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Introduction

To increase student achievement and prepare students for life-long success, the Nebraska Career Education (NCE) mission, in alignment with the Nebraska Department of Education, recommends a career development process that begins in the elementary grades and continues throughout the lifespan. This career development process includes awareness, exploration, preparation, application culminating in life-long career management.

The Nebraska Career Education Model provides a common vision and common language for all statewide partners as they work together to impact global economic competitiveness of Nebraska in the 21st Century. This model--used by Nebraska business, industry, education, government agencies, and private partners--serves as the curriculum framework for enabling students to explore potential learning, earning, and living goals.

The Middle School Career Exploration Course includes the elements of career exploration, the use of career information, recommended extended learning, and the development of a Personal Learning Plan. While exploring all 16 career clusters, students will:

  • Understand how essential knowledge and skills apply to each cluster
  • Have opportunities to practice these essential knowledge and skills through career exploration actitities
  • Examine entrance requirements for a wide variety of post-secondary options
  • Learn to locate and use up-to-date career information that connects curriculum to relevant careers
  • Experience extended learning opportunities that bring relevance and real-world context to the curriculum
  • Develop Personal Learning Plans which serve as flexible and relevant plans of study for high school graduation and for seamless transition to post-secondary options.

This curriculum focuses on the unique academic, personal, and social needs of middle school learners, providing opportunities for them to explore career clusters while developing foundational knowledge and skills applicable to all career fields. Our goal was to include engaging opportunities for students to discover career possibilities and how these possibilities align with their personal goals and interests.