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Aligning school counseling, the changing workplace, and career development assumptions. (Special issue: career development and the changing workplace).

While navigating educational requirements and career decision making grows in complexity, assumptions about career development and the changing workplace need to be re-evaluated. Quality comprehensive school counseling programs promote self knowledge, exploration, career planning, and self-advocacy skill attainment needed for a time when "good career development requires recognizing that success and fulfillment are individually defined" (Feller, 1996b, p. 152). As a result, school counselors and school counseling programs play key roles "as schools will need to prepare students who can successfully transition to the next level, whether it is a college or university, a community college, a technical institution, or a job. Also, students will need to have the skills and competencies required for the option they choose" (Hughey & Hughey, 1999, p. 207).

While changes in work and the workplace require change in career theory and practice (Savickas, 1999), House and Martin (1998) called for school counselors to provide evidence of positive impact on student achievement. Sink (2002) posed questions about school counselor relevancy and suggested the need to ask how to improve school counseling. For those who believe that school counseling, education, and student planning are inseparable, examining long held assumptions about career development deserves attention. This seems timely as Barton (2002) reported that young people are getting no more education than their parents have, and that while college enrollment rates have been increasing, so have noncompletion rates. He also called for more avenues to success than the traditional college route. Appreciating such opportunities, this article provides an overview of the changing workplace and insights about student planning, career and technical education, and school-to-work efforts. Career development assumptions to enhance student, school counselor, and school counseling program success are offered as well.


School reform efforts over the past few decades have created many changes for school counselors. Both anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that the profession has responded successfully to multiple external forces. They include changing educational philosophies, social movements, economic trends, and legislative accountability (Borders, 2002; Herr, 2002). Historically, school counselors have served an ancillary role. They are now central to the educational mission as key information brokers regarding educational options, curricular development, and occupational opportunities (Herr).

Along with its complexity, the importance of career development on effective student planning has escalated. A growing research base underscores the positive impact of career guidance and counseling efforts, particularly those with developmentally appropriate content (increasingly referred to as career development) on successful career choices (Herr, 2000).

Yet, at a time when both the literature and business interests accentuate the need for more appropriately trained workers, students continue to make career choices based on scant information. Research illustrates a dramatic disconnection between student courses of study or job pursuits and existing job openings and business needs (Career Institute for Education and Workforce Development, 2002). Longitudinally, such disconnections often play out as dissatisfaction with career choices and outcomes. In a 1999 survey conducted by the Gallup Organization (National Career Development Association, 2000), 69 percent of working adults reported that if choosing careers again they would get more information about available options than they had previously. This survey echoed another National Career Development Association (1993) survey in which 72 percent of working adults indicated they would seek greater exploratory opportunities if they were able to start over. Moreover, as the need for high school graduates to obtain some postsecondary education to be competitive in the workplace grows (Carnevale, 2001; Carnevale & Fry, 2001; National Commission on the High School Senior Year, 2001; Scott & Bernhardt, 2000), the opportunity and real costs grow as well. School counselors frequently encourage students and their parents to explore the varieties of postsecondary opportunities as the basis of reasoned, relevant choices about college attendance and its relationship to careers. However, students and their parents continue to invest both time and money in courses of study that do not promote focused career goals or align students' skills and aspirations with employers' needs (Career Institute for Education and Workforce Development; Gray, 2000: Herman, Olivo, & Gioia, 2003; Hoyt, 2001).

Evolving technology, customer expectations, and ongoing process modifications are creating worker readiness dilemmas for employers and educators. Although employers face shortages of workers, "... far too many of those available are not prepared to perform today's job duties ... let alone the duties of the jobs that will emerge in the evolving future. [Schools] need regular briefings on what's happening in the world of work, support on curriculum design, and knowledge resources to bring the evolving designs to life" (Herman et al., 2003, p. 84).


