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CHAPTER 12:
Promoting Educational and
Career Planning in Schools
Transforming The School Counseling
Profession
Fourth Edition
Bradley T. Erford
Background for Educational and Career Planning
Interventions in Schools
Providing career assistance to students has always been an integral part of
the work performed by professional school counselors.
During most of the 20th century, professional school counselors fostered
students’ career decision making by administering and interpreting interest
inventories and aptitude tests.
In the 1950s Donald Super proposed a developmental perspective
emphasizing career development as a lifelong process.
Super suggested that development through the life stages could be guided,
“partly by facilitating the maturing of abilities and interests and partly by
aiding in reality testing and in the development of self-concepts.”
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-2
Background for Educational and Career Planning
Interventions in Schools
Changes in the economy, population, and technology have enhanced
the need for professional school counselors to focus on the area of
educational planning and career development.
Increased globalization has altered job titles, roles, and structure
within the workplace.
Markets are calling for skilled workers over unskilled workers and
employment has become less stable.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-3
Education and Career Planning Today
The National Standards (Campbell & Dahir, 1997) specify three
important areas of student development:
•
Standard A. Students will acquire the skills to investigate the world
of work in relation to knowledge of self and to make informed
career decisions.
•
Standard B. Students will employ strategies to achieve future
career success and satisfaction.
•
Standard C. Students will understand the relationship between
personal qualities, education and training, and the world of work.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-4
Education and Career Planning Today
Educational planning is the means through which linkages are forged
for students, as well as stakeholders, between academic
achievement and postsecondary options.
The educational planning process can help students become aware of
how their school performance relates to post-high school goal
achievement, thereby increasing their motivation to work hard in
school.
An effective educational planning process eliminates making a career
choice by chance.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-5
Education and Career Planning Today
In elementary school, students should first become acquainted with education and career
planning through learning about the relationship between school performance and the
world of work and postsecondary education.
When students reach middle school, the stage will be set for them to start thinking in
more concrete terms about their educational, career, and life goals.
The goals students set in middle school will form the basis for making choices about the
courses they take while in middle school, as well as help them to create a tentative
blueprint for their high school course taking.
This sequential process provides students with many and varied opportunities to learn
about themselves and engage in mindful planning and preparation.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-6
Education and Career Planning Today
The Integrative Contextual Model of Career Development (Lapan, 2004)
highlights primary career development constructs such as positive
expectations and identity development
The Hope-Centered Model of Career Development (HCMCD) (Niles et al.,
2010) emphasizes the central role of hope in career development
Savickas (2012) proposes a new paradigm based on constructivist and
narrative therapy approaches that empowers students to become the author
of their own lives
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-7
Education and Career Planning Today
Life-span, life-space theorists define career as the total constellation
of life roles that people engage in over the course of a lifetime.
Career development tasks include developing the skills necessary not
only for selecting and implementing an occupational choice, but also
for selecting, adjusting to, and transitioning through a variety of life
roles.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-8
Implementing Systematic and Well-Coordinated Career Planning
Programs
Helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and awareness necessary for effectively
managing their career development (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004).
It is important to clearly connect career development interventions to student academic
achievement.
Making sure to market a program to the school personnel is vital to the success of the
program.
Use a team approach to reach goals.
Help teachers communicate to parents the ways in which career development programs
enhance student achievement.
Professional school counselors are often the only professionals in the school system with
training in career development, as well as the primary figure for helping students with
educational planning.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-9
Career Assessment
It is through formal and informal assessments that students begin to learn
about themselves and their interests, skills, and values related to the
world of work.
Results from assessments provide professional school counselors with a
starting point for guiding students in the career planning process.
School counselors must remain current in their knowledge about which
career assessments are suitable for use with school-aged youth, as well as
possess a general understanding of assessment so they can make
informed decisions about which assessments to use.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-10
Career Assessment
Types of assessments available to professional school counselors:
•
Kuder Career Search with Person Match
•
Kuder Skills Assessment
•
Super’s Work Values Inventory
•
Self-Directed Search
•
Strong Interest Inventory
•
O*NET Interest Profiler
•
O*NET Ability Profiler
•
O*NET Work Importance Profiler
•
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-11
Career Assessment
Professional school counselors must use emerging technology to
sustain an educational and career planning system.
