State Board Recognizes Importance of
With so much focus today on the achievement of the standards
for the No Child Left Behind Act, it can be surprisingly easy
to overlook how important the linking of academic work to
future careers is to older students. We may forget that career
development competencies have been established by the Illinois
State Board of Education for students in grades K-12.
The ISBE recommends that high schools offer developmental
programs and curriculum designed to help students build certain
competencies. School counselors have limited access to students
during the school day and have found creative ways to integrate
the academic curriculum with the career development competencies.
For instance, partnering with an English teacher, a class
assignment may be to investigate and write a paper on a specific
occupation. Many schools have a career center or computerized
system to support self-directed exploration. Some are staffed
with parent volunteers to assist the students. Other guidance
departments sponsor speakers and career or job fairs. As a
parent, it is important to understand what the career development
services and programs are and how and when they are available
to your student and family. A good place to start is the school
web site or a conversation with your guidance counselor or
Three main competency areas are recommended by the ISBE for
high school students. (For more specific information on the
behavior indicators that support these competencies, go to
Illinois Career Development Competencies and Indicators
1. Self Knowledge
Students are able to identify their abilities (aptitudes),
interests, and skills and know how those characteristics
support achievement of personal, social, educational and
They can demonstrate effective skills for interacting
with others, participating in a group, and healthy ways
of dealing with stress, emotions, and conflict.
2. Educational and Occupational Exploration
Students are able to demonstrate their understanding
of how educational achievement impacts career planning
and career opportunities.
They are able to describe how education relates to selecting
college majors, and further training, entry into the workplace,
citizenship and independence.
They can locate, evaluate and interpret career
information and demonstrate the skills needed to seek,
obtain, maintain and change jobs.
Finally, students demonstrate an understanding of the
global economy and its effect on individuals as well as
how societal needs influence work.
3. Career Planning
Students understand the steps in a quality career decision-making
process and the impact of academic choices.
They understand the continuous change in male and
female roles and demonstrate attitudes, behaviors and
skills that help eliminate stereotyping.
Finally, they demonstrate knowledge and skills needed
for lifelong learning and career planning by building
an individual career plan.