Whether the hydrogen economy redistributes the world's wealth, China's cloning breakthroughs dominate the next economy, or school reform's promise to "leave no student behind" becomes reality, the vast majority of students will continue to graduate from high school and soon after enter the workforce. It is difficult to determine whether they will work for themselves within a Free Agent Nation (Pink, 2001), take advantage of The War for Talent (Michael, Handfield-Jones, & Axelrod, 2001) or benefit from an Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People (Herman et al., 2003). Regardless, too few depart high school with the agility, self-reliance, critical-thinking and problem-solving capabilities as well as character traits needed to adapt to a future demanding lifelong learning and the personal accountability needed for its direction (National Commission on the High School Senior Year, 2001; Steinberg & Allen, 2002). Only time will tell how youth will experience the globalization of goods and services, deregulation, technological advances, instability created by terrorism, and "hurry sickness" described by Gleick (1999).

Currently, too many youth drop out of high school (Education Trust, 2001; Steinberg & Allen, 2002). Many others graduate, but enter college hoping time will accelerate career exploration, clarify focus, and enhance personal responsibility. Too often, dropouts and completers enter the workplace "nervously employed," misinformed about successful workforce behaviors. They subsequently flounder in the secondary labor market with little opportunity of attaining livable wages without finding a second chance via postsecondary education and/or marketable skills.

Schneider and Stevenson (1999) reported that over 90 percent of high school seniors expect to attend college and more than 70 percent expect to hold professional jobs regardless of parental income or background. School counselors hesitate to confront this "silent dream" held by parents, knowing the difficulty of offering options which suggest not attending the state university, even though career ideas and academic maturity are often incongruent (Hoyt, 2001). All too soon many students find themselves without the math or science needed in technical programs or the basic verbal, reading, and math skills necessary for postsecondary completion (Boesel & Fredland, 1999; Education Trust, 2001). Ambitions are altered as students withdraw from college, realizing their goals require more time in school and more classes than they are prepared to complete.

Alerts about the incongruence of student expectations and workplace realities, particularly for students in the academic middle have been sounded (Gray, 2000; Gray & Herr, 2000; Hoyt & Maxey, 2001). Federal initiatives such as the School-to-Work Opportunities Act (1994) tried to address this misalignment, yet failed to create the philosophical shifts needed for sustainability beyond a local scale. Although preparing youth for employment, lifelong learning, and career advancement continues to receive interest, it faces many challenges and uncertainty, particularly during economic downturns or decreasing entry-level labor demands (Feller & Davies, 1999).


Anticipating and adapting to change have increasingly become a requirement for youth to succeed as adults. Various employers and industries are fostering cultures that encourage "... entrepreneurial values and attitudes that emphasize initiative and rapid response" (Yergin & Stanislaw, 2002, p. 407). Increasingly, the "new workplace" is more dynamic and less patient with workers unable to quickly add value. Responsibility for obtaining basic skills, training, and postsecondary education needed for employment has shifted to the employee. Global competition, technical advances, and constant innovations challenge employee tenure and vertical mobility. Workers are expected to be more competent in communication, math, computer technology, and self-management, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

While opinions vary about the degree of workplace change youth will encounter, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistic's (2002) Working in the 21st Century listed the following general trends:

1. The labor force is growing more slowly and is becoming older.

2. More women are working today than in the past.

3. Minorities are the fastest growing part of the labor force.

4. Immigrants are found at the high and low ends of the education scale.

5. Education pays.

6. Some jobs with above-average earnings do not require a bachelor's degree, but most require substantial training.

7. Workers with computer skills are in demand.

8. The l0 occupations to generate the most jobs range widely in their skill requirements.

9. Benefits account for more than one-quarter of total compensation.

10. Retirement plans are changing.

11. Workers will be supporting more Social Security recipients.

12. Years spent with an employer are down for men and up for women.

13. The temporary help industry has grown rapidly.

14. The most common alternative employment arrangement is an independent contractor.

15. Most mothers work.

16. Married couples are working longer.

17. The workplace is becoming safer.

Additional forecasts included in this report were that (a) one third of the 30 jobs projected to grow the fastest this decade are in technology; (b) half are in human health care; and (c) the rest are in education, fitness, and animal health care. Government, security, finance, and defense will continue to experience strong demand as well. The list of fastest-growing occupations reflects (a) the emergence of technology in virtually every area of life, (b) the aging of the baby boom generation, and (c) an increase in national security issues.