Recommended Web sites
•
GENERAL
– Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
(http://www.bls.gov/OCO); OOH for children
(http://www.bls.gov/k12)
– O*NET (http://online.onetcenter.org/find/)
•
JOB SEARCH
– Quint Careers (http://www.quintcareers.com/job-seeker.html)
– The Riley Guide (http://www.rileyguide.com)
– JobHuntersBible (http://www.jobhuntersbible.com)
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-12
Career Assessment
•
JOB SEARCH (continued)
– Career Builder (http://www.careerbuilder.com)
– Monster (http://www.monster.com)
– Simply Hired (http://www.simplyhired.com)
– Indeed (http://www.indeed.com)
•
COLLEGE ADMISSION AND FINANCIAL AID
– Peterson’s (http://www.petersons.com)
– U. S. News and World Report (http://www.usnews.com)
– College Board (http://www.collegeboard.com)
– Quint Careers (http://www.quintcareers.com/student.html)
– U. S. Department of Education (http://studentaid.ed.gov)
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-13
Elementary Schools
In elementary schools children
begin formulating a sense of
identity outside of their immediate
family.
The use of non-traditional models,
such as a male nurse or female
engineers, help expose children to a
broad range of occupational
possibilities.
Television often provides children
with gender-stereotyped roles and
occupations, and limited
perceptions of careers for people
of color.
Children naturally express curiosity
through fantasy and play which can
provide a foundation for exploring
careers such as firefighting, nursing,
and teaching.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-14
Elementary Schools (cont)
When students are encouraged to participate in activities that are related
to their interests it helps develop a sense of autonomy, an anticipation for
future opportunities for exploring, and the beginning of playful behaviors.
When these interests connect with skills and capacities, a positive selfconcept emerges, providing the foundation for the future career
development tasks of adolescence.
Students in elementary school also can engage in career exploration by
developing and understanding the importance of educational
achievement.
The primary focus of career development interventions for elementary
school children is awareness, in its many facets.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-15
Elementary Schools (cont)
Educational planning in elementary school is also essential.
•
Raising student awareness about the training and educational
requirements for occupations that interest them may serve to
heighten their motivation to do well in school.
•
Students at this age should become aware of how the skills they
are learning in school are used in various careers.
•
Students’ performance in elementary school can have a significant
influence on their future course taking and postsecondary options.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-16
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Ask students to identify and discuss the jobs that they have observed in their
communities and then add to their knowledge base by introducing a few new ones.
Encourage students to identify the “jobs” they currently have as students and sons or
daughters. They can use this self-knowledge to create a “Me and my Job” booklet that
highlights their interests, as well as their “job” responsibilities at school and home.
Fill paper grocery bags with two to five items that are associated with a specific career.
Take the items out of each bag one by one and have students guess the type of worker
that uses those items. For example, one bag could be filled with a stethoscope and blood
pressure cuff to represent a doctor.
Ask students to draw a picture of a job they might want to have when they are older.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-17
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Give each student a letter of the alphabet and ask them to select a job that begins with
that letter, draw a picture of the job, and write three tasks or activities that are related to
that occupation. Bind the students’ work together to create an “Alphabet Career Book” for
the school’s library.
Read a developmentally appropriate story (e.g., Worm Gets a Job by Kathy Caple for
students in 2nd grade and below) to a classroom and then have the students identify the
various jobs that were discussed in the book.
Expose students to women who work in traditionally “male” occupations and men who
work in traditionally “female” occupations.
For students in grades 3 to 5, require each student to complete an interview with an
adult about his or her career. Questions should focus on what the adult does and the
schooling needed to prepare for that career. After interviews have been conducted,
students can share their findings with the class.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-18
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Challenge students to look into the future and think about how the jobs they are
currently interested in might be different in 15 to 20 years. Using a computer lab,
provide students with time to research the education, training, and skills they will need
to be successful in these “future careers.”
Host a career day or career week where students’ parents and members of the
community visit the school to talk about their occupations.
Arrange field trips to nearby businesses to help students get a sense of the types of
occupations that exist in those fields (e.g., hospital, grocery store, library, bank, etc.).
Provide parents with links to any Web sites used in the career development program so
that they have the chance to explore these sites with their children at home and
reinforce the learning that occurred in school.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-19
Middle Schools
At the middle school level the
interventions are more complex and
focused.
