, revised because Congress objected to narrow disability interpretations of ADA by the Supreme Court. This revision has implication and guidance for school counselors, career counselors and other school personnel because they need to comply with this new law in their work.

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Twenty-First Century Career Center

By Shelley H. Bock

The goal of career development should be to ensure successful transitions from high school to postsecondary education and into successful placement in the workforce (National High School Center, 2008). Career centers embedded in the overall high school program serve as a conduit to other programming to provide a high-quality career development experience for all learners. This article shares how one state's high school career center is evolving into a career center for the 21st century workforce.

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Music as a Career Development Tool

By Herky Cutler

This paper proposes the use of music simultaneously with career interest inventories to engage students, and to help them access what they are interested in, what they value, and what their passion is.

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Intervention Implications for School Counselors from a SCCT Perspective

By Mei Tang

Learning experiences, personal backgrounds, self-efficacy, outcome expectations and interests, as predicted in Social Cognitive Career Theory model, are found to be important factors for high school students in their career pursuit. This paper will highlight the findings from a research study about high school students' career aspirations and implications for school counselors to develop career interventions in high school settings

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Creative Students and Career Path Needs

By Kate Siner Francis

Students, who have creative personality, often face roadblocks in finding suitable career paths. These roadblocks arise as a result of a common misunderstanding of the creative personality that dominates the American school systems. This article identifies the characteristics of adolescents, who have creative personalities, and provides insights into how career counselors might support these students.

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Helping Students Identify Their True Colors: Career Colors That Is

By Clare Garman

The right picture is worth a thousand words. An activity that allows students to learn and have fun at the same time is priceless. Activities such as "What is My Career Color?" allow students to get up and move, talk with fellow students, and learn about careers and themselves.

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Career Counseling in Private Schools: A Counselor's Experience

By Mark Veronica

College placement is just one aspect of multiple job duties at public schools. At a competitive private school, it was the part of the job that was explicitly emphasized to this counselor. New counselors must be alert to each school's priorities and role expectations.

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Self-Advocacy and Self Determination Skills for LD Students: Career Counselors Can Help

By Niki Baerman and Abiola Dipeolu

Parents of students with learning disabilities (LD) are often the principle source of support and advocacy for the students' school needs. However, over-involvement by parents can lead to negative outcomes such as deficits in the independence skills of self-advocacy and self-determination for students with LD -- a great barrier to effective post school transition. Career counselors can help students acquire these skills by applying targeted vocational interventions.

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Getting Students to Tap into Their Social Networks in a Fun and Interactive Way

By Madelaine Currelly

Networking is essential to success - it is almost impossible to achieve our goals without the help of others. Students can now practice the skill of networking in a simulated networked environment provided in "The Game of Networking" which allows students to practice, play and experience the skills essential to increasing social capital. During this process, the teachers and/or counselors provide constructive feedback.

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Helping Students Cultivate Soft Skills

By Aricia E. LaFrance

What are soft skills, why are they important, and how can counselors and teachers in schools help cultivate them soft skills in students?

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Preparing Students for STEM Careers

By Angela Traurig and Rich Feller

How can counselors inspire students to solve problems in the frontiers of alternative energy, climate change, nanotechnology and space exploration, while promoting STEM careers...that is a key question in career development.

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Instilling Confidence in High Risk Youth

By Aricia E. LaFrance

Helping teens get on track and develop confidence is necessary to seeing them reach their potential.

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Enlisting in the Military - A Viable Option

By Daniel R. Van Hoose

As a counselor, what do you need to know about the option of military enlistment? If a student asks for information about the military, what could you tell them? Here, a career counselor, whose first career was in the Air Force followed by thirteen years in Air Force Recruiting Service, shares his perspective.

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Career Maturity and Ethnically Diverse High School Students

Brenda Jones, C. Sophia Dominguez, and Beth Durodoye

Successful career development for ethnically diverse high school students rests on their awareness and knowledge of available workforce opportunities. This article will highlight several ways school counselors can effectively assist secondary students in navigating their career decision making processes.

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Hands-On Career Awareness Activities for Early Elementary Students

By Marilyn Brink

Elementary career awareness is a difficult topic to teach to kindergarten, first and second grade students. How do you make it meaningful and fun? How do you connect K-2nd academic learning to real career skills? One elementary counselor shares her plans for hands-on career stations.