Recognizing the trends shaping the workplace, "... interest in career planning is at an all-time high and will become even stronger as we move into the future" (Herman et al., 2003, p. 108). Obviously, school counselors play an increasingly key role in motivating students to learn to be flexible and mobile as well as to gain the academic, occupational, and career development competencies needed for successful transition to adulthood.


The emerging diamond-shaped workplace (Feller, 1996a, 1996b) rewards employees who constantly innovate, accept broader responsibilities, and demonstrate greater agility. Workers earn their value through contributions to a company's core mission rather than by accumulating degrees and rifles. Successful workers quickly recognize the need to take responsibility for ongoing learning, risk taking, and developing requisite character traits. Students striving to gain employment must have the technical skills, "intellectual capital," and personal strengths (Clifton & Anderson, 2002) critical to an organization's competitive advantage.

Even in environments where job security existed, it is rapidly becoming an anachronism. Intense global competition and time-compressed distribution and product development have transformed work roles, job rifles, and organizational structures. In an increasing global workplace, the emerging diamond-shaped workplace requires fewer managers or supervisors. Continuous quality improvement, customer satisfaction innovations, product or service differentiation, use of self-managed work teams, and "connectivity "to real time data have accelerated the pace of work. To sustain market success and achieve organizational objectives workers are rewarded for assimilating traits found in globally competitive, high-performance organizations. Alignment among training, development and organizational objectives, and top-level administrative support is required for employers seeking a competitive advantage (Simonsen, 1997).

To respond effectively to changing workplace needs, students need to understand that fewer entry-level, livable-wage jobs are available to new workers lacking basic skills. The inability to access and gain market-driven occupational proficiencies, retrieve and disperse information through technology, and remain motivated and self-directed negatively impacts all workers, particularly youth new to the workforce. Skills and competencies tied to adding value to an organization's core mission increasingly determine the quality of jobs students can expect to attain, their length of employment, and their opportunities to learn on the job. Moreover, students who understand how economic fluctuations influence employment options, job growth, and job security can better anticipate new opportunities. Those who access learning and skill development during economic downturns maintain some competitive advantage.

While the business community advocates for reforms intended to provide better trained employees, discussions about school reform is "based on narrow rhetoric rather than rigorous research." (Steinberg, 1997, p.13) As noted by Barton (2001), there are "some very critical issues involved in transforming American education, issues that are not at the center of the current educational debate and developing legislation" (p. 2).


Since the 1970s, schools have been responding to charges of "... the anonymity and lack of accountability endemic to large, impersonal and bureaucratically organized institutions, the fragmentation of a departmentalized curriculum with little discernible connection to what young people want or imagine they need to know, and the isolation of schools from the community ..." (Steinberg & Cohen, 2002, p. 1), Steinberg (1997) presented alarming findings about the factors outside of school that negatively influence school achievement. He concluded that
 No curricular overhaul, no instructional innovation,
 no change in school organization, no
 toughening of standards ... will succeed if students
 do not come to school interested in, and
 committed to, learning ... how we can reengage
 students in the business of learning, we
 need to look, not at what goes on inside the
 classroom, but at students' lives outside the
 schools' walls. Until we do just this, school
 reform will fail to improve. (p. 19)

The standards-based reform movement of the 1990s, the first significant statehouse-led effort, has led to some positive results; but primarily for those students who already identify with academic achievement goals, and chiefly in those schools with the fiscal capacity to support instructional improvements. Standards-based school reform has resulted in more challenging and relevant curricula. Unfortunately, the setting of higher standards has not alleviated the crises of growing student alienation and dropout rates common in urban high schools (Steinberg & Cohen, 2002). It now appears that "economic segregation" plagues the nation's schools, raising serious questions about the adequacy of local property tax funding without federal and state supplements. Some states are attempting system redesigns that include (a) defining the resources needed for students in low-income areas to reach state standards, (b) funneling funds to low-income schools to offset inadequate local taxes, and (c) encouraging Washington to help equalize the startling discrepancies (Symonds, 2002). Such efforts, however, are rare especially given the current federal and state deficits.

