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Career Clusters An Overview 1

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1 Career Clusters An Overview 1
This powerpoint presentation will introduce Career Clusters, the framework and how students benefit from Career Clusters. 1

2 Objectives Overview of Career Clusters Benefits of Career Clusters
Programs of Study Overview of Career Clusters Benefits of Career Clusters

3 Career Clusters A Model That . . .
PREPARES students for a broad range of career options CONNECTS what is learned in school to what is needed for success in college and careers, thus helping to motivate students  Career Clusters PREPARE students.  Previously students had a “four year” plan with the end result being high school graduation. With the Career Clusters framework, students are required to have a “six year” plan with the end result being some type of career or job opportunity. Career Clusters CONNECT students. When students see the connection between what they are learning and their career interest they are more engaged, interested and motivated to succeed. This occurs in Career and Technical Education courses. Career Centers are viewed as preparing “those” students for jobs, but in reality we are ALL preparing students for careers and the work force. Think about how much more powerful the relevance piece will be if it is included in all coursework such as English, History, etc. When students see the relevance of what they are learning and how it relates to their career goals, discipline issues decrease and students see a purpose beyond just earning good grades or high school graduation. This is what Career Clusters do - They CONNECT and PREPARE. 3

4 Business and industry is in need of a well-prepared, qualified workforce. According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education there is a decreasing pyramid of educational achievement. The “Thinning Crowd” helps describe what is taking place in the educational system. For every 100 High School Freshman in Missouri…

5 Only 73 will earn their high school diploma
Only 73 will earn their high school diploma. This means 27% (over 1/4 of high school freshmen) will not graduate high school. This is not a good statistic.

6 Of the 73 high school freshmen who earn their diploma, 40 will actually enter college - either a 2-year (community or private college) or 4-year college or university. This is a 45% loss.

7 Of the 40 who entered college, 27 will still be enrolled in college their sophomore year. So 33% left to pursue other avenues.

8 And finally of the 27 remaining students, 20 will earn a college degree by their early 20s. Five will earn Associate’s (2-year) degrees and 15 will earn Bachelor’s (4-year) degrees. Income trends show that postsecondary education is needed for individuals to earn a family-supporting wage. Sources: National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (2004) Missouri Department of Higher Education

9 Replaces Remediation With Rigor and Relevance
Why? Overall, 36.4% of Missouri students take remedial courses in college Of those - 78.9% are students at two-year institutions 21.1% are students at four-year institutions The Department of Higher Education tracks data on academic preparation of Missouri public high school graduates who entered Missouri public two- and four-year institutions. The 2007 report shows the percentage of students requiring remediation in math, English and reading has increased measurably since 1996 when the overall remediation rate was 26.3%. There has been some improvement since 2005, although enrollment in remedial mathematics shows a slight annual increase. Overall Remediation: 36.4 percent required remediation in 2006 compared to 36.5 percent in 2005 Math Remediation: 29.6 percent (2006) compared to 29.4 percent (2005) English Remediation: 16.9 percent (2006) compared to 17.9 percent (2005) Reading Remediation: 10.1 percent (2006) compared to 10.2 percent (2005) Career Clusters can help reduce the need for remedial studies in college. If students see the relevance to their coursework and apply their skills, their motivation should improve and they will, hopefully, persevere through obstacles at the post-secondary level towards degree completion. Source: Missouri Department of Higher Education Missouri High School Graduates Performance Report 9