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With All Your Power, What Will You Do? A Strengths-Based Career Unit for Elementary Students

By Kelsey Augst and Patrick Akos

Elementary school students are asked, “With all your powers, what will you do?” in this strengths-based career classroom guidance unit. Students indentified their personal “powers,” or unique strengths and talents, in order to build self-awareness and self-efficacy toward careers of interest.

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Using Career Genograms in K-12 Settings

By Donna Gibson

A flexible tool that meets the needs of K-12 career counseling challenges and is developmental in nature is a career genogram.

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Marketing Your Career Center... Using a S.W.O.T. Analysis

By Mark Danaher

Has a student ever asked you, “Who are you?” “What do you do?” or responded to your job description with an incredulous, “We have a career center?” Many students tune out during announcements and class presentations. So how do you market your services to those who need it? Try a SWOT marketing analysis tool.

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Career Exploration in First Grade

By Debbie Osborn

Having just returned from the "Great American Teach-in," a state-wide one day event where community members volunteer to teach in a local school, the author shares how she successfully engaged first graders in career exploration.

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Are Graduates Ready To Work?

By John Bendt

A survey of U.S. employers in 2007 shows many new entrants to the workforce lack critical skills needed to succeed on the job. This article discusses tools that teachers, counselors and parents can use to persuade and help high school students to become proactive in developing workplace skills required for success.

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Parents and Students Talking: How Individual Career Planning Conferences Can Make a Difference

By Eugenia Newell

Individual Career Planning Conferences in Tulsa Public Schools provide an opportunity for parents, students, and counselors to come together to address academic progress and investigate careers. Parental participation in these school conferences ranged from 26% to 92% during the 2006-2007 school year.

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Family Factors Associated with Sixth Grade Adolescents' Math and Science Career Interests

By Sherri Turner and Richard Lapan

The results of a study on parents' support of their adolescents' interests in math and science careers are summarized here. Suggestions for parents of intact and single parent families are provided.

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Using Technology to Boost Kids’ Education

By Edward E. Moody, Jr.

Podcasts have become an important tool in the acquisition of information. This article describes how students can benefit from downloading podcasts onto their iPod or MP3. Specific podcasts that can be used to enhance vocabulary and math skills are reviewed, in addition to career-related podcasts.

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Career Development at the Starting Gate: Target Ages 3-5

by Janet E. Wall

How early is too early when it comes to career development? Many activities, guidelines and programs have been developed for high school and middle school students, and adults. Career development professionals are starting to emphasize career awareness and preparedness for the world of work at the elementary school level. This article proposes that preschool is a legitimate place to start incorporating relevant concepts.

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Parent Involvement in Student Career Planning

By Bob Fisher

This article emphasizes the need for school counselors to involve parents in their child’s career exploration process. The author discusses forces driving increased competition in the global workplace and provides resources to empower parents to assist their children in making informed education/career choices.

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Career Planning Misconceptions

By Ann Emerson

Students’ ability to engage in educational and career planning may be limited by misinformation. The article describes some misconceptions that have cropped up during group career exploration/assessment sessions, and suggests quick and easy responses that provide useful information by correcting the misconception.

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Between Pipe Dreams and Pipelines: Where Career Development Professionals Help Most

By Becky Bobek and Garry Klein

Many career development professionals are looked upon increasingly to consider how students’ aspirations, achievement levels, and other attributes interact with the requirements of the workforce. This article discusses some of the disparities between students’ interests and achievement levels and workforce realities.

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Career Awareness Activities for Special Education Students

By Cindy Topdemir

Do you need new, creative ideas on how to teach career awareness to your special education classes? This article provides counselors with some ways to teach career awareness to special education students. Ideas, lessons, and activities which can be used from K-12 are described.

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Career Counseling for Plan A and Plan B

By Kenneth Gray

For those planning on college in hopes it will lead to future high-wage employment, the new economic realities make career maturity as important as their academic skills. Career counseling should help clients discover that there are many ways to win; some will require further education, but not necessarily at the university level.

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FIRST--Opening Doors to Technology Careers

By Barbara Bolin

As the effects of globalization create concern in the private sector, we hear frequently that America must tap into the creativity, innovation, and problem solving skills that raised our economy to great heights in the 20th century. We also frequently hear that our education system is not sufficiently emphasizing these traits to create the professionals we need. Thank goodness for FIRST!

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Lessons from a Ten-Year Career Development Study

by Andrew A. Helwig

A ten-year longitudinal study was conducted examining a number of career development concepts of school children from second to twelfth grade. Occupational aspirations, social values of preference, fantasy occupations, out-of-school activities and other variables were studied through interviews with students every two years. Major findings at the elementary, middle, and high school level are reported as well as questions posed and suggestions for school counselors.

