Research and Reports
- Condition of Career Readiness in the United States – Solberg et. al, Coalition for Career Development Center, May 2022
This report summarizes state-level progress toward preparing young adults to be both college and career ready by analyzing states’ career readiness policies, investments and student outcomes.
- Implementation Lessons from a Pilot Career-Planning Partnership for Recent High School Graduates in Bridgeport, Connecticut – Rock, MDRC, March 2022
This report highlights lessons learned from the implementation of a pilot career planning program for recent high school graduates in Bridgeport, Connecticut, including recommendations about building partnerships, messaging and recruitment strategies.
- 2022 K-12 Career & College Readiness Benchmark Report – MajorClarity, February 2022
This report examines common areas of focus in career and college readiness (CCR) standards across K-12 districts and highlights nine key takeaways to improve CCR.
- Changes in College and Career Readiness Supports During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic – Mulhern & Steiner, RAND Corporation, January 2022
This research study examined survey results from high school teachers and principals to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted student access to career and postsecondary transition supports.
- Education and Career Planning in High School: A National Study of School and Student Characteristics and College-Going Behaviors – Torre Gibney & Rauner, Institute of Education Sciences, November 2021
Using longitudinal survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics, this report analyzes the effect of education and career planning on high school students’ postsecondary-going behaviors, such as submitting the FAFSA or enrolling in a postsecondary institution.
- Implementing Individual Career and Academic Plans at Scale – Advance CTE, November 2021
This brief reviews best practices for implementing effective individual career and academic plans at the state and local levels, with examples from states like Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
- Why Career Exploration Should Begin in Middle School — and How to Make It Happen – Stride Learning Solutions, October 2021
This brief highlights how career exploration in middle school can engage students during a transition period in their lives and outlines four key elements to a successful middle school exploration program.
- Student Career Development series – ACTE, October 2020-May 2021
This series, produced in collaboration with Xello, highlights promising practices in student career development such as virtual career development, social-emotional learning, district collaboration, work-based learning and early grades experiences.
- Defining Quality: Student Career Development – ACTE, June 2019
This publication describes the criteria within the Student Career Development element of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, recommends types of evidence that programs can consider when assessing their performance against these quality criteria, and shares case studies of programs and institutions doing exemplary work to provide students with career exploration, planning and guidance services.
- The State of Career Technical Education: Career Advising and Development – Advance CTE, February 2018
This report explores to what extent secondary and postsecondary school counselors and advisors have adopted career advising and development strategies.
- Show Me the Way: The Power of Advising in Community Colleges: 2018 National Report – Center for Community College Student Engagement, January 2018
Using survey data and student and faculty data, this report examines how the structure, content and intensity of advising impacts students’ learning engagement, effort, student-faculty interaction and other measures of success.
- The Influence of Career-Focused Education on Student Career Planning and Development: A Comparison of CTE and Non-CTE Students ($) – Mobley, Sharp, Hammond, Withington & Stipanovic, Career and Technical Education Research, May 2017
This study compared CTE and non-CTE high school students’ interactions with guidance counselors, participation in career development and thoughts about the relevance of a career-focused education to their educational and professional goals.
- Career Exploration in Middle School: Setting Students on the Path to Success – ACTE, April 2017
This publication describes the benefits of career exploration in middle school and explores different ways that schools and districts can integrate career exploration in these grades.
- Predicting Undergraduate Student Retention in STEM Majors Based on Career Development Factors ($) – Belser, Prescod, Daire, Dagley & Young, The Career Development Quarterly, March 2017
This research study found that STEM-focused career planning interventions and career readiness assessments were significant predictors of STEM retention for postsecondary students.
- Individual Learning Plans for College and Career Readiness: State Policies and School-Based Practices – National Association for College Admission Counseling, October 2015
This publication shares results from a national study on the operationalization and effectiveness of individual learning plans in public high schools across the United States.
- Use of Individualized Learning Plans: A Promising Practice for Driving College and Career Readiness Efforts: Findings and Recommendations from a Multi-Method, Multi-Study Effort – National Collaboration on Workforce and Disability, January 2014
This report examines results of a five-year research study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to assess how learners with disabilities are participating in individualized learning plans as a college and career readiness practice.
- Investing In Veterans: The Need for Career and Education Advising – Council on Adult and Experiential Learning, 2013
This paper surveys the career and education advising options available to veterans via military reintegration programs, web-based resources, non-profit service providers, and colleges and universities. It concludes that additional career and education advising resources are needed.
- Career-Ready Students: A Goal of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs ($) – Gysbers, The Career Development Quarterly, September 2013
This journal article describes how comprehensive school counseling programs help students to become career ready and discusses the services that contribute to student career readiness.
- Trends in the History of Vocational Guidance ($) – Herr, The Career Development Quarterly, September 2013
This journal article examines the relationship between CTE and career counseling and guidance and looks at federal and state policies that have influenced career guidance.
Toolkits, Guides and Frameworks
- A Framework for Advising Reform – Klempin, Santikian Kalamkarian, Pellegrino & Barnett, Community College Research Center, May 2021
The Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) initiative integrates data and technology tools into advising practices to improve student and advisor interactions. Using research on iPASS and other advising initiatives, this resource provides an evidence-based framework for implementing an advising redesign that is sustained, strategic, integrated, proactive and personalized.
