Career Guidance Activities Help Students Succeed: Instituting Research-Informed Policy in Our School

Society for Vocational Psychology (SVP) Conference Part 5 of 8

Richard Lapan, University of [...]Massachusetts, Amherst. Career guidance activities can play a unique, value added role in helping all young people to become ready, gain access, and succeed in self-chosen postsecondary college and career futures. This is especially true for traditionally underserved youth populations, who are now facing increasing risk factors associated with growing poverty in the United States. This presentation will make the case that enough credible research evidence exists right now to establish national policies that bring the benefits of college and career counseling services to all Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 13 youth.

Three issues and concerns will be highlighted that address the challenges to such national policies. First, a brief review of national policy efforts from the early 1980s through to the present Race To The Top federal initiative will demonstrate the inability of the United States to use available career development research and “stay the course” to fully incorporate and internalize best practices in our schools. Second, recent research conducted in 6 states and the Chicago Public Schools will provide support for the important role that career development and vocational psychology can play in helping youth achieve critical academic outcomes, recognition that all students do not receive such services, and appreciation for how more rigorous research is needed. And lastly, tensions and challenges to cooperation and joint action between leading national associations and training programs will be described. Recent progress made in connecting Massachusetts’ Race To The Top funding with implementation of the MA Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs will illustrate how career development research and practice can be brought to scale and sustainability in every school for the benefit of all students.

Hosted by School of Education on November 4-6, 2011.

Tags: conference, School of Education, sed, vocational psychology, svp, richard lapan, career guidance

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