Since middle school students are
typically preoccupied with belonging
and are influenced significantly by
same-sex peers, the focus of the
interventions should be on helping
students crystallize and articulate
their ideas.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In middle school, realistic
expectations should be held for
students while also encouraging
them to develop a realistic selfconcept and learn more about
possible opportunities.
1-20
Middle Schools (cont)
The link between school activities and future opportunities that was first
developed in elementary school needs to be strengthened in middle school.
Stress the process of “lifelong learning” that can lead to occupational success.
Inform students of the positive correlation between academic achievement
and the amount of income workers earn.
The primary focus of career development in the middle school is on
exploration.
Students must learn the skills necessary for accessing and using educational
and occupational information.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-21
Middle Schools (cont)
For students who wish to attend college, it is essential that they begin
talking about these plans with their parents and the appropriate school
staff while in middle school so that they can take classes that will
adequately prepare them for the rigorous courses (i.e., college prep)
they will need to take once they reach high school.
Students who do not have any postsecondary plans or goals will be at a
distinct disadvantage later on in their academic career if they find that
they have not achieved high enough grades or taken the necessary
classes to prepare themselves for the occupation or continuing
education they desire.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-22
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Administer a career interest inventory, skills assessment, and values inventory. Using the
results from these inventories, help students pinpoint one or two career clusters that are
of interest to them to begin exploring in more detail.
Present a classroom guidance lesson to students in the computer lab introducing them to
the host of available online resources to help them learn about careers. Ask students to
make a list of occupations they think women most commonly work in and the
occupations they think men most commonly work in and have them share their lists with
the class. Teach students about nontraditional career opportunities and how certain jobs
have been stereotyped and discriminated against as “male jobs” or “female jobs.”
Present common myths related to nontraditional jobs, as well as information about the
realities of these jobs. End with a discussion about the implications of such stereotyping.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-23
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Inform students about the importance of educational and career goal-setting. Create a
goal-setting worksheet that asks students to list two educational goals and two career
goals that they have for themselves.
Deliver a classroom guidance lesson on the connection between school and work and
assign students the task of conducting one informational interview with a professional in
the community.
Prepare a presentation introducing students to the wide range of postsecondary
possibilities (e.g., four-year college, community college, vocational school, job training)
and provide a sampling of occupations corresponding to each pathway.
Introduce students to the concepts of lifestyle and life roles and have each student write
down how they currently spend their time and their current life roles, as well as what
they would like their lifestyle to be like and what life roles they think will be important to
them when they are adults.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-24
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Collaborate with teachers to find ways to integrate career development
activities into students’ core classes.
Host a career day or career fair where students have the opportunity to meet
and hear from professionals who work in a diverse range of occupations.
Work with students to begin creating a career portfolio, either on the
computer or in a binder, to house the results from their assessments, as well
as any other important documents, activities, projects, or research that they
accumulate throughout middle school that will aid them in the career and
educational decision making process once they reach high school.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-25
High Schools
In the transition from middle to high
school, students focus on the task of
identifying occupational preferences
and clarifying career/lifestyle
choices.
The next step is for students to
improve their skills of adjustment.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Workforce readiness is a key to
successful career planning in high
school because a majority of high
school students go directly to work
immediately following high school.
Since transitions typically cause
anxiety in most people, students
need emotional support to lessen the
anticipatory anxiety.
1-26
High Schools (cont)
The transition skills acquired in high school build upon the self-awareness,
occupational awareness, and decision-making skills students have developed
throughout their educational experience.
Acquiring information about jobs, colleges, and training programs, requires
research, technology, and reading skills.
Providing career guidance is one of the most important contributions
professional school counselors make to a student’s lifelong development.
Students need also to be aware of the choices they will make throughout high
school and beyond.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-27
High Schools (cont)
Community resources are a great way to expose students to a variety of
career experiences
These include local businesses, colleges/universities, and community
members including parents and recent graduates
Savickas (1999) discussed the necessity of helping students to
understand the decisions and tasks they will have to make in career
development and suggested tools such as the Career Maturity Inventory
(Crites, 1978) and others to help reinforce this concept
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-28
High Schools (cont)
Educational planning culminates in high school—students must
begin to make serious decisions about their future.
•
Students should formulate an educational plan delineating the
steps they will need to take to achieve their postsecondary
goals.
