Exploration: Students explore and investigate Michigan’s 17 Career Clusters to discover which pathway and careers best align with their interests. Through embedded classroom lessons and activities, students start to develop an Educational Development Plan (EDP) and a Talent Portfolio. Career information and postsecondary education data are included within the planning process. During Career Exploration, course selections, investigation of multiple pathways, and refining of the EDP occurs. The goal is to create learning opportunities that support academic rigor, knowledge and skill development, social emotional learning, and career exploration. Career Exploration activities are an integrated collection of assessments, skill sets, and services intended to define students’ areas of interest and are aligned with core academic, technical, and employability skills.
Preparation: During Career Preparation, high school students refine their career goals and the necessary educational preparation needed to be productive citizens in a global society. Various career preparation activities provide advanced/real-world experiences that help students link their career options and educational decisions. Students learn through coursework consistent with their career interest area, contextual learning, and Career Preparation while meeting academic standards. Counselors help students and their families plan and prepare for postsecondary education and careers. The goal is to create learning opportunities that support academic rigor, knowledge and skill development, social emotional learning, and career preparation. Career Preparation activities assist students in their academic readiness, connect students to their Career Cluster of interest, and prepare them for high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers. Student coursework should be aligned with their academic, technical, and career preparation interests as they begin to develop their employability skills.
Awareness: During the early grade levels students become familiar with careers through learning that connects classroom instruction to future work. Career Awareness strategies introduce students to various types of careers. At the elementary level it is important that student exposure includes a broad spectrum of Career Zones, including careers that are nontraditional for their gender. The targets create learning opportunities that support academic rigor, knowledge and skill development, social emotional learning, and career awareness.