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Empowering Hope and Equity for All Students

Helping Learners Discover Their Purpose, Reimagine Their Future, and Believe in Themselves

November 4–5, 2021

This complimentary conference features sessions hosted by:

  • Dr. Karen Miles,
    Executive Director Get Focused Stay Focused National Resource Center

  • Jasdeep Malhi, M.A.
    Lead Intervention Counselor/Coordinator, Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College

  • Dwayne Byndloss, M.A.
    Counselor, Berkeley High School and Instructor, Berkeley City College

  • Skyler Barton, M.S.
    Counselor/Instructor, Berkeley City College

  • Adriana "Dri" Regalado, M.S.
    Lead Puente Counselor/Instructor, Berkeley City College

And additional breakout sessions presented by:

  • Lynn Bartlett Principal (retired), Adult Education, San Juan Unified School District

  • Alejandro Castillo 9th Grade Counselor, Brawley Union High School

  • Hilary Howard Executive Coach, Get Focused Stay Focused National Resource Center

  • Carol Keiser Director of CTE, Innovation, and Instructional Technology, Wheatland Union High School

  • Tom Lamica Project Director of Career Center and K-12 Partnerships, Allan Hancock College

  • Geno Malkiewicz Retired Transitions Specialist

  • Karen Malkiewicz Principal (retired), Adult and Community Education, Elk Grove Unified School District

  • Mike Vogenthaler Former Director of College and Career Initiatives, Kern County Superintendent of Schools

  • Mindy Bingham Award-Winning Author and Education Advocate

  • Dr. Monica Carmo Vice President of Educational Partnerships, Academic Innovations

  • Tanja Easson Vice President of Curriculum and Technical Support, Academic Innovations

  • Wendy Friedman Vice President of Professional Development, Academic Innovations

  • Dawn O’Bar Certified Career Choices and GFSF Trainer

  • Dr. Bonita Steele Project Director California Career Pathways Trust Grant & EWD Compliance Director at Kern Community College District


Thursday, November 4th

Time Presenter(s) Title Description
7:15 AM Pacific Tanja Easson Career Choices and Changes Premium: A New Self-Paced Option for Online Self-Discovery, Career Exploration, and Personal Planning Looking to reengage students and help them recover lost ground? Need a credit recovery option for your ‘Get Focused’ course? Don’t miss this tour of a new online independent study course that includes 64 student-centered video tutorials and 15 chapter quizzes with automated scoring.
9:15 AM Pacific
Dr. Karen Miles,

Dr. Lauren Wintermeyer Ramirez
What is Get Focused Stay Focused? A Powerful Skills-Based Program with Impressive Impacts Join Dr. Karen Miles and Dr. Lauren Wintermeyer Ramirez for an overview of the Get Focused Stay Focused programs for both high school and college. The presenters will discuss how this comprehensive guidance program is designed to increase high school and college completion AND propel successful entry into the workforce. Knowing it can be a challenge for community colleges to develop a seamless transition model to effectively onboard students when some have had four years of GFSF in high school while others enter the college having no prior career development experience, the presenters will also provide strategies you can use to develop an FYE model that is flexible in meeting students where they are and ensuring that they are supported throughout their transition into post-secondary education.
10:15 AM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles Guided Pathways Begin in High School: Strategies for Using Dual Enrollment to Successfully Transition Students into College Community colleges do not have the capacity to provide comprehensive career planning to all undecided students (two-thirds of incoming freshmen), and we know that students may not seek out career services. Career planning needs to start early in high school, and that career planning process can only be equitable when it is inescapable. Before they leave high school, all students should take a class that allows them to develop their post-secondary education and career plans. We will explore how to embed information on college meta-majors in these courses and give students early college credit to onboard them to our Guided Pathways.
10:15 AM Pacific Wendy Friedman Beyond Remediation: Accelerating Student Learning by Increasing Intrinsic Motivation We all agree that intrinsic motivation is important, but when moving from theory to practice it can seem more than a little nebulous. How do you effectively foster intrinsic motivation when what motivates each student is unique? Well, tackling that challenge becomes much easier with a Get Focused course. Over the last 30 years, the curriculum behind the Get Focused course has kindled the fire of intrinsic motivation in over 2 million students by providing opportunities for students to discover and articulate their specific motivators. This session will review how that experience can be efficiently replicated for your students and how instructors can build the relationships of trust and support required for students to strive and thrive.
10:15 AM Pacific Dr. Monica Carmo,

Tanja Easson
Short-Term Funding, Long-Term Impact: How to Maximize Student Success with ESSER Funds The most recent infusion of federal funding presents a unique chance to really move the needle when it comes to ensuring teachers have the tools to meet students where they are and equipping ALL students for success in high school and as they transition to post-secondary education and training. This session will provide strategies for leveraging this one-time funding to bring about lasting change in the lives of your students.
12:15 PM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles,

