Middle School Career Exploration

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Dan Blake
Career Development Specialist
Sonoma County Office of Education
Santa Rosa, CA

This presentation will provide multiple examples of ways to infuse career awareness and exploration into existing middle school structures. The Sonoma County Career Development Specialist will share program goals and standards, program planning and implementation procedures, program structure, and effective activities and curricular materials. Useful handouts will be provided.

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  • Middle School Career Exploration

    1. 1. Middle School Career Exploration “ Laying the Foundation for a Successful Future” <ul><li>Hyatt Regency Orange County </li></ul><ul><li>Garden Grove, California </li></ul><ul><li>Granada Room </li></ul><ul><li>February 23, 2009 </li></ul>
    2. 2. Why Middle School Career Exploration?
    3. 3. Career Development is an ongoing lifelong process, and its challenges must be addressed beginning in elementary and middle school . (O’Brien, 1999)
    4. 4. Students at risk, girls, and minority group children often limit their career choices early. (O’Brien, 1999)
    5. 5. Sex-role stereotypes , particularly about gender-appropriate occupations are formed early . (Guss & Adams, 1998)
    6. 6. Most middle school students have only a shallow understanding of how school relates to work. (Johnson, 2000)
    7. 7. When surveyed, the majority of high school dropouts say they began to “disconnect” in middle school or earlier . (Castellano et al., 2002)
    8. 8. Current efforts… <ul><li>Too frequently, career preparation for middle grade students consists of a single, brief unit once a year. Ideally, career education and development should be infused into the curriculum. </li></ul>
    9. 9. The most effective career development programs are systemic—developmental, accessible to all learners, and embedded in the curriculum as part of the whole process of educating a child for the larger thing called life. (Maddy-Bernstein & Dare, 1997)
    10. 10. Career Development Continuum Preparing all Youth for Success in College, Career, and Life 9-16 Career Awareness Learn about a wide variety of jobs and careers Career Exploration Explore, research, and plan for the future Career Preparation Gain education, training, and work experience Educated Engaged Experienced Aware Skilled Prepared Connected Productive Future K-8 Awareness Exploration Preparation © 2007 New Ways to Work <ul><li>Classroom & School </li></ul><ul><li>Web Research </li></ul><ul><li>Guest Speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Career Interest Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>College & Career Fairs </li></ul><ul><li>Career Contextual Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>College Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom & School </li></ul><ul><li>Core Academic Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Career Technical Courses & Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Work Skills Classes </li></ul><ul><li>Career-Related Project-Based Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Work Ready Certification </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational Certifications </li></ul><ul><li>College Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Families & Neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>Adult Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Role Model Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Families & Neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Taking </li></ul><ul><li>Role Playing </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Job Shadowing </li></ul><ul><li>Career Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Community Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Families & Neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>Skill Building </li></ul><ul><li>Progression of Responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Work Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Internships </li></ul><ul><li>Apprenticeships </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Tours & Field Trips </li></ul><ul><li>Career & Job Fairs </li></ul><ul><li>Youth in the Workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Informational Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom & School </li></ul><ul><li>Career Pathways, Courses, & Clubs </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom Simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Career Plan Development </li></ul><ul><li>Career-Focused Projects & Assignments </li></ul><ul><li>College Exploration </li></ul>
    11. 11. Program Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Expand knowledge of career options </li></ul>
    12. 12. Program Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Expand knowledge of high school and post-secondary education/training options </li></ul>
    13. 13. Program Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Increase perception of </li></ul><ul><li>post-secondary relevance </li></ul>
    14. 14. Program Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Increase understanding of career goals, interests, and aspirations </li></ul>
    15. 15. Program Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Increase awareness of middle school staffs regarding career development resources and educational options </li></ul>
    16. 16. Organizational Structure
    17. 17. Career Development Specialist Site Administration Site Coordinator Teachers & Counselors Advisory Committee
    18. 18. Program Coordinator Responsibilities <ul><li>Program goals and direction </li></ul><ul><li>Site Coordinator recruitment and training </li></ul><ul><li>Research, acquisition, and dissemination of career awareness/exploration curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor solicitation </li></ul><ul><li>Budget management </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison to professional organizations, CDE, and the State Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing and promotional event planning </li></ul><ul><li>Media and public relations </li></ul><ul><li>Program evaluation and revision </li></ul><ul><li>Overall program oversight and support </li></ul>
    19. 19. Site Coordinator Responsibilities <ul><li>Planning and implementation of program activities </li></ul><ul><li>Participation in program planning meetings and trainings </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit teachers/counselors for participation in career exploration activities </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit information and suggestions from teachers/counselors regarding program activities </li></ul><ul><li>Coach teachers/counselors on the implementation of career exploration activities </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate program goals & activities to administration, faculty, and parents/guardians </li></ul><ul><li>Assist Program Coordinator with the recruitment of business and community professionals to take part in school site’s career exploration activities </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison between the school site faculty and the Program Coordinator </li></ul>
    20. 20. Site Administration Responsibilities <ul><li>Provide general support for career awareness and exploration program </li></ul><ul><li>Meet regularly with Site Coordinator to discuss program goals & activities </li></ul><ul><li>Promote program to faculty and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Explore and support delivery methods to reach widest possible audience </li></ul>
    21. 21. Teacher & Counselor Responsibilities <ul><li>Implement career awareness curriculum as part of regular classroom instruction and in student counseling sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in trainings and workshops on career awareness/exploration as necessary </li></ul>
    22. 22. Program Planning & Implementation
    23. 23. Planning (Year 1): <ul><li>Survey staff </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate Career Awareness/Exploration Standards amongst faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit for and select a Site Coordinator from amongst existing faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Create school site vision: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Form a “team of champions” from amongst the most motivated staff members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formulate goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create timeline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gather resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research career exploration materials and curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in staff development trainings, as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generate community buy-in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize parent meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create written correspondence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create school board presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategize about methods to infuse Career Exploration into the school schedule so as to reach as many students as possible </li></ul>
    24. 24. Implementation (Year 2 & beyond): <ul><li>Begin implementing activities developed during planning year </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate program and update, as needed </li></ul><ul><li>Develop plans to expand program to become a school-wide initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with other participating schools and share best practices </li></ul>
    25. 25. Curriculum & Activities
    26. 26. The Real Game California Step-Up Classes Learning for Earning Career Choices California Career Zone Self-Directed Search Kuder Career Planning System Career Day
    27. 27. How and where does it fit?
    28. 28. Q & A
    29. 29. Contact Information <ul><li>Dan Blake </li></ul><ul><li>Career Development Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Sonoma County Office of Education </li></ul><ul><li>5340 Skylane Boulevard </li></ul><ul><li>Santa Rosa, CA 95403 </li></ul><ul><li>707-524-2780 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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