OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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College and Career Guidance and Counseling for High School Students
Archived Information

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 individualized attention.

Recognizing the importance of career guidance and counseling programs for student's postsecondary success, the Department plays a key role in supporting State's efforts to build and implement these programs. Among federal efforts:

Research and Evaluation

Noteworthy Practices

Additional Links

  • America's Career Resource Network (ACRN). Supports a variety of career-related information systems and resources. The addresses and/or websites of state ACRN entities may be found at the ACRN website.

  • 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 career development.

  • 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 project directors.

  • Career and Technical Education: Getting Counselors on Board. Discusses how to assist school counselors in understanding CTE and why it is a viable choice for all students.

  • Career Clusters identifies all occupations in a broad career area, provides basic knowledge and skill statements at the cluster and pathway levels, supports exploration of all aspects of industry by students and parents, and fosters greater alignment of courses within and between secondary and postsecondary institutions of career preparation.

  • 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.

  • Career Plan How-To Guide. Resource for administrators, counselors and teachers on designing and implementing career planning systems for their K-Adult students.

  • 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 include:

  • 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.

  • National Center for Education Statistics. Prepares and maintains the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). The purpose of the CIP is to provide a taxonomic scheme that will support the accurate tracking, assessment and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. (Using the search function, enter "CIP")

  • 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.

  • Parenting and Career Development . Article looks at the ways in which parenting styles, family functioning, and parent-child interaction influence career development.

  • Workforce Information and Career-Technical Education (National Centers for Career and Technical Education, 2000). Discusses the need for, uses, and sources of labor market information nationwide, with a particular emphasis on how counselors can use this information to guide students in their career choices.

  • Young Person's Guide to Earning and Learning: Preparing for College, Preparing for Careers. This guide lays out the facts on earnings at various levels of education in the U.S., discusses future trends in jobs and salaries, and presents the pros and cons of an array of education choices. Directed at students and their parents, with the aim of clarifying education and career choices.

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Last Modified: 10/16/2007