Hilary Howard
Building Self-Efficacy and Hope in the Shadow of a Pandemic: How to Give ALL Students Opportunities to Update Their 10-Year Plans How can we get our students back on track when the shadow of the pandemic still looms large? Offer them hope! The Get Focused Stay Focused dual enrollment career curriculum helps students imagine––or reimagine––their futures by building hope through the creation of a 10-year Plan. The curriculum covers crucial topics––resiliency, building a balanced lifestyle, conquering your fears, having a positive attitude, motivation, etc.––and is steeped in opportunities to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in career decision making.
12:15 PM Pacific Wendy Friedman 10 Steps for Launching an Effective College/Career Readiness Program Intentional planning is key to delivering the desired impact with any new program. Learn time-tested strategies and key considerations that will make your GFSF program successful from the get-go. Employ these tips and not only will you save your team(s) a lot of planning time and energy but you’ll also avoid pitfalls that have plagued other sites.
12:15 PM Pacific Dr. Monica Carmo Meet the Academic Innovations Team Join us for a Q & A with your Academic Innovations team members.
2:15 PM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles,

Tom Lamica
How Can a Student Aspire to a Career If They Don't Even Know It Exists? Leveraging Local Labor Market Information for K12 Career Exploration and Planning The GFSF non-profit coordinates regional labor market information events for K12 to hear from local employers about workforce needs and from local community colleges about programs leading to high-wage/high-demand careers. Regional labor market reports, presentation tools, and videos are available after the events for teachers to embed in their curriculum. Come and hear from Allan Hancock College about the two roundtable events they held last year.
2:15 PM Pacific Mike Vogenthaler Give Your CA Dashboard a Boost: Dramatically Increase Your CCI Metrics with Get Focused Stay Focused Assembly Bill 2548 ensures alignment with federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), retains the important local control provisions of LCFF, and requires college and career readiness be included as key indicators. Learn how students who complete the Cal State/UC ”a-g” approved Get Focused Stay Focused college credit course with a grade of C- or better can fulfill the college credit earned requirement of the CCI and gain a competitive edge by earning 3 units of credit at a local community college.
2:15 PM Pacific Geno Malkiewicz Career Planning is Ageless: Reorienting Adult Learners in Their Careers Want your students to gain economic self-sufficiency by working in a career they love? Explore a proven curriculum that guides learners through a process for making important life decisions. Students exit our 17-week course, which uses the Career Choices and Changes curriculum, with a researched and actionable 10-year plan for their education, career, and lifestyle. About 95% of our matriculates have implemented their plans and have persevered. They are now more effectively contributing to their families, schools, workplaces, and communities through education/training and/or by earning a living wage from fulfilling careers. Session participants will learn about this life-transforming process that is both systematic and intuitive, uplifting and grounded. They will also be exposed to the seven buy-in tenets in Suneel Gupta’s new book, Backable.
4:15 PM Pacific Carol Keiser Help Students Regain Their Footing on the Path to Their Future: Strategies for Personalized Career Exploration and Planning Join master teacher Carol Keiser to explore proven strategies for the planning and implementation of your Get Focused...Stay Focused!® program. This includes finding time in the master schedule, effective instructor recruitment, team-building techniques, writing grants, and more. This session also explores developing a culture of success—strategies for building simultaneously from the bottom up and from the top down.
4:15 PM Pacific Karen Malkiewicz

Lynn Bartlett
How to Fund Your Adult Ed College/Career Readiness Program In an unprecedented time of colliding national and international challenges, there is an opportunity to fund some effective strategies that will assist potential adult students in reaching their academic and personal goals. Join two adult education principals with years of experience who will share multiple approaches and "out of the box" solutions.
4:15 PM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles,

Alejandro Castillo
From Doing to Leading: How to Support Your School-Wide Guidance Goals with Counselors as Project Leaders Central to the Get Focused...Stay Focused!® mission is ensuring students have opportunities to review and update their 10-year Plans annually. Brawley Union High School, with technical assistance from the Get Focused Stay Focused National Resource Center, is accomplishing this goal with a “Counselors as Leaders” model. Join us to explore how the Brawley guidance team is leading a school-wide effort that expands what “supporting students” looks like on their campus. You’ll also learn how GFSF can help your team with resources and technical assistance to make your goals achievable.

Friday, November 5th

Time Presenter(s) Title Description
7:15 AM Pacific Tanja Easson In-Person, Hybrid, Virtual, or All of the Above? Flexible Options for Reaching ALL Students with Your Career Choices Series Course As the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, it’s no wonder that each of your classes has students with a variety of educational needs. What do you do for the student who can’t attend class in person? Or the student who was missing in action but is now back and needs to catch up? This session will explore a range of options from delivering your Career Choices series course so you can focus on meeting each student where they are and supporting their journey forward.
9:15 AM Pacific
Jasdeep Malhi

