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.

College career-related learning

Once your children have entered college, you may not have as much influence or involvement in their plans and activities. If their career-related learning experiences in high school were beneficial, they will quickly look for similar opportunities in college. Without question, one of the most valuable things they can do in college is to participate in an internship.

Internships in college offer the opportunity to test out career direction as well as gain experience. They provide a source of excellent references for the job search. They also offer one of the best sources for jobs after graduation. According to an annual Job Outlook survey done by Job Web, employers hired approximately one-third of their interns in 2002-2003.

Most colleges offer internships through their career centers. As you talk with your children about their classes and their plans, encourage them to look into internship opportunities.