Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide – Section IV: Additional Resources

SECTION IV: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

This section lists a series of additional resources that may be useful to the users of this How to Guide. It is organized around topical areas such as commercially available curriculum, assessment tools, and industry endorsed certification and credentialing products. The listings are not all encompassing in any given category but they do provide a direct linkage to the content of the prior three sections1 .

Commercially Available Products

Curriculum

These products have been vetted in a variety of venues.

Success Highways. Success Highways helps students develop six key resiliency skills that are known to promote academic success, career decision-making, and health management. The resiliency skills include: (a) Importance of school; (b) Academic Confidence (self-efficacy); (c) Academic Motivation; (d) Academic Stress;(e) Well-being; and, (f) Social Connections. Students receive individualized assessment information each resiliency skill and the 15 classroom lessons provide teachers and school counselors the opportunity to engage students in learning about how each resiliency skills relates to their future life success and helps them learn how to set goals to improve each resiliency skill. The assessment information is also used to provide schools with at-risk profiles for schools to more effectively conduct response to intervention (RTI) programming.

CurrTech Integrations(CTI). CTI is one of many businesses that have developed STEM modular curricula for high school students. Each module includes 10-12 teacher led activities and takes from three to four weeks to complete. In addition, all of the major high school educational publishing companies, such as Pearson/Prentice-Hall and McGraw-Hill, have STEM curricula materials for high school students.

American Careers. American Careers educational programs are integrated, standards-based programs designed to help students understand that what they learn in language arts, math, science, technology and other core subjects is an essential requirement for today’s world of work. Career Communications, Inc., publishes American Careers programs for high school, middle school and elementary classrooms that integrate academics and careers. All the programs are designed to support a wide variety of national and state standards, including the Common Core State Standards. One of the programs, STEM It Up!, is a multidisciplinary, experiential approach to learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics through exploration, discovery and problem solving. 

Online Career Information Systems

Comprehensive online career information systems should provide students with access that provides a wide range of validated assessments that explore unique patterns of interests, skills, and values can be applied in careers.xxviii The system should also provide access to career information that is organized in a number of ways, including the 16 career clusters. In addition to updated labor market information, the system should connect students to educational opportunities. More advanced systems also provide a range of tools for career planning and management including writing cover letters and resumes, interviewing skills, and decision-making strategies.

As an ePortfolio, the ILP serves as a repository of the self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management activities that students have completed. In addition, online systems allow for the attachment of skill-based evidence in a number of formats. Most importantly, such systems should provide the opportunity for students to share their ILP with admissions counselors or potential employers. Online career information systems offering fee-based access:

Assessment Inventories

There are a number of commercially available products for providing assessment information. See Quintessential Careers, QC Online Career Assessment Tools Review Ratings, for a review and ratings for over two dozen popular commercial and free-access self-exploration assessment tools involving personality, aptitudes, interests, values, career assessment, and more. Some of these include:

  • The Strong Interest Inventory, which helps students to understand their personality and related interests, identify careers related to their interests, select matching education and training options, understand leadership, risk-taking, and teamwork preferences, and more.
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which provides a personality assessment designed to measure psychological preferences in how individuals perceive the world and make decisions. This assessment uses a matrix of sixteen different personality types to interpret results.

More National and State Sponsored Open Access, Web-Based Resources

Every state has various online resources to help with self-exploration and assessment, career exploration, and career planning and management as well as other labor market information (LMI).  For a comprehensive list of such state-by-state online resources please visit ACINet State Information.

 

One example of the kind of useful student self-assessment interest tools available on state websites is Texas' Oscar Interest Profiler described below:

  • Texas Cares is a useful, student-friendly interest profile and work importance indicator tool based on O*NET and is operated by the Texas Workforce Commission/Labor Market and Career Information.

The CareerOneStop website also offers help to job seekers:

  • CareerOneStop - Job Seeker Tools provides a links to list of 10 or more top-rated sites in six job-seeker categories: (1) General Job Boards; (2) Niche Boards; (3) Career Exploration Tools; (4) Career Planning Tools; (5) Social Media Job Search; and (6) Other Tools (including interview preparation, labor market information, training grants, and more). These rankings are based on the February 2010 results from the USDOL "America's Job Seeker Challenge" in which workforce development professionals, job seekers, businesses, and other public users participated.

Industry Sponsored Websites

As noted in Section I, there is a wealth of websites centered on occupations in specific industry sectors.  What follows is a sampling of some of the largest ones.