Skyler Barton

Dwayne Byndloss

Adriana "Dri" Regalado
"SELF" Centered DEI Strategies: Building Self-Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Sufficiency to Bolster Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for ALL Students At Berkeley City College and Berkeley High School, students get focused with a dual enrollment course that Skyler Barton and Jasdeep Malhi leverage as a launching point for classroom discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in career planning. Learn more about how these two passionate “equity warriors” integrate DEI in their GFSF course to better support their students’ holistic development.
10:15 AM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles,

Jasdeep Malhi, M.A. P.P.S.
We Are All Career Mentors! How to Expand Your Discussions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Career Planning How can we overcome our students' faulty beliefs and negative thinking as they make career decisions? The GFSF curriculum is rich with opportunities for thoughtful discussions with students within a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework. Hear from an instructor of a GFSF dual enrollment class on how she operationalizes this DEI framework in her classes, and find out more about the new 2-hour professional development opportunity on DEI for all GFSF teachers.
10:15 AM Pacific Mindy Bingham Fireside Chat with Mindy Bingham, Award-Winning Author and Social Entrepreneur This session presents a unique opportunity for you to ask author Mindy Bingham your most important curriculum questions. A social entrepreneur, Mindy Bingham founded Academic Innovations in 1990 to promote a unique, classroom-based, comprehensive guidance course for all entering freshmen. Today, her company works with hundreds of high schools and colleges across the country, helping them prepare students for a self-sufficient future. Her titles have sold over 2 million copies, and each year over 200,000 students complete courses using materials Mindy has authored or co-authored: the Career Choices series curriculum, the Get Focused…Stay Focused!® Follow-Up Modules, and accompanying manuals. She is the recipient of numerous national, regional, and local awards including a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Innovative Approaches to Curricula from the United States Congress.
10:15 AM Pacific Wendy Friedman Quickly Launch Your Tutoring or Expanded Learning Program with a Plug-and-Play Course that Motivates Students Join us to learn about how your team can minimize prep and maximize impact. With the strategies revealed in this session and a few hours to study the pacing, program, and platform, your team will be ready to deliver a course that will have positive results and leave a lasting impression. Your students will thank you!
12:15 PM Pacific Tanja Easson Every Teacher an Advisor, Every Student a Success: The Administrator’s Guide to Tracking Progress Toward Program Goals Using® The activities, rubrics, and surveys that students complete in® contain a wealth of information regarding their education and career aspirations. This session will explore the reporting tools available in® and how those tools can be used to increase your program’s impact.
12:15 PM Pacific Dr. Karen Miles,

Hilary Howard
We've Got Your Back! An Overview of Technical Assistance and Support Provided by GFSF Join us at this session to learn more about the three new technical assistance packages developed by the Get Focused Stay Focused National Resource Center for schools and colleges. Do you want all of your students to be able to update their 10-year Plans annually as their career interests change? We can help with strategies. As a teacher, do you want to find out more about how diversity, equity, and inclusion impact student career decision making? Our new 2-hour professional development has got you covered. Or, are you interested in getting local labor market information about high-wage/high-demand jobs into the hands of your students? Our regional labor market information roundtables are the solution.
12:15 PM Pacific Dawn O’Bar When Am I Going to Use This? Strategies for Contextualizing English and Math Through Career Exploration Explore turnkey options for accelerating learning by integrating academics as part of your GFSF efforts. This session will discuss strategies for using literature (Possibilities) and financial literacy (Lifestyle Math) to underscore the learning students do with the Career Choices series and the 10-year Plan.
2:15 PM Pacific Dawn O’Bar

Dr. Karen Miles
Blending Career Exploration and Social and Emotional Development: An Overview of the GFSF Middle School Bridge Program As students get ready to transition from middle school to high school, it is vital they understand how to make the most of the next four years. This transitional period presents an ideal opportunity to infuse early career exploration, self-mastery, and social and emotional learning, ensuring students are equipped to meet the challenges of their decade of transition. Come learn about a middle school curriculum that includes 24 student-centered videos designed to simplify and enrich the presentation of crucial yet sophisticated concepts.
2:15 PM Pacific Jasdeep Malhi, M.A. P.P.S. Hope is a Powerful Antidote: Bolstering Students Social-Emotional Health with Student-Centered Career Exploration and Planning “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” And “nowhere” is a scary place to be, especially if you are an adolescent facing a transition to the adult world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could prepare students to sidestep the pitfalls that can lead to spiraling self-doubt about the future? That’s exactly what this session explores—how to provide career exploration and planning that infuses social and emotional learning and results in students with a vision of a self-sufficient future in the form of a career path and a 10-year Plan.
2:15 PM Pacific Hilary Howard

Tanja Easson
What Would Your School Look Like If All Students Updated Their 10-Year Plan Annually? Research shows that students need to update their career plans annually as they develop their identity and figure out their corresponding vocational identity. Having a career goal also helps students build intrinsic motivation and can help them reimagine their careers after this pandemic. Learn about how the GFSF team of technical assistance experts can help you scale up to the whole-school initiative with a variety of models and strategies.

The Zoom session links will be live the day of the event. Waiting rooms will open at the start time of each session.

For more information about the presentations, please visit

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