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Frequently Asked Questions

Most of my students are headed for college. Why do they need career guidance?
50% of students drop out of college or do not graduate within six years. That statistic alone should convince you of the need for all students to receive a comprehensive guidance course. In addition, studies of college students show that students who are career-focused and career-committed are far more likely to graduate from college and transition into the workforce at the level for which their college education prepared them.

Today, 20% of 26-year-olds live at home or are not economically independent of their parents. Addressing the issue as it relates to economic self-sufficiency requires students to understand the necessity for a career focus.

How is a comprehensive guidance course different than a career exploration course?
While career exploration is an important subset of a comprehensive guidance course (CGC), a CGC is so much more. In addition to career exploration, a CGC must help students:
  • Learn to project into the future and understand the consequences of today's choices and actions
  • Understand how to match academic and educational effort to lifestyle expectations
  • Become identity-achieved through contemplation and self-discovery
  • Learn and practice the communication, interpersonal, and self-management skills necessary to succeed in today's educational and workforce settings
  • Identify and plan for the challenges and stumbling blocks that are inevitable in today's fast-paced, competitive world
  • Analyze quantitatively what economic self-sufficiency equals for them
  • Become proactive, rather than reactive, in managing change in their lives
Besides traditional career exploration topics, a CGC helps young people understand the challenges and the benefits of a consciously planned career path. Armed with this information, they are far more likely to persevere when they hit life's "speed bumps."

Our school uses a software-based (or online) tool for helping students choose a career. Isn't that enough?
It might be enough for the top 20% to 30% of your students. For the students who receive this information and exploration at home, a couple of hours with a software program might be all the extra guidance they need. But for the balance of your students—the ones who do not see the relevance in education and cannot envision a productive future with plans to realize their dreams—a couple hours in front of a computer screen is just not enough to set them on the path to making the second most important decision of their lives: How they'll spend 40 hours per week for the next 40 years.

In addition, it is important that all students have the skills and information necessary to change direction when they are forced or want to change careers. If they learn the process using the real-world research and decision-making applications readily available on U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored websites (rather than relying on lab-based software programs that are unavailable once they graduate), they'll have the confidence to plot their own productive work-life course. They'll be empowered with the skills to manage their own career trajectory after they leave school and will not have to rely on tools that "magically" come up with a career choice or direction once a survey is completed.

Video - Strategies for Incorporating an Online Career Exploration Tool

What about Data?
Career Choices has been used for over 20 years by more than 4,800 schools and has proven to be a valuable tool in decreasing dropout rates and improving studentsí readiness for college. You can read about studies involving Career Choices and success stories from schools that have implemented Career Choices programs at

What is a Career Choices Master Teacher and why would I want to be one?
Career Choices master teachers have developed programs that work in a variety of settings for many different populations. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge with the Career Choices curriculum and are willing to share their expertise with other users of Career Choices via phone or e-mail. As a mentor to others, a master teacher may also be called upon to host a delegation at his or her school, make a presentation at a statewide conference, or speak with a news reporter about his or her Career Choices course. Master teachers enjoy being able to contribute to the success of even more Career Choices programs and thus the success of even more students. Find out more at the Master Teacher Spotlight in the Teacherís Lounge.
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