10 Defining Career Cluster Framework Elements
Career Path Career Cluster Career Pathway Program of Study Plan of Study It is important to understand why Missouri has adopted the national initiative of Career Clusters If you have a copy of the “What’s Your Plan” tabloid, trifold or poster available, refer to the career paths, clusters and pathways diagram. There are six Career Paths - Arts & Communication, Health Sciences, Industrial & Engineering Technology, Human Services, Natural Resources/Agriculture and Business, Management & Technology. Within the six career paths Missouri uses the 16 Career Clusters framework. This framework organizes/groups occupations and careers (representing virtually the entire world of work) to assist educators in tailoring rigorous coursework and related activities for all students. The groupings are based on common knowledge and skills, both academic and technical, that all students within the cluster should achieve regardless of their career field. They are used in tailoring curriculum design for connecting academic, technical and employability skills, in conjunction with learners’ career planning. A Career Pathway represents a grouping of occupations within a cluster based on commonalities. For example, there are three pathways for the Education & Training Cluster Administration & Administrative Support Professional Support Services Teaching & Training Programs of Study - A full range of activities, documents and process that make up a seamless education program from school to school within a Career Cluster or Pathway. A Program of Study includes a three part curriculum framework extending from secondary to two-year postsecondary to four-year postsecondary education. The Personal Plan of Study is the student’s scope and sequence of coursework and co-curricular experiences based upon chosen educational and career goals. They are arranged according to secondary graduation requirements and postecondary admission requirements. Now for a more in-depth look at the components. 10

11 Tying It All Together Elementary - Career Awareness PATHS 11
Missouri has identified six Career Paths as a way to help you become aware of and explore careers in a logical and meaningful way. Career Paths are a good starting point for career exploration and should be introduced at the elementary level. Using the six Career Paths is a much easier approach for the elementary level student to begin to understand the wide range of career opportunities available to them. Instructors at the elementary level should incorporate career education into their curriculum. Students need to be introduced to the career paths and begin looking at careers in these groups at an early age. In grades K - 2 students should learn about different kinds of works, receive instruction in diversity and gender equity in the workplace, learn about goal setting and decision making as well as learn what it means to be a good worker. During grades students use career inventories to identify occupations, use assessment tools to explore their skills and interests, are introduced to career decision-making models and learn about occupations in the various career clusters. As students become more career minded, they have the opportunity to further their career education and career planning through the career clusters. 11

12 Intermediate & Middle School
Tying It All Together Intermediate & Middle School Career Exploration Within the six Career Paths are 16 Career Clusters to further help with career exploration and career planning. It is recommended that students select a Career Cluster of interest before or during high school to shape their plans for coursework. Because the Career Cluster framework recommends rigorous academic coursework for all students, changing your mind won’t put you behind. Choosing a Career Cluster is about selecting an area for deeper exploration, not locking in a life-long career plan. It is recommended that Career Clusters be introduced at the Middle School level and continue as a framework for educational planning through postsecondary education. Career clusters should connect what students learn in school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in postsecondary education and careers. Students should be doing more extensive career exploration in order to effectively develop a Personal Plan of Study by the time they are in 8th grade. At the 6th grade level student should complete career assessment surveys (ie Missouri Connections) and identify jobs within the clusters requiring different levels of education. During Grade 7 it is beneficial for students to participate in service learning, job shadowing and mentoring. They should be able to identify the steps of the career decision making process and identify and explore sources of career information. By the 8th grade, students should have selected a cluster of study they are interested in exploring and meet with parents, counselors and teachers to develop a Personal Plan of Study. This gives them a guide…a plan…a purpose… PATHS & CLUSTERS 12

13 5 Pathways within Health Science: Biotechnology Research & Development
Tying It All Together High School Career Preparation and Application CLUSTER & PATHWAYS When students are ready to narrow things even further, there are two to seven Career Pathways within each Career Cluster. The Career Pathways can help in two ways. First, if a student is certain about their Career Cluster of interest, they can select a Career Pathway of interest and hone their plans that much more. Second, exploring the skills and occupations represented in each pathway can give a student a better understanding of the cluster and whether it is a good match for them. Many educational programs after high school target Career Pathways or are even more specific for career specialties. In high school, students will have a Personal Plan of Study. This can be compared to a college major. They should be able to see the many career opportunities within a cluster. Then when getting into a pathway they will take coursework to prepare them for their career, college or to receive industry certification or credentials. Teaching using the Career Clusters framework takes the school from a once-a-year visit with the school counselor to a collaborative, ongoing process among teachers, counselors, students and families. Career development needs to become a priority for everyone in the school. Personal Plans of Study, graduation requirements and plans should be reviewed yearly and updated to meet the students’ postsecondary goals. Students should participate in job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships to help them make the connection between what they are learning and their future lives. 5 Pathways within Health Science: Therapeutic Services Diagnostic Services Health Informatics Support Services Biotechnology Research & Development 13

