PreK-12 Career Development Program Planning
It is common today for schools to adopt the goal of preparing students to be college and career ready. Often, people want to reduce all the expectations, attitudes, competencies, skills and behaviors required to be college and career ready to a single score. However, expectations of today’s postsecondary and workplaces require college and career readiness to mean much more than doing well on a written or online test. A better approach is needed.
Nebraska Career Development Model programs intend to engage students with participation, activity and do much more than take a test. In this toolkit, we are suggesting a comprehensive approach, which invites experiential and skill building opportunities to enhance academic, career and social/emotional development throughout PreK-12, which directly applies to the demands of education and workplace success. A Nebraska Career Development Model represents a program where schools collaborate with families, postsecondary, the community, employers and business/industry to provide instruction, guidance and advisement to students to achieve their goals. We believe quality Career Development is enhanced college and career readiness programming in schools.
Planning a district wide program is essential. This section of the toolkit will offer planning resources.
Career Planning & Management Resources
Goal Setting for Learning, Earning and Living
Internships in Nebraska
Nebraska Access College Early (ACE) Scholarship Program
Nebraska Community College Programs of Study
Coordination Of Programs
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Coordinate Don’t Duplicate!
Program planners need to coordinate! Together we can support all students more effectively by sharing goals and defining roles and responsibilities between programs. It is likely some students will be in multiple programs. Cooperative program plans will eliminate duplication. Identify common goals, content and activities related to the Nebraska Career Development Model, in the chart below to assist with coordinated program planning.
Personal Learning Plan
Individual Education Plan
Pre-Employment Transition Services
|Career Development Components||NSTTAC Indicator 13 Checklist||Pre-Employment Transitions Services|
Planning & Management
What Do Families Want?
The National Collaborative for Youth gathered requests from over 1400 parents and families concerning career readiness for their children.4 Families want career information and resources.
Families want their children to have exposure to developing career readiness skills.
Career readiness skills are essential skills that apply at work, at school and at home! Start using a common language early to develop a college and career readiness culture. Provide parents with Nebraska Career Readiness Standards information.
Families want communication, but not too little or not too much!
Identify different avenues to provide the necessary information for families to participate in the career exploration process. Consider all communication is provided in multiple languages if necessary. Develop a PreK-12+ plan of communication with families. Engaged parents help assure the success of career exploration of all students.
- Monthly newsletters, texts, blogs
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter
- School website
- Share and post valuable websites (be selective, not too many)
- Create a parent webpage offering brochures, videos, webinars, helpful tips and timelines.
Families want to participate in building their child’s Personal Learning Plan (PLP). Families of youth with disabilities
Families of youth with disabilities want to have a voice to ensure the same opportunities in exploring career options and experiences in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Pre-Employment Plan (IPE). Provide a variety of family friendly hours for virtual or in-person meetings.
- Invite parents to be part of the registration process. Review career assessments before building a PLP and selecting classes for future years. Inform families of all core academics, career education programs/academies, dual/college credit, honors or special programs, activities, early-college etc. so they can discuss options with their student.
- Implement Student-Lead Parent Teacher Conferences for student to take ownership in presenting their own progress in accomplishing their Personal Learning Plan to assure they are taking the classes necessary for career and post-secondary success.
- Create a Parent University program or workshop (virtual and/or in person) aimed at how to best support students, PLP’s and college and career readiness.
- Offer Open-Houses or coordinate with other activities/events parents attend.
- Consider online meetings for families who have technology capacity.
- Connect families to EducationQuest.org for college planning services, assist with FAFSA and financial aid to higher education.
- Inform families of students with disabilities about coordination of services for career development between general education, special education and Nebraska VR.
Families want their children to have more opportunities for exposure in real work experiences.
Inform families of workplace experiences available through school, special education, Nebraska VR and your community.
Leverage community partnership to develop a continuum of workplace experience PreK-12+ for the career development program. Learn more at: www.nebraskaworkplaceexperiences.com
Families want support for researching all postsecondary career options including: certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees.
- Parents want career development curriculum in schools and to be involved with college and career planning.
- The Nebraska Career Connections website provides invaluable education and career planning resources for students and parents. Parents are able to log in to their child’s account and view assessment results. These results identify interest, strengths and values related to careers of interest, skills and activities associated with careers and identify training and educational requirements to successfully pursue those careers. Schools should offer instructions for how a parent can create a parent account, with or without a link to their student’s portfolio.
Inform Families: What is Dual Credit?
- Opportunities to achieve high school and college credit while in high school.
Inform Families: Why Dual Credit?
- It saves time and money. Students can reduce the duplication of courses.
- Students are exposed to college level work which may determine future education goals and planning.
- Opportunities for reduced rate tuition which may lower the overall cost of college education.
- May expedite college graduation or allow for dual-majors or more in-depth course work in college.