Standards-based school reform, while undeniably well-intended and strongly supported by key legislators, is not without its critics. Holding schools accountable for test scores and subsequently determining funding on the basis of their outcomes, contradicts the data about how students learn and what tests can and cannot measure. As stated by Meier (2002),
 That a standardized one-size-fits-all test could
 be invented and imposed by the state, that
 teachers could unashamedly teach to such a
 test, that all students could theoretically succeed
 at this test, and that it could be true to
 any form of serious intellectual or technical
 psychometric standards is just plain impossible.
 (p. 192)

Standards-based school reform efforts need to be joined by a growing emphasis on promoting "social capital" and creating conditions to stimulate students to use their strengths in socially relevant ways (Renzulli, 2002). Similarly, Savickas (1999) pointed out that "career development specialists focus on the nexus between person and environment, that is, the psycho-social integration of individuals into society. As such, career services benefit society as well as individuals" (p. 54). Frequently surrounded by political controversy, fostering social capital/character development has yet to be embraced by schools despite the striking evidence that investments in social capital benefit society as a whole by creating "... the values, norms, networks, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation geared toward the greater public good" (Renzulli, p. 34).

Responding through appropriate reforms to the changing world of work and the expanding expectations placed on schools is becoming increasingly important to school counselors who look at students from a developmental perspective. Educational policies will continue to guide instruction. Yet, what should guide educational policies? Steinberg and Cohen (2002) suggested that policies should presume that students can adhere to common standards, but through different pedagogies, different institutional arrangements, and in significantly different amounts of time. Supporting their philosophy, experimental programs creating smaller high schools (the "smaller is better" movement) are proving to promote higher student achievement levels, higher graduation and lower dropout rates, and they are safer than larger schools. Moreover, small schools appear to make the most difference for low-income and minority youth. A codification of the blending of youth development approaches with contextual and authentic learning (see Table 1), with smaller schools has demonstrated remarkable success in high school and postsecondary graduation rates (Steinberg & Allen, 2002).

Within the No Child Left Behind Act, (2002) signed into law by President Bush on January 8, 2002, the declaration that "all children can learn" can serve as the catalyst for meaningful school reform as well as highlight differences in students' educational needs. Agreeing that no child should be left behind is simple. Getting consensus that all students do not start with the same set of skills, do not all learn at the same level or in the same way, and do not all learn in the same amount of time remains a complex political issue. Yet, it deserves ongoing debate, timely resolution, and greater input from school counselors. As America's Children: Key Indicators of Well-Being (Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2002) illustrated, America's youth face many challenges as they negotiate school, work, and the larger community. Thoughtful, timely, and meaningful planning to help students navigate a school system continually facing reform, with aspirations to match their strengths and interests, has never been more important.


Although not always viewed as a favorable "academic" option, career and technical education (CTE) continues to demonstrate positive results in high school students' career development. Moreover, there is strong evidence that CTE can help reduce high school dropout rates through greater student engagement (Elliott, Hanser, & Gilroy, 2001; Maxwell & Rubin, 2000; Plank, 2001). Plank reported that, "... a middle-range integration of CTE and academic scheduling [three CTE credits to every four academic credits] has significant potential to reduce the likelihood of dropping out" (p. 35).

Plank's (2001) study illustrated two important points about CTE. First, CTE is worthy of consideration, particularly for at-risk students; and second, the way CTE is designed and implemented is important to its success. When examples of successful CTE are found, they are almost always in schools with "... highly talented and dedicated leadership" (Castellano, Stringfield, & Stone, 2001, p. 58). The High Schools that Work (HSTW) pioneers, attempting to make positive differences in CTE students, propose CTE curriculum with two fundamental components (Bottoms & Presson, 2000; Southern Region Education Board, 1998; Wonacott, 2002a, 2002b). Component one calls for an upgraded academic core with content and achievement standards comparable to college-prep or honors courses, including math, science, and English. The second component, the CTE major, requires four credits in a planned, coherent sequence of CTE courses supplemented by two related credits, including computer literacy skills. Further, those CTE programs that incorporate work-based learning appear to have positive effects on students' educational, attitudinal, and employment outcomes (Wonacott, 2002c).