14 Career Cluster Model Knowledge & Skills
This level shows the knowledge and skills needed. This is a sample of an actual framework. The Cluster is identified at the top of the model long with a short description of the cluster. The framework for each cluster is organized by grouping the occupations into pathways (subgroups of clusters) based on common knowledge and skills required for success in the cluster. The first (bottom) level, the Cluster Foundation, represents the Knowledge and Skills which are critical for all learners must have regardless of which occupation they pursue in this cluster in order to be successful. In other words, regardless of what Pathway the learner chooses to pursue, they need to master the foundational knowledge and skills. Educators and business people established a common set of knowledge and skills that would be valuable for a particular group of occupations. They are the centerpiece of all the clusters. They represent what people need to know and be able to do in the careers represented in each cluster. Educators can use these in developing course curriculum. They contain academic benchmarks, as well as technical and soft skills needed to succeed in each particular cluster. Following the Knowledge & Skill statements should help educators guarantee that their instruction targets the needs of business and industry. In today’s workplace, workers must have skills and knowledge across these broad areas to remain successful. Therefore, it is important for all educators to incorporate these areas into curriculum and instruction. 14 14

15 Knowledge and Skills Academics Communications
Problem Solving & Critical Thinking Information Technology Technical Skills Leadership & Teamwork Safety, Health & Environment Ethics & Legal Responsibilities Employability & Career Development Foundation Knowledge and Skills are provided for each career cluster and pathway. This is the tie in for academic teachers… Each knowledge and skills must be incorporated within lessons. Most instructors do already … English teachers through literature, Coaches on the court … Development of these skills can be enhanced through changes in instructional strategies, not necessarily changes in content. According to research the number one reason people leave their jobs is not because of incompetence, it is the inability to get along with others!!! Employers stress that recent graduates show a lack of effective communications, problem solving, teamworkand basic workplace skills. With more and more quality jobs requiring education beyond high school secondary educators must focus first on the fundamentals. The Career Clusters Knowledge and Skill statements are arranged with this in mind. The Knowledge and Skills were identified and validated by a national advisory group of employers, secondary and postsecondary educators, associations, labor and other stakeholders. They provide a reliable basis for instruction. This enables instructors to cross walk current curricula with Career Clusters Knowledge and Skills and provides an opportunity for instructors to determine what should be added or removed from the curriculum. 15

16 Career Cluster Model Pathways
There are three Pathways in this Career Cluster. (certificates and degrees) The next level shows the major pathways (subgroups of clusters) that group the occupations according to their commonalities. Pathways include a group of professions that require similar talents, knowledge and skills. Each pathway addresses the required instruction and experience necessary to move toward employment in specific occupations. The number of Pathways will vary in each cluster from two to seven. Note in the Architecture & Construction cluster example, there are 3 Pathways. Pathways are the area that leads to an associate degree and/or an industry-recognized certificate or license. Possibly a baccalaureate degree and beyond. These pathways are also where Programs of Study are being developed. A career pathway is NOT a track that limits student choice. 16 16

17 Career Cluster Model Occupations
The third level shows occupations of that Cluster Pathway. The final (top) level lists representative occupational specialties that fall within each pathway. This gives learners a picture of how many options are available to them within a cluster. It is important to recognize the skills learned can be used in many careers. For example, a student in health care might enroll in a program for CNA (certified nursing assistant). Before, the student would acquire a set of narrowly focused skills, but secondary programs which focus on job-specific skills are no longer the best answer for our students. According to the Department of Labor, today's learners will have jobs by the time they are 38, 1 in 4 workers have been with their current employer less than 1 year, 1 in 2 workers have been with their current employer less than 5 years. We need to help students develop transferrable skills. In the career cluster approach the same student would enroll in a Career Pathway titled Therapeutic Services. The student would acquire a broad range of knowledge and skills that are common to the numerous career specialties within that pathway. As a result the student would have many career options. Note that some occupations may only require an Associates degree or a certificate while others may require a Bachelor or Masters degree. This is what the state refers to as multiple entrance and exit points. 17 17