Healthcare: For the healthcare industry, there are several websites to assist career exploration, including:

  • AMA Careers in Health Care  – This  American Medical Association (AMA) website provides  a comprehensive directory to over 60 different allied health, medical, dental, and other related healthcare careers  
  • ExploreHEALTHCareers.org – American Dental Education Association (ADEA) website provides career exploration information for a broad range of dental, medical, allied health, veterinary, and related occupations
  •  Lifeworks – Explore Health & Medical Science Careers –  This website from theNational Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education offers over 100 health and medical care career descriptions, including many that require bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degrees.
  • VCN.org  – The Healthcare Virtual Career Network is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and offers in-depth profiles for 82 healthcare careers, including a breakdown for those that require only a high school diploma or some college, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s or graduate degree. 

Information Technology: For the information technology (IT) and telecommunications industry, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) provides a Career Compass which offers tools to help users define career goals and learn what training and industry-based certifications are available:

Manufacturing: For the manufacturing industry, including advanced manufacturing, check out:

In particular, the National Association of Manufacturers' Dream It, Do It website introduces young people to exciting career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and the education and training needed for these careers. In particular, the Career Toolkit section includes such helpful tools as a Dream Career Quiz, Career Calculator, Career Profiles, and more.

Restaurant and Food Service: For career and jobs information on the restaurant and food service industry, see the Jobs & Careers section on the National Restaurant Association website.

Retail: For information on career opportunities in the retail sales industry, check out the National Retail Federation Foundation's Retail Careers Center.

Work-readiness Credentials

The 2009 Achieve report, Measures that Matter - Work-readiness Certification and Industry Credentials: What Do State High School Policy Makers Need to Know? listed five additional sample career readiness soft skills assessments that educators and counselors might want to consult and consider as part of their approach to work-readinesssoft skills instruction:

  • Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS): This system assesses adult basic reading, math, listening, writing, and speaking skills within a functional context. CASAS is approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor to assess both native and nonnative speakers of English. The assessments (Workforce Skills Certification Program) cover reading comprehension, math, critical thinking, problem solving, applied performance, and basic technology.
  • National Career Readiness Certificate: Developed by ACT and linked to WorkKeys (job skills assessment system), candidates are assessed in applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information. Based on scores, they are awarded gold, silver, or bronze-level certification that indicate readiness to succeed in different kinds of jobs.
  • National Work-readiness Credential: A certification of work-readiness for entry-level work as defined by employers based on the nationally validated Equipped for the Future (EFF) applied learning standards, which were created by the National Institute for Literacy over a ten year period. This credential is sponsored by seven "development partners" (District of Columbia, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and Junior Achievement Worldwide.
  • Work Certified: Program that assesses reading comprehension, mathematics, business writing, computer literacy and business tools, customer service, work maturity, and other skills. It was developed by the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach workforce development regions in Florida, and has been adopted by other Florida districts as well as some districts in Illinois and Texas.

During 2010, the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) launched a new national youth work ethic certification program known as "Bring Your A Game to Work". This program is designed to teach youth the workplace values that employers are seeking, and then to provide a national certification to prove that they have competencies in these values.

Family Engagement

The Coalition for Community Schools hosts a network of national, state, and local organizations; one of them is a community of practice centered on improving the linkages between schools and the family. There are two types of resources they have identified. The first category includes promising resources focused on how to develop solid systems that can be developed, monitored, and evaluated (the Harvard resources) and then some tools and strategies being used in communities.

Connecting to Other Youth Planning Processes

Some students may be receiving treatment and/or have a treatment plan for services they are receiving for any number of reasons, including mental health needs, substance abuse, disabilities, health problems, involvement with the juvenile justice system, and/or involvement in other systems of care.

The following resource is designed for youth to help them understand and participate fully in the planning process for any treatment they receive. This resource emphasizes a strengths-based treatment planning approach that aligns the treatment plan to the young person’s personal goals in various life domains. This guide could be used to help youth connect the goals they set as a part of their Individual Development Plan (IDP) to any treatment plans.

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1 The U.S. Department of Labor does not endorse any of the products, vendors, or tools referenced in this publication. Any mention of vendors, products, or tools is for informational purposes only.

xxviii Osborn, D. S., Dikel, M. R., & Sampson, J. P. (2011).  The internet: A tool for career planning (3rd Ed.).  Oklahoma City, OK: National Career Development Association.

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