The Careers Project: A Summary with Policy Options. CRB 09-005Report as inadecuate

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California Research Bureau

The Careers Project is a study of the preparation all students in public middle and high schools receive to explore career options and the relationship between that preparation and California's state and regional economies. The California Research Bureau (CRB) undertook this research at the request of a bipartisan group of members of the California Legislature, with funding support from the James Irvine Foundation. This report provides the rationale for this study as expressed by a letter of a bipartisan group of legislators and the CRB commitment to the James Irvine Foundation for the grant support of the Careers Project. Several studies point to the importance of providing a connection between what is learned in the classroom and its applicability to future career pursuits as a means of keeping students engaged in school and not dropping out prior to completing grade 12. However, there is no comprehensive data collected that informs California policymakers about how schools do (or do not) provide this connection. This study proposes to determine the extent to which all middle and high school students understand their potential role in contributing to and benefiting from California's economy, and how that affects their current and future course of study. The study examines the degree to which schools serving middle and high school students provide all students with the necessary tools for career exploration and development so that students can take charge of their future and proactively set a course of study or training to achieve their career options. This study intends to identify ways that some schools have provided middle and high school students with the skills to manage their future career aspirations before leaving the K-12 school system. The study consisted of three distinct phases, including: (1) A statewide survey of middle and high school counselors and principals; (2) An economic analysis and survey of representatives of business and industry in California; and (3) School focus groups. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: Economic Research, Secondary Education, Focus Groups, Career Education, Career Guidance, Counselor Attitudes, Administrator Attitudes, Employer Attitudes, Occupational Information, Occupational Surveys, Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators, Research Projects, Policy Analysis, School Surveys, Partnerships in Education

California Research Bureau. 900 N Street Suite 300, P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento, CA 94237-0001. Tel: 916-653-7843; Fax: 916-654-5829; Web site:

Author: de Cos, Patricia L.; Chan, Julie; Salling, Katharine


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