18 Aligning Opportunities
Program of Study and Personal Plan of Study are related but not the same.  A Program of Study is a collaborative effort among schools and colleges to seamlessly coordinate classroom instruction, student guidance, career and technical student organizations, career development and community participation for a particular Career Cluster/Pathway.  A student’s Personal Plan of Study should reflect a Program of Study, but it should also be individualized for each student’s career interests.  The school clubs and community activities incorporated into a Personal Plan of Study can give students practical experience to hone skills learned in the classroom and to develop personal qualities such as leadership and teamwork. Notice from the diagram, that we are now looking beyond a 4-year plan for students. This is a key component of developing a Plan of Study as compared to former “4-year plans”. This will help students see beyond high school. Program of Study help students plan a coherent educational path. 18

19 The Big Picture 19 The big picture is the Programs of Study.
This involves aligning the curriculum with Knowledge & Skills statements, Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and Competencies to a PATHWAY. 19

20 An individual planning system is in place.
Personal Plans MSIP 6.9.3 The Personal Plan of Study is specific to each student’s career path with senior year capstone experiences and postsecondary opportunities. An individual planning system is in place. 20

21 Personal Plan of Study (sample)
This is a sample of a student’s scope and sequence of coursework based upon their chosen career cluster. All students grades will be required to have a Personal Plan of Study which is to be reviewed annually. It is important to develop the personal plan of study according to the cluster. If you develop by the path such as Human Services, one student may choose Education while another selects Hospitality & Tourism. The classes are very different for each of these clusters. The Plan of Study includes core academics - English, math, science, and social studies plus extra-curricular activities that match the students interests and skills. For example, a student interested in entering the medical field would include higher level math, science, and language arts in their Personal Plan of Study. In addition, it should include the opportunity to explore medical options through job shadowing experiences. Enrolling in a health occupations program at the area career center would be extremely beneficial. 21

22 Personal Plan of Study (page 2)
The second page links the student to postsecondary options. This takes the student from “here’s what it takes to graduate” to “here is what it takes to get where you want to be”. It goes from a 4 year plan to a 6 year plan and will help the student to connect to their future goals therefore motivating them to continue and addressing the “why do I have to learn this” attitude. Overall, the Personal Plans of Study meets state academic standards and grade level expectations (GLEs) meets state graduation requirement reflects the students interest’s and abilities involves counselors, educators, students and parents is reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary to reflect changes in a student’s career plan Must be completed initially by the end of the 8th grade year. 22

23 Strategies Learning should be student centered
Use a variety of instructional strategies (Rigor) Make Connections (Relevance) Teach with Relationships in Mind Involve community members to offer first-hand opportunities for students to see how their studies can impact their future lives Bridge the Gap between Career and Technical Education and academic teachers Career Clusters help students see the relevance to what they are learning. For educators, here are items to help with the process. Learning should be student centered School planning should be guided by, “What is best for the students?” Personal plans should be developed by the student, their parent(s), and an advisor. Academic instruction should be placed in the context of real-world applications to provide relevance. The use of project-based learning (meaning students start with a problem, think of possible solutions, choose one solution and carry it out) can be done at any grade level. Be familiar with and use a variety of instructional strategies. (Rigor) It is not necessary to change the content, just the instructional strategies. Cooperative Learning Inquiry-based learning Problem-based learning Presentations Project Design Research Work-based Learning Make Connections (Relevance) Use career exploration activities, ie Missouri Connections. Job Shadowing Career Days Internships Service Learning - take students into the community to meet a need Career Speakers Teach with Relationships in Mind Students are social creatures - personal relationships and desires influence decisions. By involving relationships in instruction, educators can boost student engagement and motivation. Share personal stories of career transitions with students. Allow students to participate in a career mentoring relationship Judge student projects Community members can become involved in school activities and offer first-hand opportunities for students to see how their studies can impact their future lives. Bridge the Gap between Career and Technical Education and academic teachers. It is imperative that there is communication and collaboration between these two groups. 23

