Discovering Yourself, Discovering Your Future A Career Exploration Unit focusing on Higher Education for High School Students Developed by: Kristin Wilkin Applied Career Development Summer 2008 University of Central Florida
Project Description This project was designed to help high school students discover how their interests can connect to a future career and the higher education needed to get there. Through this unit students are able to explore a career that is of interest to them and then thoroughly research a program of interest at a post-secondary institution. At the end they create a portfolio to demonstrate their learning and as a tool they may use in the future.
Project Need Career development is vitally important for today’s youth, who are more than ever “motivated but directionless” (Schneider & Stevenson, 1999 as cited in Hughes & Karp, 2004). Career development activities: • Draw connections between academic work in high school and a student’s future. • Make academics more interesting and relevant for students. • Provide students with the necessary tools to set career goals, and give them an understanding of the education and skills they need to meet their goals.
Research to Support Program • High school students who took a career-decision making course had less career related indecision at the end of the course than did a comparison group (Savickas,1990). Participants also improved their long-term perspective as compared to the comparison group, meaning that the career course helped them understand the relationship between the present and the future, and to plan for and be motivated to achieve long-term goals (Hughes & Karp, 2004). • A study of a career exploration class for high school seniors found that participants increased their scores on an inventory of career orientation, indicating that they engaged in increased career planning and career exploration (O’Hara, 2000,). • Participants in a high school career course saw increases in both their career decision-making and vocational skills self-efficacy, indicating that they felt better able to make career-related decisions and perform career-related tasks than a comparison group, and these gains were maintained over time (McWhirter, Rasheed, & Crothers, 2000 as cited in Hughes & Karp, 2004).
Target Population There are several target populations for which this program might be useful for. In marketing the program to administration, I will offer these options as target populations to consider. • 11th Grade at risk students through regular English classes • Incorporate into current Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) programs. AVID targets students in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. • As a standalone Career Development Class approved by the FLDOE available by counselor recommendation for at risk students (Career Research and Decision Making, Course # 1700380) http://data.fldoe.org/crsCode/912/Research%20and%20Critical%20Thinking/pdf/1700380.pdf
Objectives of Program After successfully completing this course/unit, the student will: • Identify and demonstrate use of the steps of systematic goal-setting and decision-making processes. • Demonstrate use of techniques for self-assessment to determine personal career interests and capabilities. • Demonstrate use of career resources to identify preferred occupational fields, career opportunities within each field, employment prospects, and education or training requirements. • Demonstrate appropriate writing, listening, viewing, and speaking skills needed to successfully apply for postsecondary education or work (e.g., writing a résumé, or essay; compiling a portfolio). • Demonstrate knowledge of varied types and sources of financial aid to obtain assistance for postsecondary education. • Develop a personal education and career plan. • Demonstrate use of strategies for identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and making improvements. ****These are the objectives for the Career Research and Decision Making Course approved by the Florida Department of Education
ASCA National Standards for Career 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. • C:A1: Develop Career Awareness • C:A2: Development Employment Readiness Standard B: Students will employ strategies to achieve future career goals with success and satisfaction. • C:B1: Acquire Career Information • C:B2: Identify Career Goals Standard C: Students will understand the relationship between personal qualitieis, education, training, and the world of work. • C:C1: Acquire Knowledge to Achieve Career Goals • C:C2: Apply Skills to Achieve Career Goals
Budget- Based on Average Class of 25 ***Costs may be offset by having students provide their own supplies and paying for their own printing.
Timeline • August,-present project overview at Curriculum Leaders’ Meeting • September- Follow up meeting to discuss implementation plan • October- Pitch program to potential teachers • November-December- Work in teams to train and to further develop program to meet needs • January- Implement Program • Lessons are provided for 40 days, not including additional time for editing; Teachers may modify plans to fit into time allowance • June- Meet with teachers for feedback
Features of Program • Contains complete lesson plans including all materials • Is completely available through the internet • Aligned to Sunshine State Standards for Language Arts and National Standards for Technology • Aligned to ASCA standards for School Counselors
Features of Websitehttp://teacher.ocps.net/kristin.wilkin/Home%20Page.htm • Home page features an overview of the program • All lesson plans are on the internet and available in a printable document • All lesson materials are available through links • Student work samples are linked into the page • Many lessons include grading rubrics • Additional Ideas to extend the lesson are offered
Project Components • Icebreaker: I Am.... Poem • The Importance of Higher Education • Interest Inventories • My Life in 10 Years Map and Essay • Choices Planner Job Report • Higher Education Research: Create a Brochure • College Admissions: Writing the Essay • Creating a Resume • Scholarship and Financial Aid Research • Reflecting on Growth: Change Poem • Putting it all Together: Final Portfolio • Project Evaluation
Icebreaker: I am….Poem Description: An icebreaker allows you to get to know the students and for them to know each other. To increase awareness and encourage self-development, it is crucial to engage participants in activities which call for introspection and self-reflection. The I Am…Poem provides a way for students to reflect on who they are before beginning the project. Assignment: Students create an autobiographical I am… Poem and share it with the class.