Integrated CTE, defined as a "program" of sequential occupational courses integrated with a program of sequential academic courses, has the greatest appeal to students seeking "sub-baccalaureate" careers (Grubb, 1996). Integrated CTE has "... general occupational competency and academic mastery of the traditional academic curriculum ..." as its performance goal; and "... the transition from high school to postsecondary pre-baccalaureate technical education or full-time employment ..." as its outcome goal (Gray, 2002, p. 12). Such programs merit acknowledgement when projected careers are measured against their educational requirements. Gray (2000) illustrated well the misunderstandings between the perceptual and real needs of education and training for employment. Table 2 provides a comparison of the 1996 and projected 2006 needed levels of education and training.

With the inherent focus on matching student career exploration interests with workplace needs, CTE's role in education and career development warrants serious consideration. As stated by Harkins (2002), "CTE, with its technical focus and performance innovation outcomes mandates, is ideally positioned to lead the rest of education into new leadership and prominence" (p. 31). CTE and similar efforts to align academic achievement and workforce development offer lessons for school counselors to study as they suggest program and curriculum change which helps minimize student underachievement.


The School-to-Work Opportunities Act (1994) followed debates between vocational preparation purists and college preparation elitists about how best to prepare students for meaningful employment. Now that federal funding for the STWOA has ended, researchers are trying to distill its impact. Hughes, Bailey, and Karp (2002) reported the following:
 Our conclusion is that the [School-to-Work
 (STW)] research so far has found generally
 positive results.... the school-to-work strategy
 does benefit students, teachers, and employers.
 Although critics of this educational
 approach feared that it would weaken academic
 achievement and divert students to lows-skilled
 jobs, truncating their opportunities for
 college and further study, the growing body of
 evaluation work--even at the most rigorous
 and definitive levels--has turned up almost no
 evidence that such fears were justified.
 (p. 273)

After reviewing more than 100 studies, Hughes et al. (2002) concluded that STW

* Supports academic achievement in a variety of ways, such as reducing the dropout rate and increasing college enrollment

* Teaches skills and abilities useful in careers and helps students think about and plan their future

* Appears to help students mature and develop psychologically

* Encourages more varied types of contact between students and adults, including teachers and worksite mentors

Moreover, teachers, students, parents, and employers remain positive about STW.

These findings are encouraging to school counselors promoting comprehensive career development programs. School-to-work/career strategies can help close the gap among misaligned career expectations, academic expectations, and successful work behaviors by:

* Expanding higher-level, basic skills acquisition for all students

* Brokering access to occupational skills within high-performance organizations that connect youth to helpful adult role models

* Accelerating career exploration programs that help students identify their strengths and interests through real-life experiences

* Expanding vertical articulation between schools and programs so competencies become as valued as seat time

* Promoting "focused effort" through personally relevant activities and contextual learning as a powerful way to create mastery and build talent

* Expanding work-based learning through community partnerships so that students can have success in real life problem-solving experiences

* Providing variation in learning opportunities so that students do not have the option "not to learn" or "underachieve"

* Utilizing technology so that all students reach higher expectations and gain expanded basic skills by making time available for learning constant and time needed to learn variable

* Taking advantage of the predictive power of hope (Snyder, Feldman, Shorey, & Rand, 2002) by helping students gain confidence about meeting the challenges of the future.

Although scholars continue to assess its influences on student career development, evidence to date indicates that the "STWOA has been a driving force in uniting state legislators, employers, schools, parents, and students to enhance student learning and prepare young people for meaningful work" (Brown, 2002, p. 3).