- Data shows dual credit students earn higher grade point averages than their peers, are more likely to graduate from high school, are more likely to attend college and more likely to return for their sophomore year of college.3
Download this brochure from: https://www.education.ne.gov/CARED/
Families of youth with disabilities want to have a voice in building their child’s personal learning plan and to assure the same opportunities in exploring career options and experiences.
These resources will help guide equity and access for students with disabilities.
General Education, Special Education, and the Nebraska VR need to collaborate with families to provide career educational experiences to students. The opportunity to experience career based learning has been shown to increase employment success for all students.4
- Community College Research Center, The Postsecondary Achievement of Participants in Dual Enrollment: An Analysis of Student Outcomes in Two States.
- NCWD, Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family
ASVAB Career Exploration Program
Career Cluster Informal Checklist Inventory for Students
Career Cluster Informal Checklist Inventory for Students - English
Career Cluster Informal Checklist Inventory for Students - Spanish
Career Conversations for High School - English
Career Conversations for High School - Spanish
Career Conversations for Middle School - English
Career Conversations for Middle School - Spanish
Career Training in Today’s Military
Habitudes for Career Ready Students
Nebraska Career Readiness Evaluation Rubrics for Work-based Learning
Nebraska Career Readiness Rubrics for High School
Nebraska Career Readiness Standards
Nebraska Career Readiness Standards Booklet and checklist
Why Career Development?
Our goal is to inspire individuals to turn their passion, talent and abilities into successful careers and fulfilling lives.
We believe all individuals should be empowered to choose a meaningful career and education pathway to position themselves for lifelong success.
Choosing a career should never be left to chance or luck. Ideally, it is an informed decision-making process.
- Career development allows individuals to discover who they are, what they like to do and what they do best.
- Many young people are frustrated in school because they do not see the link between their coursework and goals for the future. We want student to understand how coursework and activities can enhance their strengths and move them toward their desired future.
- Students often have limited exposure to the full range of possible jobs that are available. Without exploration, students may simply resort to selecting careers they see in their immediate surroundings or on television and in the media rather than selecting options that align with their own interest, skills or work values.
- Nearly all careers require education beyond high school. Knowledge of certifications or degree opportunities, college options, entrance requirements, application process and financial aid is vital for students and families to learn.
- All students benefit from career development resulting in a personal learning plan and portfolio to guide them through high school graduation and beyond to a postsecondary choice of apprenticeship, higher education, employment, military or entrepreneurship.
Lesson Plans – Grades 8,9,10
No Plans Available
Transitions for All Students
Career Development Supports Transitions for All Students
Successful Student Transitions are Vital to:
- Nebraska Schools including Special Education
- Nebraska VR (Vocational Rehabilitation)
Throughout a student’s time in school, many changes or transitions occur. Students are to adapt to new teachers, new classrooms, new buildings, new schedules and responsibilities while at the same time master higher levels of academic difficulty. Students face challenges at each level of academic development, career development and social/emotional development while in school.
Schools can offer focused support to mitigate transition challenges by informing and preparing students of new expectations, how to adjust to new environments and navigate confidently to each new level toward college and career readiness. In fact, transitions is a part of school accountability in Nebraska.
Career and education planning is not just an option provided to students with special services, but it is a requirement based on the law. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires Nebraska VR to coordinate with schools to offer Pre-Employment Transitions Services.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates students who qualify for Special Education services have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to guide learning, career planning and transitions.
Nebraska VR transition personnel provide transition related services including Pre-Employment Transition Services for students with disabilities throughout the state. For more information please refer to: http://www.vr.nebraska.gov/students/for_schools.html
Nebraska VR staff will be available, in partnership with schools, to provide and supplement the following Pre-Employment Transition Services:
- Job exploration counseling;
- Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living;
- Work-based learning experiences which may include in-school or after-school opportunities or outside the traditional school setting (including internships) are provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible;
- Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; and
- Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring.
Students in high school typically begin working with Nebraska VR during the second semester of their sophomore year. Students typically receive pre-employment transition services under a potentially eligible category with a signed Pre-Employment Consent and Release form. More individualized services require an application for VR services.
Student with a disability:
- Eligible for and receiving special education services under an IEP
- Student receiving services under a Section 504 Plan
- Students with a disability not receiving services under an IEP or 504 Plan
- Students with a disability who have not yet applied or been made eligible for VR services
- Students with a signed Pre – Employment Transition Services Consent and Release form
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA mandates students who qualify for Special Education services have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to guide learning, career planning and transitions.
Specific documentation of transition planning services in the Individual Education Program (IEP) is required for students verified with disabilities beginning no later than age 16 and younger if deemed appropriate by the IEP team. It may be beneficial to reference 92 NAC 51 (Rule 51). Visit the Nebraska Department of Education website for Transition at: https://transition.ne.gov. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) collects data from every state education agency to ensure that all students are receiving career based planning through the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) at: https://transitionta.org