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Ingenious Ways to Use Career Information

by Debbie Osborn

Curious about how to motivate students to find and use career information? This article reviews some ideas for making the students' interaction with career information more fun and educating them on how to use specific career information tools.

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Turn Your Career Fair Into a Fun-Filled, Informative Scavenger Hunt!

by Andrea M. Pearman

How successful was your last career fair? Were your students 100% engaged on their own or only pretending to be interested because they were required to take part in the event? Were the participating businesses happy with their experiences? This article explores reasons to turn your career fair into a fun-filled scavenger hunt. Ideas are given for organizing the event, coaching your business participants, prize ideas and more.

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Early Career Development of African American Boys

by Marc Anderson Grimmett

The early career development of African American boys is enhanced by structured activities based on their specific needs. This article describes a program based on this concept.

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Leading Career Development (Psychoeducational) Groups in Schools

by Kurt L. Kraus

Career Development Groups apply unique leadership skills in a psychoeducational group format. This column emphasizes how to organize and implement such groups and advocates for their use in schools at all levels.

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Career Development Curriculum for First-Generation Middle School Students

by Cathleen M. Barrett

A career development curriculum designed to encourage individual interests and provide new learning opportunities for a group of first-generation Mexican-American 7th grade students is presented. Experiential activities used to increase self-awareness through exploration of the impact of family influence, personal choices, and career information/opportunities are described.

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Marketing Your Way to Program Success

by Stephanie Sarkis

Need some ways to market your career program? Several strategies are presented in this article to attract student interest.

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The School Counselor's Role in Supporting Teen Moms with Career Development

by Mary-Beth Muskin

This article presents strategies for school counselors working with teen mothers through their pregnancy and beyond.

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African American Female College Students Talking about Career Development

by Angela D. Coker

In a qualitative study, eight African American female college students explore K-12 experiences related to career planning and development. Study participants explored career planning experiences with school counselors, examined family variables, and discussed the importance of hands-on role models. Implications for providing career counseling during the K-12 years are discussed.

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Addressing Needs and Barriers of At-Risk Elementary Students

by Rebecca A. Newgent, Sang Min Lee, and Ashley F. Daniel

Failure to adequately support and nurture many students, especially at-risk elementary students can lead to social, emotional, and academic/career distress. The ASCA National Model (2003) encourages school counselors to assist students with their career development goals. Strategies for school counselors working with at-risk students are provided.

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Positive Psychology Techniques for K-12 Career Counseling

by Louis V. Paradise and Dawn Romano Ironside

Traditionally, K-12 career counseling programs have focused on psychometric matching between person and career, but often not on the emotional needs of the whole student. This article suggests the alternative approach of positive psychology. Several positive career counseling techniques are presented that focus on positive life aspects, signature strengths identification, and self-esteem enhancement.

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Federal Financial Aid Update for School Counselors

by Gaylynn L. Becker

Do you understand the Federal Financial Aid process, components, and amounts? This brief update can prepare school counselors to answer many questions about federal financial aid.

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Make a Career of Making a Difference

by Julie G. Hayes

School counselors have the responsibility and privilege of helping students evaluate what they know about themselves and translate that knowledge into a career. Having an understanding about what occupations are in demand can help. School counselors should encourage students who have aptitudes and interests in the appropriate areas to consider the O&P (orthotics and prosthetics) field as a career option, based on the information below.

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Making Connections with Student Interests

by Janet E. Wall

Our interests inspire how we interact with our environment and with others. Interests drive our life planning decisions. Because interests are so central to our lives, it is vital that career development professionals help individuals make connections between their interest areas and common life experiences. Connections can be made by integrating and actively associating a person’s interests with school subjects, hobbies, people, out of school activities, education and training, and occupations. This article provides some ideas for accelerating the integration of interests with life choices.

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21 Strategies for K-12 Career Development

by Debbie Osborn

School counselors at the K12 level are expected by the ASCA National Model and often by their schools to include career development services and activities. This article offers 21 strategies and several weblinks identified by the author as valuable.

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The Long Term Positive Career Impact of Studying Abroad

by Rita Schreyer

School counselors and parents have a powerful tool in their kit to help build an impressive resume for students looking to get into competitive schools and looking to set themselves apart from other job candidates after college: study abroad. In the eyes of a corporate recruiter, there are many points to consider in deciding on studying abroad, and selling that choice upon completion.