- High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19 Impacted School Year – ACTE, June 2020
This guide was designed to help CTE leaders make difficult decisions as they offer remote, blended and socially distanced learning during COVID-19. It is organized around the elements of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, including guidance related to student career development.
- Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE – Advance CTE & ACTE, March 2020
This toolkit describes core programmatic elements for developing and expanding CTE into the middle grades, including career development. It includes a self-assessment and links to a repository of state-level resources that state and local leaders can leverage as they begin to develop and expand CTE into the middle grades.
- Self-study Guide for Career Readiness in Secondary Schools – Smith, Lee, Carr, Weatherill & Lancashire, Institute for Education Sciences, January 2020
This self-study guide provides states, local education agencies and schools with a tool to assess career readiness practices across a district or secondary school and to plan improvements, including guiding questions, potential sources of evidence and a rating scale for self-assessment.
- College and Career Readiness: Guide for Navigators – FHI 360, March 2019
This guide is intended for career counselors and advisors who are working directly with students to explore options and plan for potential career choices and opportunities.
- Promoting Quality Individualized Learning Plans Throughout the Lifespan: A Revised and Updated “ILP How to Guide 2.0” – Institute for Educational Leadership, January 2018
This guide outlines how to promote individualized learning plans in secondary, postsecondary, workforce development and non-school settings, including evidence-based resources to design, implement and evaluate career development programs.
- Career Conversation Starters – American School Counselor Association, 2016
These guides, developed by the American School Counselor Association for the Colorado Department of Education, provide conversational prompts for career counselors, postsecondary partners and business partners when communicating about career and postsecondary planning with students of all grades, parents and communities.
- Career Clusters Student Interest Survey – Advance CTE, June 2005
This 15-minute survey helps students to identify their top three Career Clusters of interest.
- National Career Development Guidelines Framework – National Career Development Association
The National Career Development Guidelines Framework provides a framework for the knowledge and skills learners need to manage their careers effectively. The framework has three domains: Personal Social Development, Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning, and Career Management. Under each domain are goals that define broad areas of career development competency.
- Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies and Minimum Competencies for Multicultural Career Counseling and Development – National Career Development Association
The first set of competencies describe the knowledge and skills that career counselors must demonstrate in the areas of assessment and evaluation to guide the development and evaluation of career counselor preparation and continuing education opportunities. The second set of competencies ensure that all individuals practicing in, or training for practice in, the career counseling and development field are aware of the expectation to practice in ways that promote the career development and functioning of individuals of all backgrounds.
- Explore-work.com – George Washington University Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center
This resource features web-based modules for students that align with the five required WIOA Pre-Employment Transition Services.
- Career Coaching: Fundamentals, Applications, and Future Directions ($) – Maietta, 2022
This book provides an overview of the practice of career coaching, including how it differs from career counseling, and incorporates techniques, theories, assessments and a look at career coaching as it relates to future workforce demands.
- Gaining Cultural Competence in Career Counseling, 2nd Edition ($) – National Career Development Association, 2021
This book informs career counselors on diversity, equity and social justice as it relates to career counseling, with foundational skills for counseling across different cultures as well as exercises, reflection questions and case scenarios.
- Facilitating Career Development ($) – Jordan & Marinaccio, 2020
The latest edition of this curriculum aligns with NCDA’s instructional program for career services providers and other career development providers. Instructors using this curriculum must attend a NCDA-approved Instructor Training Workshop and must be listed on the NCDA Instructor Registry.
- A Comprehensive Guide to Career Assessment ($) – Stoltz & Barclay, 2019
This book reviews a multitude of career assessments, how to select a career assessment instrument and how to use career assessments in a variety of work environments, including K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions and workforce development organizations.
- Career and College Readiness Counseling in P-12 Schools, Second Edition ($) – American School Counselor Association, 2017
This text provides school counselors and educators with concrete examples of how to select, implement and evaluate the outcomes of interventions grounded in various career counseling theories and addresses career development and college readiness needs by grade level.
- Job Seeking and Employability Skills: Career Knowledge Series ($) – National Career Development Association, 2015
This book provides a comprehensive resource for assisting or guiding clients in searching for employment, including networking and the job search process; professional presentation through resumes, media, e-mail communications, interviewing, use of social media and personal branding; and workplace affiliation and job retention skills.
- Employer Relations and Recruitment: An Essential Part of Postsecondary Career Services ($) – Hoover, Lenz & Garis, 2013
This book assists postsecondary career services providers with the procedures, policies, staffing, technology, evaluation methods, relationship-building techniques and trends associated with employer relations and recruitment programs in higher education settings.
- Counseling 21st-Century Students for Optimal Career and College Readiness ($) – Fitzpatrick & Costantini, 2011
This book provides action-based curriculum for secondary high school counselors to help students meet 21st-century college and career needs. The authors walk readers through how to make the transition from middle school to high school successful, use technology in the advising process, prepare students for standardized testing and help students research careers and colleges.
