College and career guidance and counseling programs aim to help students make more informed and better educational and career choices. Among other things, programs offer information on high school course offerings, career options, the type of academic and occupational training needed to succeed in the workplace, and postsecondary opportunities that are associated with their field of interest. Programs also often provide teachers, administrators, and parents with information they can use to support students' career exploration and postsecondary educational opportunities.
Activities associated with career guidance and counseling programs typically include:
- Advising students and parents on high school programs and academic curriculum, preparing
them for college application and admission .
- Arranging dual/concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement credits to prepare students for
the rigour of postsecondary education.
- Planning and preparation for college admissions tests, SAT and ACT.
- Informing students about postsecondary financing that can be used to support advanced
education and training.
- Developing career portfolios, which include test and grades results, examples of student
work, and resumes and cover letters to prospective employers.
- Arranging job shadowing, work placements, and community-based learning programs to allow
students to directly experience workplace situations.
- Sponsoring workshops, classes, focus groups, and special presentations that focus on job
skills and personal development.
- Providing specialized counseling and intervention services to provide students with
- The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical
Education Act of 1998 permits funds to be used for career guidance and academic counseling
for students participating in vocational education programs.
- The Perkins Act also authorizes
America's Career Resource Network, which provides school administrators, teachers,
counselors, and parents with the resources and training they need to assist youth and adults in
making more informed decisions about their career choices and preparation.
- Decisions Without Direction:
Career Guidance and Decision-Making Among American Youth (Ferris State University Career Institute,
May 2002). National study to survey
Michigan's young people to determine how they choose careers and courses of study, and what
external factors influence those choices.
- National Crosswalk and Service Center. Maintains
the crosswalk between different occupational classification systems, civilian and military,
works to maximize the effective and efficient use of occupational information by providing
specialized occupational tools (files, reports, software) and technical assistance to users
and producers of occupational information.
National School Counselor Training Initiative: Professional Development for Practice in 21st
Century Schools. An initiative led by the Education Trust to help counselors be more
involved in school reform, to be a student advocate, and to help close the achievement gap.
- American College Counseling Association (ACCA).
National organization that strives to support and enhance the practice of college counseling,
to promote ethical and responsible professional practice.
- American School Counselor Association.
Supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and
- Association of Computer-based Systems of Career
Information (ACSCI). Provides information on web-based career information delivery
systems (CIDS). Administrators in each state oversee the CIDS standards also approved by ACRN
- Career Guide to Industries. Online guide from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics with facts on specific occupations, working conditions, training
needed, earnings potential, and future outlook in the nation's key industries.
- Center for the Study of Technology in
Counseling and Career Development. Assists practitioners, researchers, software developers,
and policy makers in improving the design and use of computer applications in counseling and
career development. The Center also assists practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in
improving the cost-effectiveness of career services.
- Education World Counseling Center.
Online resource area for school counselors covering academic development, career and college
development, personal and social development, assessment, and counseling techniques.
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has
developed and made available on the web a variety of occupational informational programs. These
- National Career Development Association. Provides
service to the public and professionals involved with or interested in career development,
including professional development activities, publications, research, public information,
professional standards, advocacy, and recognition activities.
See the archived College and Career Guidance and Counseling page with dated research material.