Introduction - K-12 Broad Goals for Career Development - References - Matrix

This framework is based on the significant body of research in career development and the best instructional and guidance practice carried out over the past twenty-five years. The Department of Education is committed to using the results of this research for systematic educational improvement and change. As required by RSA 193-C, this framework represents broad consensus among educators, business people, government officials, community representatives, and parents about what students should know and be able to do in the area of career development. Career, in this framework, refers to work both for economic gain, as well as work done for family, home, and community.

What is the purpose of this K-12 Career Development Framework? In accordance with RSA 193-C relative to the New Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (NHEIAP), the purpose of this framework is to: (1) establish high standards for career development; and (2) serve as a guide for making local decisions about curriculum development, delivery, and assessment in this important area.

As specified in RSA 193-C: 1, this framework does not establish a statewide curriculum with designated course offerings/activities, teaching methods, or materials. It does establish educational standards that define what New Hampshire students should know and be able to do relative to career development. It is the responsibility of teachers, administrators, and school board members to communicate these standards to students and parents, and to identify and implement methods to enable students to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills. Curriculum decisions, including overall organization, specific grade level and course offerings/activities, and methods, and materials, remain the responsibility of local educators and school board members.

What is career development? As set forth in the Minimum Standards for Public School Approval (Concord: State School Board and Department of Education, 1996), career education prepares students to make informed career decisions through awareness and understanding of individual qualities that contribute to success on the job, the ability to use employment data and other resources to support decision making, and an awareness of the training and post-secondary options available for success. Career development in its broadest perspective is defined as a lifelong process by which an individual defines and refines life and work roles. It includes awareness of individual interests, skills, attitudes, talents, and abilities, particularly as they change and develop during the educational experience. This process provides the context in which students explore a variety of educational and occupational opportunities, learn the realities of the workplace, and identify both the technical skills and individual qualities that they will need to succeed in the modern economy.

Career development begins in the earliest grades with awareness, exploration, and practice. In the middle school years, students use decision-making skills to merge individual data with their knowledge of the workplace and plan a high school course of study to meet their goals. In High School and beyond, students expand their knowledge, skills, and attitudes through practice and application. Career development is a continuum of instruction and learning that helps students take advantage of the changing academic and skill requirements of the emerging workplace, make sound decisions about the career development process, and become lifelong learners who seek and use information.

How is this framework organized? The Career Development Framework has grouped career skills into three broad areas: Core Educational Learning - Educational development and academic foundations for effective learning; Individual/Social Learning - Enhanced understanding of individual qualities that lead to success on the job; and Career Learning - Learning about the broad area of work world of work through a variety of means. Each of these three organizing areas includes three major components.

Purpose. These narrative statements explain why it is important for students to become knowledgeable about and experienced in career development through fundamental educational, individual/social, and career learning.

Curriculum Standards. These end-of-grade twelve standards logically subdivide each of the organizing areas into smaller units.

Proficiency Standards. These standards establish specific expectations for the assessment of cumulative learning at the end of grades four, eight, ten and twelve. They are meant to establish what the student should know and be able to do, not dictate how that competency is taught. The proficiency standards are additionally designed to be inclusive of ALL students. Proficiencies presented in each cluster of grades build on the skills and knowledge gained in the ones preceding.

It is also understood that knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for career development are presented across a school’s entire curriculum, integrating the goals of New Hampshire’s 6 curriculum frameworks. Therefore curriculum planners should also consult the following: K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Framework; K-12 Integrated Arts Curriculum Framework; K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Framework; K-12 Science Curriculum Framework; K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Framework.

How will this framework be used? The Career Development Framework is a tool for state, regional, and local curriculum planning. This tool can be used as a means to assess the integration of career development within the existing curriculum as well as the overall career development of individuals. In many school districts, individual career development assessments will contribute to and culminate in a Competency Based Transcript, reflecting an individual's learning and progress. This framework will be used at the local level as a guide for making decisions about the design of curriculum, the delivery of instruction, and the development of classroom, school and district assessments. Educators, school board members, and citizens are encouraged to work cooperatively to develop local career education programs. The overall approach used should be cumulative, with learnings at each grade level providing the foundation for future learning and development in the areas of career awareness, experience, and planning. In summary, this framework is designed to be used as a systematic guide for integrating the processes of career development within local school districts' overall curriculum plans.