The Importance of Higher Education Description: In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of higher education and its relationship to future earnings and nonmonetary benefits. They will look at average earnings based on level of education. Data will also be disseminated various demographic data. Assignment: Students examine graphs related to the importance of higher education, then in groups create posters to explain it to the class.
Interest Inventory Description: Before you can choose a major or a career you need to know yourself; your values, interests, personality and skills. Students take the interest inventory on Choices Planner and learn about Holland’s codes. Assignment: Students complete the interest inventory on Choices Planner
Life in 10 Years Map and Essay Description: Students imagine their life as they wish to see it in 10 years. They are asked to think beyond material possessions and think about what they value, who they would like to be, and the roles they will play in life. Assignments: • Students access their values through a game. • Students create a circle map describing their life. • Students develop the details from their map into an essay describing their life in 10 years.
Choices Planner Job Report Description: Students often choose career interests without knowing many details about the chosen profession. This assignment gives students the opportunity to explore a career of interest. Assignment: Students fill in a worksheet related to their career of interest.
Higher Education Research Description: Students have the opportunity to explore a post-secondary program at any school desired, including technical or specialty school, community college, private college, or university. The emphasis is on meeting the students goals and interests. Through this assignment they will learn: • Entrance Requirements • Application Deadlines • Courses Required for your program • Tuition information • Financial Aid Availability • Contact Information for the School and Academic Area Assignment: After completing research, students create a brochure about a major at a chosen school
College Admissions: Writing the Essay Description: This lesson begins with an overview of the admissions process with a focus on the admission essay. Students have the opportunity to analyze actual admission essay before creating their own. Assignment: Students write and revise an admission essay based on a common topic
Creating a Resume Description: For students to be prepared to enter the world of work after high school, they will need to be able to create an effective resume. This lesson goes over the parts of a resume and tips for creating one before students create their own resume. Assignment: Students write and revise a resume
Scholarships and Financial Aid Research Description: This lesson starts with a PowerPoint overview about Financial Aid, including types of aid, the importance of the FAFSA, the process to receive aid, and websites to help students find scholarships. Assignment: Students will use the internet to find 5 scholarships, grants, or federal programs that they qualify for.
Reflecting on Growth: Change Poem Description: Reflection is important to growth and it is important to give students the time to reflect on what they have learned and how they have changed as a result of the project. The Change Poem follows a similar format as the I am.. Poem students wrote in the beginning of the unit. By creating a new poem using the same format, they have come full circle and see how they may have changed as a result of the unit. Assignment: Students will create a change poem to reflect their growth and future goals
Putting it all Together: Final Portfolio Description: Students will have the opportunity to create a portfolio with all the work they have completed. They will include all work related to the project including all assignments and important information from teacher presentations. Assignment: Students create a portfolio with all lessons and work completed during unit.
Additional Project Ideas • Take students on a field trip to local schools, including community colleges, tech centers, or universities. • Take students to the career center at your school if there is one. • There are many more types of interest inventories that may be of interest to your students. • Invite guest speakers with careers of interest to your students or with similar backgrounds. • Have students interview someone in the community who has a job they are interested in.
References American School Counselor Association (2004). ASCA National Standards for Students. Alexandria, VA: Author. Retrieved July 25, 2008 from: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/files/NationalStandards.pdf Baum, S. & Ma, J. (2007). Education pays the benefits of higher education for individuals and society. Retrieved from the College Board on July 25, 2008 from: http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/cbsenior/yr2007/ed-pays-2007.pdf Brown, D. (2007). Career information, career counseling, and career development. Chapel Hill, NC: Pearson. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2007). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. Retrieved July 25, 2008 from: http://stats.bls.gov/cps/minwage2007.htm Hughes, K. & Karp, M. (2004). School-based career development: A synthesis of the literature. Retrieved from Columbia University on July 25, 2008 from: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/iee/PAPERS/CareerDevelopment02_04.pdf Kaufman, D., Dowhan, C. & Dowhan, A. (2003) Essays that will get you into college. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons. Petersons (2008). Teens’ guide to college & career planning. Lawrenceville, NJ: Author. Stevenson, K. (2002). Connecting personality to career clusters. Retrieved from Utah Education Network on July 25, 2008: http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=327
Contact Information Please contact me with any questions: Kristin Wilkin Winter Park High School 528 Huntington Ave. Winter Park, FL 32818 Kristin.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 407-623-1476 x. 411