24 How Career Clusters Benefit Students?
Motivates them to take rigorous courses. Increases their awareness of opportunities in the career field. Helps them to make a connection between school and work. Organizes their coursework with a focus. Personalizes their school environment. Career clusters benefit a variety of audiences. Career clusters enhance academic achievement by providing real-world relevance. This helps students organize their coursework with a focus and personalize their school environment. As a result students are motivated to take higher level courses. Career Clusters provide opportunities to explore multiple pathways before deciding on a specific occupation which increases the learners awareness of opportunities in the career field. Relevancy - Career Clusters help relate high profile careers to real life situations thereby helping students make a connection between school and work. Career Clusters prepare for lifelong learning, career paths, college interests and academic achievement. Career Clusters provide documentation of completing industry-respected competencies for education of work. Career Clusters provide clear pathways which include both certification and degree options. 24

25 Career Clusters Benefits
Educators Schools Parents Postsecondary Counselors Employers and Industry Groups Career Clusters benefit a variety of audiences in addition to the learner. Benefits for Faculty More engaged learner Curriculum can be tailored to the needs of the community Structure for integratd academic, technical and employability content Enhanced achievement for all students Benefits for School Broadens scope of existing occupationally specific programs to expose and connect the learner to a wider range of career choices Encourages coordination and content integration among faculty. Provides a framework for curriculum alignment reducing duplication and increasing the amount of higher-order problem solving Benefits for Parents Smoother transition among learning levels More information to assist student in making career decisions prior to college or during early collegiate program Potential savings - integrated credit and articulation agreements Provides information for all careers, including those that are unfamiliar or outside the family’s experience Benefits for Postsecondary Learners who have established a career path Learners with better academic skills and in need of less remediation Provides students with rigorous and relevant academic skills Benefit for Counselors Connects learner interest with coursework Motivates learners to reach higher academic achievement Shows relevance of school to postsecondary and lifelong learning Benefits for Business Workforce is well-prepared, qualified and able to adapt to changing needs Opportunity for input in redesigning school curriculum Framework for cross-training or retooling the workforce Prepare future employees who have had some cross-training opportunities

26 Career Development Becomes a Lifelong Process
PAST PRESENT/FUTURE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CAREER EDUCATION For Some Students For All Students For a Few Jobs For All Careers 6 to 7 “Program Areas” 6 Career Paths 16 Clusters 79 Pathways In Lieu of Academics Aligns to and Supports Rigorous Academics High School Focused High School, College and Business & Industry Partnerships To bridge the gap between academic instructors and career/technical instructors, it is important to recognize that preparing learners to meet the challenge of a changing workplace is a mission of Career and Technical Education. Vocational Education (as it was previously termed) has changed over the past several years. As such there is a need to change our way of thinking and shift to an understanding that Career and Technical Education is for ALL students and will help students prepare for ALL careers. As we delve into career clusters, students see the relevance to their courses, both academic and technical and the connection of their coursework to their future. Remember when students see the connection between what they are learning and their career interests, they learn better and achieve more? The traditional role of vocational education was to prepare learners for a set of specific skills for certain jobs. While this was adequate in yesterday’s work world, it does not meet the needs of learners in today’s demanding job market, especially those who wish to move past entry-level employment. Career Education today provides technical career preparation supported by rigorous academic and employability skills. Career preparation is in-depth and in-breadth for lifelong mobility and advancement. Education/Career preparation of choice for the diversity for all students. It is industry focused, student centered and performance driven. Customized packaging of instruction into sequences of courses blending with science and math applications create new pathways for career advancement and continuing education for both emerging and existing careers over the lifespan. 26

27 For more information
Missouri Center for Career Education Career Clusters Missouri Connections Department of Higher Education – State of Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education – State of Missouri Missouri Economic Research and Information Center To locate your MCCE Regional Career Education Coordinator, go to

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