Focus on the Future: A Career Development Curriculum for Secondary School Students

Focus on the Future: A Career Development Curriculum for Secondary School Students

Focus on the Future: A Career Development Curriculum for Secondary School Students

Focus on the Future: A Career Development Curriculum for Secondary School Students


Offers a curriculum that helps secondary students prepare for careers in the 21st century. Through a series of 36 lesson plans that stress learning through activities, students discover their interests, abilities, values, and aspirations and relate them to occupational choices. They explore career and educational options and develop a career plan that outlines the preparation required to pursue their career choice. Each lesson plan contains learning objectives, materials needed, teacher preparation tips, step-by-step activities, activity or resource sheets, and discussion questions. Activity and resource sheets are available for downloading from the Web site.


This curriculum guide assists teachers in introducing career development into classrooms of students ages 14 to 18. The curriculum has been designed to provide a flexible framework for classroom-based efforts. Teachers are encouraged to adapt and/or integrate the curriculum to meet their needs. They are also urged to add lesson plans and activities, add or update background information, and suggest additional ways to work with parents and the community. Because cultural differences will probably occur, changes to fit into the students' cultural framework are also encouraged.

Before you begin the curriculum, you should become thoroughly familiar with the concepts of career development and its importance to young people today. This guide attempts to provide enough background information for lessons and activities to help you feel confident in teaching the concepts of career development. Each session builds on the knowledge and/or skills taught in the previous lessons. Therefore, you should follow the curriculum in a sequential order.


Focus on the Future is divided into two parts: Teacher's Guide and The Curriculum.

Part I: Teacher's Guide lists teaching objectives and/or student outcomes. It defines career development and explains the foundations on which modern practice is built. The Guide describes the career-building concepts that direct and illustrate the curriculum and establishes the importance of career development in every student's life.

The Guide also suggests effective teaching strategies based on adolescent characteristics, gives an overview of the curriculum, and explains how each lesson is formatted. Finally, it describes how to construct student portfolios.

Part II: The Curriculum is divided into three units containing a total of 36 sessions. Each unit assists students in answering a question essential to their career development.

Unit One helps the student to answer the question [Who am I?] Self-knowledge
includes such areas as student interests, abilities, values, and aspirations.

Unit Two helps the student to answer the question [Where am I going?] Career
and occupational exploration are the basis for this section.

Unit Three helps the student to answer the question [How do I get there?] This
section guides the student through the decision-making process into actual educa
tional and career-planning.

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