Changing workplace needs and employer demands require different student readiness skills and school counseling approaches. Major shifts in assumptions underlying career development need to occur to successfully transition students from high school to planned postsecondary alternatives. Table 3 presents a comparison of the traditional to emerging career development assumptions. It encapsulates (a) what the science of cognition has taught about pedagogy (Parnell, 1996), (b) the importance of education promoting "social capital" (Renzulli, 2002) and character development through "apprenticeships in democracy" (Goodlad, 2002), (c) the emergent skills for competing in the changing workplace (Feller & Davies, 1999; National Life/Work Centre, n.d.), (d) the need for "hopeful students" (Snyder et al., 2002) deciding career goals, and (e) the value of beginning career development activities early in the educational experience (Hughey & Hughey, 1999), the redefinition of school to work as a process rather than event (Herr, 1999), and a new vision for school counseling programs (ASCA, 2003).

Those advocating career preparation at the expense of student preparation for life roles and formation of social capital are advised to consider the emerging roles of all citizens and the need for sustainable and peaceful communities. Others convinced that the market-driven global economy enhanced by technology and entrepreneurship is the only way to prosperity, democracy, and security are advised to consider the vision of a civil society (Yankelovich, 1999). A civil society is committed to "the values of community, faith, responsibility, civic virtue, neighborliness, stewardship, and mutual concern for each other, values not inherent in a free-market economy" (p. 202). Further, communities need to help students develop the character needed to resist ploys leading to corporate scandals and political corruption that quickly undermine institutional trust regardless of how the workplace changes. Career plans of students need to include not only academic and technical skills, but also lessons in democracy (Goodlad, 2002), activities to promote developmental assets (Search Institute, 1997), and opportunities to learn to be self-reliant career managers (National Life/Work Centre, n.d.). While this article takes a global view of career development and the emerging assumptions to be challenged, as school counselors help students plan it is helpful to note that social advocacy "is the heritage of the profession" (Gysbers, 2001, p.103). School counselors overtly and unconsciously impact student options as a result of assumptions they hold.


As Posner (2002) stated, "It is a tricky business trying to guess what experiences will motivate an individual to intellectual achievement or what skills or bits of knowledge will wind up being important in a person's life" (p. 316). However, as the primary shapers and facilitators of student career development within schools, school counselors owe students their best thinking about these moving targets. For their parts, students need to maximize their strengths and demonstrate the self-discipline needed to get what they want in life and work. They need encouragement during all experiences so they can learn to evaluate options, critically evaluate decision outcomes, and assume responsibility for garnering the career development competencies needed. At the very least, school counselors need to help students learn to ask better questions and work with more realistic assumptions that reflect an understanding of the changing workplace.

It seems certain that students need to be educated for globalization, the "economic, political and cultural force that dominates the developed and developing worlds" (Nordgren, 2002, p. 318). School counselors cognizant of how the workplace is changing can better assist students in responding to the impact of globalization on their choices in the workplace and community. Instilling in students (a) creativity and other entrepreneurial skills; (b) intra and interpersonal communication and team-building skills; (c) independent thinking and problem-solving skills; (d) the imagination and flexibility to adapt to ever present change; (e) the character traits and strength to develop and act from a principled, ethical core; and (f) faith and trust in one's abilities to negotiate life's challenges appear to be the common denominators. In addition to promoting these key elements and persuasively arguing for curriculum change, school counselors and counseling programs need to focus on preparing students for a lifetime of learning and work transitions. As this takes place, greater alignment will be evident.
Table 1. The Five C's

Caring Caring relationships that help young
 people build an attachment to the
 learning environment and provide
 them with the support they need to
 overcome obstacles

Cognitive Cognitive challenges that engage
 young people intellectually and help
 them develop the competencies they
 will need for postsecondary success

Culture Culture of support for effort that
 pushes young people to do their best

Community Community, contribution, voice, and
 leadership in a group that young people
 feel is worth belonging to

Connections Connections to high-quality postsecondary
 learning and career opportunities
 through an expanding network of

Table 2. Percentage of Employment
Requiring Various Levels of Education and
Training: 1996 & 2006

 1996 2006

First Professional 1.3% 1.3%

Doctorate .8% .8%

Master's 1.0% 1.0%

Bachelor's & experience 6.8% 7.0%

Associate 3.1% 3.3%

Work experience in related
occupation 6.1% 5.8%

Long-term on-the-job training 8.3% 7.9%

Moderate on-the-job training 12.7% 12.1%

Short-term on-the-job training 40.4% 40.2%

Source: Data from Silvestri (1997) as cited in Gray,
2000, p. 23.

