Last week I attended ACTE’s Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo in Nashville, TN. While I was there, I presented a session entitled “Using Career Clusters as a Framework for Successful Counseling.” I was happy to have a turnout of about 25 people, mostly school counselors.
I first addressed some of the challenges facing education today and suggested that career and guidance counseling could offer potential solutions to these problems. Next I turned to the cluster model and talked about how counselors could use cluster interest inventories to help students identify their career interests and then use the pathways models and plans of study to help students figure out which classes to take to reach their goals. Finally, I gave examples of work that schools in Colorado, Nebraska and New Jersey are doing to integrate the clusters framework into their career guidance efforts. During my comments about Delsea Regional High School in New Jersey, I was pleasantly surprised when a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said that she was from that high school and was working on implementing the very program I was talking about. She took a few minutes and gave the audience more detailed information on how the school is aligning their curriculum and counseling to clusters.
You can download a copy of my slides here.