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5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Career Development into School Counseling

by Susan Marconi Harrell

The various educational and occupational options beyond high school present a formidable challenge to students. As school counselors, we are professionally obligated to assist each student in determining his or her career path. A myriad of tools are available and easily accessible. With frequent demands on our time, we must take full advantage of all opportunities in order to provide our students with a complete career counseling experience.

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Parental Behaviors that Influence Adolescents’ Career Development

by Briana K. Keller

How do parents’ actions relate to adolescents’ career development? This article discusses the findings from a research study regarding the relationship between specific parent behaviors and the career maturity and decision-making self-efficacy of middle school students. Suggestions for school counselors who work with young adolescents or parents of adolescents are offered.

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Developing Students' Career Skills and Academic Proficiencies While Centering on Character

by Robert Orndorff

With today's "academic proficiency" expectations, school counselors are finding it difficult to sell teachers on the need to incorporate career development and character education. Ironically, focusing on "character" provides a vehicle for teachers and counselors to develop students' career skills, character traits, AND academic proficiencies, all within one integrated effort!

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Increasing School Counselors' Impact on the Achievements of Hispanic/Latino Students

by Carlos P. Zalaquett

The Successful Hispanic/Latino Students research project suggests the themes school counselors should consider when counseling students to pursue further studies and develop a career. A list of suggested actions for counselors to impact the academic and career achievements of Hispanic/Latino students is also included.

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School-to-Work Transitions for Youth with Disabilities: The case for a central coordinating agent

By Susanne M. Beier

The graduation experiences of one student with a disability are presented, which highlights gaps in the organization of federally mandated transition services (IDEA, 1997). Suggestions for improving the system are listed, including the need for a central agent to coordinate school-to-career transition services and for a school or career counselor to be an integral part of the Master Treatment Team.

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Film as a Multicultural Teaching Tool

by Laurie L. Williamson

The author provides a discussion format for using film to promote multicultural acceptance and understanding. An example is given for use in a course focusing on life and career planning.

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A Career Exploration Guidance Plan for Elementary Students

by Nicola Dayes and Natasha Khan

This proposal is for a career guidance lesson plan with the purpose of helping elementary students launch their imaginations involving careers. Students will have the opportunity to explore different careers, some familiar and some not, to increase self-awareness, and to begin to understand the importance of staying in school.

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Career Pathways… Let The Journey Begin!

by Phyllis J. Nelson

Come with me on my own pathway journey-from counselor to author. As a K-12 certified counselor, I have developed a career pathway guidance system for students in grades K-3. Learn why pathways are important and how the birth of the Pathway Pals has resulted in my own personal growth.

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Career Development of First-Generation College Students: Pioneers in Our High Schools

by Lynn Wiljanen

First-generation college students are the first members their family to pursue higher education. They are pioneers bridging the culture of their family and pursuing a further schooling. A career development model of their unique challenges, opportunities for career growth, and the role of the career counselor are discussed.

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Simple Ideas for Making Career Education Fun

By Clare H. Garman

As a result of a career move, I found new challenges in teaching career education to an inner city 9th grade population. Helping others to find a career focus had always been a rewarding and enjoyable experience. However, my interest was not even remotely shared by my audience. Then I recalled that the most important objective for adolescents was to have fun; and of course to eat, preferably junk food. After a brief regrouping and an attitude adjustment, I returned to the classroom armed with coupons for prizes, candy, some ideas and a whole lot of fun.

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Guidance Counselors Effect the Future of Nursing

by Susie Nena Popstefanov

This article provides counselors with information about the nursing field, as well as tools for increasing interest in careers in nursing. The author's recent study indicated that high school students hold generally positive opinions of nursing. However, they lacked information about expanded role opportunities, leadership, research and advancement in the field. These students also indicated that they received the least information about nursing as a career choice from their guidance counselors.

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Adolescents and Self-Directed Career Development

by Jane Pilling-Cormick

This article describes an ongoing study being done at the secondary school level with students completing a mandatory 10th grade Career Studies course and invites readers to become a part of this exciting project. We are using the Self-Directed Learning Perception Scale (SDLPS) to track levels of self-directed learning and discovering how that style of learning can help us build stronger career education programs for adolescent students.

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School Counselor Practicing What He Preaches

by Kevin Quinn

Reading the course description and counseling students based upon limited information are the norm for most student scheduling procedures. But what if the counselor were also a student? The working knowledge learned within the confines of the classroom allows the school counselor to fully understand and appreciate the course content by learning first-hand exactly what is being. This learning model allows the school counselor to collaborate more effectively with both students and faculty.

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