Supporting career-related learning

Meaningful and effective education prepares students for academic success AND for life. Thus, schools in Oregon are required to deliver career and life role education as part of their curriculum. Career and life role education helps prepare your children for the six roles of adulthood - that of the individual, the learner, the producer, the consumer, the family member, and the citizen. It helps your children connect the personal side of their lives to their education and their future. They learn to live, learn to learn, and learn to work.

Career-related learning spans a wide array of formal learning activities and projects. Your children may take part in a career day or an internship, create a career portfolio, complete a senior project, write their resume, take an interest inventory, and visit colleges or industry sites as part of their school day. These types of activities are part of the school's comprehensive guidance program. They help your children develop self-knowledge, explore their options for work and learning, and develop plans to succeed after graduation.

Oregon school districts are creating career programs that best fit their students and their communities. Each district, however, must insure that their graduating seniors have:

  1. Developed an education plan and build an education profile.
  2. Demonstrated extended application of their knowledge and skills through a collection of evidence.
  3. Demonstrated career-related knowledge and skills in these six areas: personal management, teamwork, communication, problem solving, employment foundations, and career development
  4. Participated in career-related learning experiences as outlined in their education plans.

Parents and communities are critical to the success of career-related learning.

Middle school career-related learning

As your children enter middle school, they are also ready to begin career exploration. Career exploration helps them personalize the world of work through research and experience. It explores the questions "Who am I?" and "Where might I go with my life and learning?"

By seventh grade, your children will begin to build an education plan. In order to do so, they will engage in activities that help them learn more about themselves in relationship to work. They might explore whether they prefer to work with data and information, people, or things - and then connect their preference to occupations or a broad career area. They might take a formal career assessment that helps them learn about their personality type - are they more realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional. They might be asked to research different career fields, interview people about their work, or shadow someone on the job.

By eighth grade, you and your students will be asked to think about the transition to high school. Your children will set some broad career goals - which career focus areas they want to pursue, what they want to do after high school, what other activities they want to engage in. Their education plan will also look at the kinds of classes that will be important to their goals. At this stage, the more your children learn about what it takes to achieve their dreams, the better prepared they will be for making the most out of high school.

You can support career-related learning at your children's middle school by: