SPECIAL SURVEY: How Do Core Academic & Other Elective Teachers Promote Career Awareness And Employability Skills?
For students to be well prepared for career and life challenges, our schools need all teachers, counselors and adult mentors to be rowing in the same direction – embracing the idea of supporting a student’s career discovery process and also developing the employability skills that lead to personal success in the workplace.
The challenge with this aspiration is that many teachers who teach the “core academic subjects”- English language arts, mathematics, history/social studies, and science – as well as other electives in the arts and social sciences, really don’t know what they can do about it.
First, there is the issue of focus and priority. The Core Academic Teachers are already under immense pressure to teach their assigned curriculum, especially when students take high-stakes tests associated with that curriculum.
Second is the issue of practical action. How can a teacher who teaches a tightly defined knowledge-based curriculum now also address the topic of career readiness? There seem to be few, if any, resources to suggest practical steps a teacher can take to integrate career readiness into their curriculum; particularly when their classes are filled with students that have a wide variety of fledgling career interests.
But there are solutions: teachers are weaving career awareness into their classroom discussions and activities, and also creating projects specifically designed to enhance employability skills.
We at NC3T want to learn as much as possible about this phenomenon – core academic teachers and other elective teachers who are embracing career readiness and employability skills — how they’re doing it and what specific activities they are utilizing. (By the way, we know that CTE teachers and school counselors are already doing this important work, so this survey is focused on core academic and other elective teachers.)
Do you know a teacher in the core academic or other elective subjects that is embracing Career Readiness? Perhaps they are integrating career awareness discussions and activities into their curriculum, and/or they are specifically developing employability skills and explaining those tie-ins to students.
Would you PLEASE pass along this link to them so they can fill out a SIMPLE AND SHORT SURVEY to share with us what they’re doing? It’ll take no more than 5 minutes to fill out.
We plan to incorporate what we learn into new resources and professional development to help other core academic and academic elective teachers succeed with embracing career readiness.
Hans Meeder is President of NC3T, the National Center for College and Career Transitions (www.nc3t.com). NC3T provides planning, coaching, technical assistance and tools to help community-based leadership teams plan and implement their college-career pathway systems and strengthen employer connections with education
At the very least, the course descriptions that appear in the Plan of Study publications that students use to register for courses should include language that indicates what professions and careers a particular course prepares a student for. Too often the practice is to simply provide a description of the topics that “will be covered” . (Ugh. In the passive voice. This usage should be expunged.) . Math course descriptions are the worst offenders, often providing no other information that a list of the kinds of equations that the course will cover. One wonders, sometimes if even the teacher knows what possible career use a student will ever have for calculus or Algebra II.