- College and Career Supports for Students with Disabilities – American School Counselor Association, July 2022
This webinar reviews findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study of 2012 to examine disparities in college- and career-readiness supports and outcomes for students with disabilities after high school. Additionally, the webinar reviews how school counseling programs can be more inclusive of students with disabilities.
- Learner-Centered Models for Building Integrated State Career Advising Systems – Advance CTE, April 2022
This webinar highlights integrated PreK-20 advising system models from Massachusetts and Iowa and reviews how individual career and academic plans can connect learners to wraparound supports.
- Partners Working to Get the Trajectory Right: Career Development From Kinder to Workforce – National Career Development Association, 2021
In this webinar, leaders in education technology, the workforce, K-12 education and career development explore how Cajon Valley Union School District in California is creating a career development continuum from early grades to postsecondary education and the workforce.
- Equity in Student Career Development Through Technology – ACTE, June 2021
This webinar focuses on the topic of online and virtual student career development tools and explores effective use of these technologies to support each student’s career goals and aspirations.
- Career Exploration & Assessment for Middle and Early High School Students – ACTE, April 2021
This webinar reviews how middle and high school educators can provide simulated job activities to identify student career interests, explore career activities, practice applied academics and put together an achievable career plan.
- Unifying Your District: Collaborating to Support Student Career Development – ACTE, March 2021
In this webinar, panelists discuss how to support student career development through the collaboration of educators, counselors, CTE coordinators, CTE industry experts and parents across a school district.
- Starting Early – Introducing Career Development in the Early Grades – ACTE, January 2021
This webinar explores how to introduce career development at earlier ages and stages to ensure effective academic and career development in high school.
- Counseling and Career Development in a Time of Uncertainty – ACTE & American School Counselor Association, April 2020
In this webinar, a panel of experts focused on the current state of counseling, career development and social emotional learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Career Exploration and Development with a Focus on Implicit Bias – American School Counselor Association & Advance CTE, November 2019
This webinar describes career advising and development strategies and their connections to CTE as well as current inequities in career advising and how to address these inequities.
- CTE Opportunities and Ecosystem – American School Counselor Association & Advance CTE, October 2019
This webinar provides an overview of CTE to counselors, including the elements of high-quality CTE programs of study, the benefit and value of CTE, and the various types of CTE delivery systems and models in existence throughout the nation.
- Use Labor Market Information in Career Advising – American School Counselor Association & Advance CTE, October 2019
This webinar reviews strategies to integrate labor market information into career advising and development as well as where to locate labor market data in one’s state/community.
- Best Practices for K-12 Career Development – ACTE, July 2019
This webinar provides insight into building a career development program that starts in kindergarten and extends through senior year of high school to ensure that students are informed about their career and postsecondary choices.
- High-Quality CTE Programs of Study — Student Career Development – ACTE, May 2019
In this webinar, Robin Kroyer-Kubicek, Career Pathways Education Consultant in Wisconsin, discusses student career development and how it must connect student personal goals and learning in all courses and experiences outside the classroom.
- Grow Your Own TREE: Tools for Career Readiness, Exploration and Evaluation – ACTE, August 2017
Eastern New Mexico University professor Cindy Miller discusses how to create Tools for career Readiness, Exploration and Evaluation (TREE) and offers resources on career development for all grades.
- Developing Dynamic and Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationships – National Career Development Association
In this webinar, viewers learn the benefits of mentor/mentee relationships, clarify the roles and responsibilities of mentors and mentees, and explore how to build successful mentoring relationships.
- Creating a Career Readiness School Culture ($) – CTE Learn
This course helps career support staff recognize the impact of existing school culture on developing student career readiness and explore the leadership skills and tools needed for creating a culture of career readiness.
- Employer & Industry Engagement series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses for career support staff reviews the essentials for developing strong relationships with employers, including how to become an effective job developer, creating effective career fairs, maintaining employer partnerships and establishing employer advisory boards.
- Empowering Students to Find and Secure the Right Job ($) – CTE Learn
This course provides tools for career support staff to help students through four stages of their job search: completing a targeted job search, writing a powerful resume and cover letter, presenting professionally, and developing effective interview skills.
- Essentials for Career Support Professionals series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses provides the foundations for being a successful career support professional. The coursework reviews how to assist students in the job search, use digital career-marketing strategies, develop modern job search documents and become an effective career coach.
These two courses provide an overview of incorporating career readiness in the classroom.
- Student Support Systems & Programming series ($) – CTE Learn
In this course series for career support staff, participants learn how to establish and promote a career services department, create an alumni association, implement work-based learning programs, maximize graduate employment outcomes, and verify and document graduate placement.
- Supporting Diverse Students For Career Support Staff series ($) - CTE Learn
This series of courses describes the unique challenges faced by students from a variety of different backgrounds and how to empower them through career services.
- Students’ Career Preparation Activities (2012) and Work-Related Attitudes, Influences, and Expectations (2012) – National Center for Education Statistics
Tables include data on secondary students’ development and use of graduation, career or education plans; student participation in various career preparation activities; and influences on students’ thinking about careers.