Table 3. Comparison of the Traditional to Emerging Career
Development Assumptions

Dimension Traditional Assumptions

Pedagogy Students commit bits of knowledge to
 memory in isolation from practical
 application; academics are important
 in and of themselves.

Values What one values is not as important
 as ensuring a secure job with vertical

Career Exploration Either the senior year in high school
Timeframe or first year of college is soon enough
 to begin career discussions.

Job Longevity Change is inevitable, BUT secure jobs
 do exist; find companies where this
 has proven true and stick with them;
 rewards will follow.

Educational Contexts School designs and instructional
 delivery do not matter; "teach to the
 middle" and all students will progress.
 Seat time is the constant and learning
 is the variable.

Career Preparation Primary focus is on academic subjects
Components and technical skills; students learn
 workplace behaviors from parents
 and/or community members and
 integration of academic and technical
 is not needed.

Meaningful Students should focus on growth sectors
Employment and choose one; know what they
 want and where they are going, and
 not to deviate from a plan.

Job Skills Acquisition Learn while in school, then one's
 career is assured; postsecondary
 degrees are fundamental to success.

Accessing Career Learn about careers independently;
Information the key to success is for students to
 learn to write their own ticket; they
 need to make it on their own.

School Counselor Role Focus on what school counselors do.

School to Work School-to-work transition is the
Transitions bridge that connects schools to

Evaluation of School Use graduation and college acceptance
Counseling Programs rates, and amount of financial
 aid awarded as success metrics.

Dimension Emerging Assumptions

Pedagogy Effective teaching/learning motivates students
 to connect knowledge content with the context
 of application, developing and utilizing the
 "thinking brain"; problem solving and
 decision-making skills are promoted.

Values Identifying values in career planning is
 critical; giving students the ability to set
 valued goals, identify strategies achieve
 goals, and the motivation to actualize goals
 is fundamental to career success.

Career Exploration Career development begins in elementary school
Timeframe and continues through high school and beyond;
 activities are developmentally appropriate.

Job Longevity Security comes from the ability to anticipate,
 make and manage changes; change is the only

Educational Contexts Not all students learn in the same way, in the
 same time-frame, or with the same kinds of
 physical and emotional structures. Honor
 differences so that learning becomes
 the constant and time is the variable.

Career Preparation Character development--moral, ethical,
Components affective growth--is equally important to
 technical skills and academic achievements;
 schools are responsible for "apprenticeships
 in democracy."

Meaningful Increased emphasis on spirituality and
Employment community in the workplace; the career of
 choice must have personal meaning; students
 should have ideas of what they want,
 and be open to new information.

Job Skills Acquisition Learning is lifelong and everywhere; acquire
 as much from informal as formal learning;
 explore needed education. More than half of
 all jobs require short to moderate

Accessing Career Access allies and become an ally; people
Information progress as much by whom they know, and who
 knows them, as on what they know.

School Counselor Role Focus on how students are different because of
 the school counseling programs and the work of
 the school counselor.

School to Work School-to-work transition is strengthened
Transitions through basic skill acquisition and career
 development outcomes in elementary and middle
 school, and follows non-linear events which
 connect school to employment and workplace

Evaluation of School Attention to success in completing college
Counseling Programs semesters, amount of debt accrued,
 satisfaction with high school transition,
 level of voter participation, commitment to
 creating social capital.


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Rich W. Feller, Ph.D., is professor of Counseling and Career Development, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. E-mail:
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Author:Feller, Rich W.
Publication:Professional School Counseling
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Date:Apr 1, 2003
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