Career Education for Everyone

Many U.S. school districts are structuring their secondary schools around career pathways and emphasizing the importance of career education for a myriad of reasons, some of which include the premise that coursework relevance helps student performance and decreases dropout rates. One way to integrate career education into school curriculum and lead students on a successful career path, is the Career Education Responsive to Every Student (CERES) program.

CERES program materials

  1. Elementary Student Workbooks and corresponding Teacher Guides
  2. Secondary Level Infusion and Guidance Compendiums (these contain subject specific career education activities)
  3. K-12 set of Special Education Activities
  4. A variety of supplementary materials that promote collaboration with parents, local businesses, and community organizations

CERES is a K-12 career education curriculum based on a model of career guidance goals that are integrated with basic skills introduction. CERES provides all students in grades K-12, including special education, with opportunities to acquire workplace skills. An added benefit of integrating career education throughout the curriculum is that as students see the relevance of their course work to actual occupations or careers, interest in school increases and dropout rates decline. CERES materials are available for all K-12 levels and include a K-12 kit of special education activities.

CERES also offers training materials that promote the adoption of the program on a school-wide or district-wide basis. In fact, CERES is ideally suited for adoption within a school or district and sets the stage for students to be fully prepared for life after high school in the working world.

Implementation workshops are developed for school staff, district staff, or a consortium representing several districts. One full day of training with a follow-up training 6 to 8 months later is recommended.

The approximately 6-hour training session consists of an overview, hands-on activities, a review of materials, and ends with planning time for classroom use. The overview introduces staff and administrators to CERES and career education.

Activities enable participants to experience first-hand what students are asked to do. When participants leave they know what CERES is, how to integrate career education into a classroom and what their responsibilities and plans are for the future.

If CERES is successfully implemented in a school system, academic achievement should improve, and students will be better prepared to enter the workforce directly or to continue their education. One of the most important benefits of implementing career education in all subjects is that school work becomes more meaningful, relevant and useful, and provides students with more academic motivation. By integrating career education concepts and directly relating them to curriculum, students are able to meet the goal of learning skills that help them succeed both in their academics and their occupations.