A comprehensive career education program consists of the following broad components (adapted from McCowan, C. & McKenzie, M. (1997). The guide to career education. Sydney: New Hobsons Press, p. 17):
Self awareness activities typically involve students in:
Opportunity awareness activities involve students in investigating, exploring and experiencing the world of work and the various pathways within it. Activities might include:
Decision learning is concerned with learning how to make decisions. Relevant activities involve students in:
Transition learning relates to the awareness and skills students need to cope with new situations, both desired and undesired. Typical activities include:
Best practice career education programs:
Career education programs that are mainstream are seen by the school community as:
The school's management group endorses the school's career education program, when they:
Career education programs that actively involve all stakeholders in the school community, are understood and promoted by the community. Stakeholders include students, parents, teachers, industry, employers, support services, mentors, former students, community organisations, and education/training providers.
Best practice career education programs incorporate up-to-date, accurate and user-friendly career information. They use a range of information access points, for example:
Teachers involved in career education programs need access to a variety of curriculum resources to meet the different learning and developmental needs of students. These resources should be credible, current, and user-friendly.
Career development is complex and the pathways available to students are multiple. Consequently, school personnel involved in the delivery of career education programs should be appropriately trained. Personnel providing career counselling in the school should have formal qualifications in career development and career counselling, and access to supervision.
Career education programs require coordination to ensure that all students have access to a comprehensive program, and to avoid duplication of curriculum content at different year levels. Using a career development framework such as the Australian Blueprint for Career Development or the P - 12 Career and work preparation outcomes framework will provide a 'map' for this process. Monitoring and evaluation are important components of a career education program to ensure that the program is meeting the needs of students and other stakeholders, and contributing to the achievement of the school's goals.
The above principles have been adapted from the following publications:
Dusseldorp Skills Forum & Career Education Association of Victoria (1997). Career education and guidance for the next millennium.
McCowan, C. & McKenzie, M. (1997). The guide to career education. Sydney: New Hobsons Press.
Patton, W. & McMahon, M. (2001). Career development programs: Preparation for lifelong career decision-making. Melbourne: ACER.