Career Development Program Guidelines
Area Career Development programs will be structured in such a manner as to provide guidance services to secondary students, postsecondary students, and adults requesting assistance. Career Development services will include preliminary information about career and technical offerings, appropriate placement into educational programs, relevant information about career opportunities, assistance with the career planning process, assistance to completers and leavers in securing employment and follow-up services to determine the extent to which career and technical education helps students achieve their occupational goals.
- The following Career Development services are designed to be delivered through the cooperative efforts of the Career Development counselor and the classroom instructors.
- Career Development counselors will cooperate with career and technical education instructors, parents, and other appropriate personnel in making students aware of career and technical education programs.
- Students will have access to program information, course content and other appropriate information prior to enrolling.
- Enrollment procedures, course content, resources, class organization and methods will be analyzed for evidence of gender bias and gender stereotyping.
- Appropriate assessment inventories (including interest, aptitude, and achievement tests) will be used by students, teachers, parents, and Career Development counselors in helping the student explore and select career and technical education program areas, career choices and postsecondary programs, apprenticeship opportunities, military training and on-the-job training.
- Admittance to career and technical education programs will be carefully considered to assure the inclusion of those students who need, want and can benefit from the career and technical education programs. A student's occupational intent will be used to design each student's educational plan.
- Career Development counselors will facilitate instruction on job seeking skills, job application skills and job interviewing skills. This will be part of all students' career and technical preparation.
- Occupational and educational information will be made available to all students. This will be established through a Career Center/Library. The Career Center will provide occupational information on a wide range of occupations, information on postsecondary institutions, military, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. The Choices program and Bridges.com are highly recommended resources.
- Information on the range of career alternatives within specific course offerings will be part of the student's career and technical education instruction.
- Student records should be maintained and updated for all students. The records should contain information on career objectives, academic achievement, work experience, student progress and other relevant data for the purpose of career planning. Career Portfolios should be established for each student.
- Students will be provided continuous assistance in securing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed in making choices regarding the world of work.
- Career Development counselors will work in cooperation with instructors or other appropriate personnel in the placement of students whether through on-the-job training, military, apprenticeships, postsecondary career and technical training or assisting students with two or four-year college program choices.
- The Career Development counselor will assist the career and technical education instructors and/or administrators in conducting and reporting follow-up studies of career and technical program graduates. Minimum standards require a 5-6 month follow-up of graduates. A 1- and 5-year follow-up study would provide information for the LCAP (Local Consolidated Annual Performance) Report.
Career Development services directed at providing all students with career awareness, self-development and career decision-making must be an integral part of a student's educational experience. It is this kind of experience that will help the students to learn, think, consider and make realistic decisions about their opportunities. The following services reflect this philosophy.
It is the objective of the Career Development counselor to provide the following Secondary Education:
- To help prepare youth to cope with continuing change in the world of work.
- To encourage students to develop a realistic attitude toward the dignity of all work and workers.
- To help students explore and understand their interests, abilities, aptitudes, and work values.
- To help the student develop a realistic understanding of themselves in regards to decision-making and career alternatives.
- To provide up-to-date occupational information to students concerning employment and labor market data.
- To provide the opportunity for the student to become acquainted with a wide range of occupational and educational opportunities.
- To present information on the world of work that will assist the individual in making long-range educational and career plans.
- To assist students with appropriate educational and occupational placement services.
- To provide follow-up information on each exiting student.
In order to obtain the CTE Career Development Credential, refer to Career Development Credentials Guidelines.
Program Management and Activities
Each Career Development program will develop a Program of Work (POW) that will outline the specific program activities. This POW will specify the general services to be offered through the Career Development program as well as the specific activities that will be utilized to accomplish the objectives of the program. The POW will vary according to the needs of the particular program. Each program, however, will be designed using the National Career Development Guidelines and will include the following minimum areas:
- Career Assessment Program
- Occupational Information Dissemination
- Public Relations Activities
This POW will be submitted by the last Friday in September to the North Dakota Career Development Supervisor and to school administrators. The progress toward these objectives should be made available to each cooperating school's administration and the state supervisor on an annual basis, with reports due May 31, as outlined in the Career Development Management Guide. This report, along with advisory committee minutes, must be submitted to the state supervisor prior to reimbursement.
Facilities, Materials and Aids
Facilities: In order to enhance the guidance effort, a separate room must be assigned to the Career Development counselor. Although no specific location or room size is required, it is suggested that the facility be centrally located to allow for easy student access. Private telephone access for the counselor is deemed highly advisable. In addition to the counseling office, space must be provided for the establishment of a Career Resource Center. If space is not available in the counseling area, it is suggested that a separate space be made available in the library to provide accessibility to interested students.
Materials and Aids: The quantity of occupational resource materials available on today's commercial market makes the choice of appropriate materials difficult. Certainly, each program will have different needs and must select material on the basis of that need. Each career center should have a variety of current resource materials. Following is a list of recommended resources.
- North Dakota Career Outlook
- A computerized guidance system such as CHOICES and Bridges.com
- Access to Internet career resources and other occupational and educational websites
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Other commercial career information and software as approved by the supervisor of Career Development
Each Career Development program will establish an advisory committee for the purpose of maintaining, improving and evaluating the program. Proposed standards for membership, functions and operation can be found in the section titled Advisory Committee Information of the Career Development Management Guide available from the State Board for Career and Technical Education or the CTE website. The spring meeting minutes must recommend continuation of the Career Development program for the following year. Submit minutes with the annual report. Advisory committees must meet a minimum of two times each year.
Evaluation is a vital part of any program. An assessment instrument should be designed to assist schools in determining specific needs of their program. The prime concern should be whether or not the needs of students in a particular school are being met. Whatever evaluation format is designed, it should be based on the philosophy and objectives as outlined in the Program of Work. Evaluators should include administrators, advisory committee members, teachers, students and the counselor.
Career Development counseling is not a state mandated program in North Dakota. The focus of the Career Development program is to assist public secondary, postsecondary, and tribal schools in supporting career and technical education programs. A maximum student/counselor ratio of 350 students to one counselor is recommended. When the ratio is exceeded, it is possible to add additional staff if approved by the schools and CTE. It is the goal of each Career Development program to be operated by a Master's degree level, state certified, professionally trained guidance counselor. Personnel requirements are set by state law and enforced by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education.