A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


PROGRAM NAME: Comprehensive Career Guidance Program

LOCATION: Van Buren Intermediate School District (rural), Michigan

POPULATION: All students (4,326 county wide), grades 8-12


Donald Olendorf
Adm. Special Programs
Van Buren Intermediate
Voc Tech Center
250 South St.
Lawrence, MI 49064
(616)674-8001 ext. 303
(616)674-8954 fax

Jack Lawrence
Career Development Consultant
Office of Career and Tech Education
Department of Education
Box 30009
Lansing, MI 48909-7509
(517) 335-0367
(517) 378-8776 fax

DESCRIPTION: This program is systematic and based on the premise that students can make tentative plans and decisions with effective guidance programs in place to assist in their career development. The program involves a partnership between students, counselors, parents, co-op coordinators, administrators, employers, college admissions representatives and teachers from 15 different school districts. The dynamic process involves: self awareness, option awareness, decision making, planning, and placement.

Students start with prefolio workbooks to identify their top career interests and abilities. They explore their career and educational information through a variety of structured activities. Students develop an employability development plan (EDP) which is the starting point for a Student-Managed Portfolio. This is used by graduating students to secure employment and/or admission to postsecondary educational and training sites. The portfolio provides the glue for career guidance delivery. In addition to the EDP, students develop a 4-year class plan based on their career and postsecondary educational decisions.

PROGRAM EVALUATION: Students complete a follow-up survey each fall, winter, and spring. It allows instructors to find out which students are satisfied with the program, what their career goals are, who will be enrolling next, which students will be changing programs, etc. This survey also allows one-on-one contacts between the student and instructor. Surveys are used for program completers in order to receive feedback directly from the student.


-20,000 students developed their EDPs (since 1980)
-All students complete the student managed portfolios
-Open House at the tech center hosts 700 parents
-Every student develops a resume
-Portfolios become an effective link between academic and vocational education

Previous Page      Return to OVAE Home Page