High School Success and School Accountability Begin with Tentative Job-Career Plans for Each Student

Article excerpt

A standard career interest test should be administered to each 9th grade student, and the three highest level of career interest obtained should be compared with the stated job-career interest for each student. Where the stated job-career plan does not agree with one of the three highest areas from the career test, a career counselor should help the individual reconcile such differences. Without a career plan there is no goal, and, therefore, no basis for personal motivation for student to do successful course work; as, psychologically, goals and motivation are the same thing.

The average student begins high school (9th grade) when he/she is 14 years of age, and the major purpose for high school, then, is preparation for life. Success in a democracy always includes economic security, and the ability and desire to make a living (job success). In order for a school in a democracy to be successful, both for the individual and collectively for the school, there is an immediate and imperative need for a tentative job career plan for each and every student. This is true because goals and personal motivation for each student are inseparable; for without personal goals there can be no personal motivation to achieve, and, therefore, schools become less focused in their regimen. While it is true that job-career plans often change during high school, a tentative job-career plan must be the major focus for each and every student.

Individual Course Success

When school success is based on individual course content alone, personal involvement lacks a meaningful and functional purpose in relation to later success in life. It is the kind of motivation that is more or less "hollow like" and lacks personal depth and functional utility. The more complex, courses, technically speaking, and the courses that provide the greatest challenges fall in several categories. For example, mathematically based courses like algebra, geometry, calculus, etc. lead to success in engineering; courses in biology, science, and the like lead to medicine, etc. Often individuals planning for a career in engineering or medicine when they first take courses pertinent to success in such endeavors, decide that the job-career initially planned is not for them. Lack of success in these two course areas of the curriculum cause more changes in job-career plans for more capable high school student than any other of the school curriculum areas.

Career Interest Test

Typically, a standard job career interest test or inventory is administered to all high school students no later than the junior year; so that each individual is able to compare his/her tested interest and stated interest areas, i.e., Career Interest Inventory (1990), Ohio Vocational Interest Survey (1981), Self-interest survey (Holland, 1994), etc. Typically, the student seeks to identify his/her three highest career interest areas, and then to compare his/her stated interest with one of the three tested interest areas. Where there is a wide disparity between stated and either of the three highest tested interest areas, the school counselor should seek to help individual reconcile these basic differences. Often the best way to reconcile such basic differences, is to administer a second and different career interest test to determine if the differences occur for both of such tested areas. Second, is to examine the basic technical courses required for success in such job-career areas, and determine if individual involved can accept the nature of such technical courses of instruction. Third, is to administer the Differential Aptitude Test to see whether the aptitude scores earned are in agreement with the stated interest. The changing of stated interest should not be treated lightly; as it may be the most important personal decision made while in high school. Also, it serves as the basic incentive and personal motivation for specific school achievement areas.

Differential Aptitude Test

The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) is an integrated battery of eight aptitude tests that provide assistance in educational and vocational guidance. …