One of the important parts of the Literacy Program is helping our adult learners plan for the “Next Steps” after improving their literacy skills or getting a GED. The mission of our program encourages lifelong learning, and we also want our students to achieve success and self-sufficiency in their career choices. Our Educational Counselor and staff spend time talking to students about their short and long-term goals. These are the steps:
1. The Counselor introduces the process.
§ Give an overview to the class of counseling services.
§ Explain the process that will help students to determine their next steps.
§ Emphasize that educational and career success are achieved when goals match interests, values, and abilities.
2. The students set their goals.
§ The counselor meets individually with each student.
§ Using the DESE Goal Form as a “menu” selection sheet, write specific goals on the “Go for the Gold” sheet.
§ One copy goes to the student, one to the teacher, and one to the counselor for the student’s file.
3. The students take the Harrington-O’Shea Career Decision Making System.
§ Following the directions, go through the survey booklet with the class.
§ Instruct them to fill in their responses on the summary profile.
§ Under “Work Values” on page 5, help students choose their 4 most important work values through a process of elimination. Give each student a set of 14 cards made by copying the page and cutting out each value. Instruct them to remove 4 that are not important to them. Then tell them to remove 3 more, then 2, then 1. This will leave them with their 4 most important work values.
§ Encourage students to share their choices with the class.
§ Use the examples provided to promote class discussion.
4. The students research careers.
§ With the teacher, use the Harrington-O’Shea Career Summary as a writing project.
§ Students can use the Internet to research 3 potential job choices.
§ Students are shown the “Aptitude, Jobs, and Careers” section of the web-site suggestions page on our web-site. For students with a Plymouth Public Library library card, “Career Cruising” and the PPL- Career Transitions are extremely helpful, and the educational advisor helps students work through the features of these resources.
5. The students complete a Resume.
§ If possible, meet individually with each student to collect his/her work and educational history.
§ Use a program like Print Shop Resume Pro to write and print a resume.
§ Give the student a folder with several copies of his/her resume as well as a cover letter template and reference sheet.
6. The program provides additional support.
§ Schedule guest speakers from local colleges, training programs, or the local Career Centers.
If possible, take students to local college or