•
Professional school counselors should help with the educational
planning process by connecting students with opportunities to
more fully investigate, learn about, and prepare for the
preliminary goals they have set for themselves (e.g., elective
classes, job shadowing, summer enrichment programs,
informational interviews).
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-29
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Administer interest inventories to students that provide them with information
about careers and college majors potentially suitable for them. Have students
research two or three careers and college majors that sound interesting to them.
Help all students create a four-year educational plan (this is a requirement of many
public schools). Use students’ postsecondary goals and results from career
assessments to help guide course selection.
Inform students that different occupations require different levels of education. In a
computer lab, show students a few helpful career Web sites and ask them to locate
occupations that require certain degrees.
Present a lesson on decision-making to students and teach them a specific decisionmaking model. Inform students that sound decision-making skills will enable them
to make educated choices about their postsecondary plans.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-30
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Run counseling groups for students on topics related to career
development and educational planning (e.g., choosing a college,
succeeding in college, finding a job, choosing a career).
Connect with local companies and professionals to provide students with
job shadowing opportunities.
Collaborate with English teachers to present lessons to 11th and 12th
graders on how to write a resume and cover letter.
Host a mock interview day for 11th and 12th graders. Bring in members
of the community to conduct brief mock interviews with students, as well
as provide them with feedback.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-31
Practical Ideas for Career Development
Activities
Advertise local job and college fairs, or host your own.
Invite college representatives to visit campus and hold information
sessions for interested students.
Hold information sessions about financial aid and scholarship opportunities
for students interested in attending college.
Offer job workshops to assist students in finding and applying for jobs.
If the high school you work at has a career resource center, create a
scavenger hunt to orient students to the career and educational
information and resources available to them.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-32
Multicultural Implications
When designing a K–12 educational and career planning program,
students’ cultural backgrounds are salient and an important part of
the process.
The professional school counselor must be aware of how culture
intersects and influences all aspects of career and educational
planning in elementary, middle, and high school to promote
development that is congruent with the client’s culture.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-33
Developing Life-role Readiness
The life-role readiness concept is based on developmental approaches to
school counseling (Myrick, 2002).
The eight content areas:
•
Understanding school environment
•
Understanding self and others
•
Understanding attitudes and behaviors
•
Decision-making and problem-solving
•
Interpersonal and communication skills
•
School success skills
•
Career awareness and educational planning
•
Community pride and involvement
These areas focus on specific life-roles that are needed to achieve life-role
readiness.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-34
Fostering Life-role Readiness and Life-role Salience
In elementary and middle schools counselors can introduce students to
the primary roles of life (e.g., student, worker, family member, citizen).
Students can talk about and decide the importance of each life-role.
Middle school and high school students can be encouraged to participate
in activities that foster the development of life-role readiness.
Students can examine the relationship between their goals and their
current life-role activities.
Counselors can achieve this by asking questions about what life-roles
students are involved in and which are most important to them or their
family.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-35
Fostering Life-role Readiness and Life-role Salience
(cont)
Patterns of life-role salience are significantly influenced by one’s immediate
family, cultural heritage, level of acculturation, economics, and environmental
factors.
Counselors should make students aware of how they are influenced and help
them in their decision making.
Group and individual guidance can both be helpful in discussing various
cultural perspectives that are generally assigned to specific life-roles.
Borodovsky and Ponterotto (1994) suggested using a genogram as a useful
tool for exploring the interaction between family background, cultural
perspectives, and career planning.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-36
Activities to Foster Life-role Readiness
Once one has established how contextual factors influence one’s life-role
salience, counselors must engage students in activities to further develop
life-role readiness.
Super (1957, 1977) suggests that to develop life-role readiness we must
plan for what the student is about to encounter. For instance, if a student
is college-bound, one should plan for the academic tasks ahead to see if
they match the abilities of the student.
Another intervention would be to plan a “life-role portfolio” where
students are encouraged to plan, explore, and gather information for
each of their major roles in life.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-37
Summary/Conclusion
A major goal of professional school counseling programs is to
facilitate student development toward effective life-role participation.
Professional school counselors must initiate appropriate
developmental guidance activities in elementary school (e.g., selfawareness, curiosity) and facilitate culmination of this process with
assistance in the transition to school, work, and a variety of life roles.
Bradley T. Erford. Transforming The School Counseling Profession, Fourth Edition.
© 2015,2011,2007,2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved
1-38
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