Career Plan Model Introduction
Career planning is a key component of career development education. Viewing a career as "the sequence of occupations and other life roles (including student) that combine to express one's commitment to work in the total pattern of self development," career planning is a valuable endeavor at any age. However, this Massachusetts model addresses the critical middle and high school years where most planning occurs.
Individual career plan (ICP) development is nothing new. Career counselors have advocated it for years. In fact, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), mandates that schools include career planning in individualized education programs for students with disabilities.
It is important to note that according to the provisions of 603 CMR 4.03 (4) (d), students enrolled in career and technical education schools "shall" be provided with career guidance including "the development of a four-year career plan based on assessments." To that end, we offer the following definition and model to assist schools with the career planning process:
A career plan is a comprehensive, formalized written plan (that learners use alone or with the help of others) that relates learning to career goals. The plan is based on both formal and informal assessment and should include areas in which a learner needs to increase knowledge and skills to reach documented goals. A career plan is designed to facilitate transition from high school to future learning or employment. It can be thought of as both an instrument and a process for monitoring one's career development. As an instrument, a plan provides a place to organize and record progress related to personal, educational, and career and labor market information. As a process, it encourages learners to use the past and present in goal setting and planning. In either case, a career plan should be revisited and modified periodically. Note: a career plan is different than a career portfolio*.
The following checklist may be useful in developing or evaluating an existing career plan:
Career Plan Checklist