Developing a career is a process, not just a destination. Unfortunately, not enough attention is paid to the developmental process required to engage in thoughtful, thorough career development. Many students are confronted with substantial career and life decisions at an early age with limited opportunities for career exploration. CTE students are often asked to choose specific occupational areas even though most may not continue on in the same area upon graduating. And many students are offered only limited opportunities to explore career and postsecondary options. Career development thus often becomes a by-product of the educational curriculum.
Yet research suggests that school counselors can play a powerful role in the career development of students. For example, research on school counseling and guidance services has found that students who receive career development services reported greater career awareness and higher levels of career exploration and planning. Further, long-term effects of career counseling resulted in higher levels of success in transitioning into life roles, a better sense of direction in their careers, and higher levels of overall life satisfaction.
The NRCCTE’s longitudinal, field-based studies of programs of study/career pathways were designed in part to explore the role of career guidance and counseling in helping students stay engaged in school, achieve academically and technically, and make successful transitions to postsecondary education and careers.
Career Guidance and Counseling-Related Research Studies:
- A Longitudinal Study of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success Initiative
- Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study
- Mature Programs of Study: A Postsecondary Perspective
- Programs of Study - A Cross-Study Examination of Programs in Three States
- Six Stories About Six States: Programs of Study
Other Career Guidance and Counseling Related Projects:
Special Publications Related to Career Guidance and Counseling:
Techniques Magazine (January 2012 Programs of Study Issue)
International Journal of Educational Reform (Spring 2012 Special Issue)
- Do Career and Technical Education Programs of Study Improve Student Achievement? Preliminary Analyses from a Rigorous Longitudinal Study
- Mature Programs of Study: A Structure for the Transition to College and Career?
- Implementing a Statewide Mandated Career Pathways/Programs of Study School Reform Model: Select Findings from a Multisite Case Study
- Situating Programs of Study Within Current and Historical Career and Technical Educational Reform Efforts