Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Career Guidance: Everyone Has a Role to Play

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Ms. Margaret “Meg” Smith, an Education Administrator at the Alabama Department of Education.

Alabama is moving forward in the area of career development.  It has become a focus for our state’s college and career ready activities. Across the state and the nation, college completion has become a larger issue as more students drop out within their first year. When asked why they dropped out, students answered:  “I just did not fit in,” “I don’t really know why I was there,” “I really did not like my classes,” or “I am not sure what I want to do.”

A student who has an understanding of self, the reasons for taking a series of courses, and a plan for the future will have greater opportunities.  They will have a clearer understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for a career field that is right for them. Career development is critical to ensuring students’ future success.

School counselors in Alabama cannot do it all. The counselor-to-student ratio at both the middle and high school levels is very high, and counselors cover a range of responsibilities. As a result, they may not see students more than two or three times a year, while a teacher sees a student every day. Alabama is working to provide both counselors and teachers with tools to help them help students.

Ms. Smith’s session will outline how Alabama is developing guidance activities for grades K-12 and how the same strategies may be used in other states. For more information, visit

This session is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, 2013 from 8:45 – 9:45 am.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager


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