Career Guidance

Help student to identify not only their interests, but to analyze their talents and strengths.

Personalized guidance systems take on a more comprehensive and integrated approach than traditional models and contribute to all aspects of college and career readiness. In practice, the best student guidance systems are blended (leveraging technology), distributed (leveraging staff in addition to school counselors), scheduled (utilizing an advisory period) and employ many of the 10 functions of guidance below to ensure effective implementation and attainment of outcomes.

These 10 functions form the spine of a next generation advising system. When done well, these functions are interconnected and enhance all aspects of readiness.

  1. Academic mindset and culture. How students think about their learning matters. A sustained relationship with an adviser can improve student motivation and engagement.
  2. Understanding assessments. In addition to knowing what will be expected of them under new assessments aligned with standards, students need explicit support to understand and successfully complete assessments such as the PSAT, ACT, SAT, ASVAB, state assessments and more. Advisory periods are perfect places to help prepare for and debrief after assessments.
  3. Academic monitoring. Checking grades and assignments and engaging students in the review process at least weekly sets the stage for intervention when necessary.
  4. Homework help. The advisory period can be a place for students to receive extra help or connect with opportunities for help.
  5. Course selection and transcript management. A critical prerequisite for college and career readiness is a transcript that reflects readiness. Given increased personalization through the growth of course options and online learning, helping students build a thoughtful pathway and secure transcript is critical.
  6. Self-management. Developing self-management habits can be discussed in advisory and reinforced with curriculum and productivity apps.
  7. Social emotional learning. Closely related to self-management skills and mindset, social and emotional learning can help students understand who they are and how to interact effectively with others. The Aspen Institute summarizes this new set of expectations well with its National Commission Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. In partnership with CASEL, the Aspen Institute recently launched the commission to build consensus around a lexicon, metrics and strategies. The goal is to more fully embrace and support academic goals and not be viewed as separate or optional.
  8. College guidance. Good schools build college talk into their culture, college knowledge into their curriculum and arrange many college visits.
  9. Career guidance. New tools (including video and virtual reality platforms) are helping to boost awareness of career options. Advisory periods can be used to prepare for internships and other work experiences.
  10. Student counseling and referrals. In a distributed counseling model, teachers and advisors are often the first to spot potential problems, provide first-line support and refer students to a school counselor. 

*Ryerse, M., Schneider, C. and Vander Ark, T. “Personalizing and Guiding College & Career Readiness.” Getting Smart. May 2014 and Summer 2015.

Career EDventure logoPlanning and Guidance Services for High Schools
Workforce development areas/local workforce development boards partner with public school districts to assist high school students in choosing careers and the education and training required for those careers. MVAC staff have provided career planning and guidance services to high schools, including interest assessments, application/resume development, practice interviewing, post-secondary planning and access to community resources.

Legislation requires all students starting in ninth grade to have a personal learning plan. This plan should include academic scheduling, career exploration, 21st-century skills, community partnerships, college access, all forms of postsecondary training and experiential learning opportunities.

Interns from the student counseling program at Minnesota State University, Mankato provide career exploration and career counseling assistance to students through one-on-one advising and classroom presentations one day per week throughout the school year.
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