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Career Advising and Navigation

Every young person should leave high school with clear career goals and the knowledge and resources needed to pursue them. Getting there requires the help and support of adults.

As defined in Perkins, the term "career guidance and academic counseling" means guidance and counseling that--(A) provides access for students (and, as appropriate parents and out-of-school youth) to information regarding career awareness exploration opportunities and planning with respect to an individual's occupational and academic future; (B) provides information to students (and, as appropriate, parents and out-of-school youth) with respect to career options, financial aid, job training, secondary and postsecondary options (including associate and baccalaureate degree programs), dual or concurrent enrollment programs, work-based learning opportunities, early college high schools, financial literacy, and support services, as appropriate; and (C) may provide assistance for special populations with respect to direct support services that enable students to persist in and complete career and technical education, programs of study, or career pathways.

Navigating postsecondary education and the evolving labor market can be extremely complicated. As such, it is important for young people to leave high school with clear education and career goals, and the knowledge and skills needed to pursue them. Career counseling and navigation supports have traditionally been provided by school counselors and educators.

However, school counselors and educators have noted that they were spending less time providing career advising and more time connecting students to social services and addressing students’ social and emotional needs. Teachers also reported a reduction in the number of students to whom they have provided college and career advisement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the availability of college and career navigation support services for students, states and LEAs may use ESSER funds to:

  • Hire additional school counseling staff to lower the student-to-staff ratios or to add staff with specialized experience in career guidance (such as career coaches) that supplement the work of school counselors and ensure students have access to staff with diverse backgrounds, cultural and other identities, and lived experiences.
  • Provide professional development to strengthen college and career advisement models that school counselors and educators provide to students, such as providing training on how to use labor market information and developing technical assistance resources to strengthen the capacity of school counselors and other educators in implementing individualized career and academic plans for students.
  • Support college access and intensive college admission programs and strengthen partnerships between secondary and postsecondary schools, including by providing student financial aid counseling that spans the school year and the summer months. These activities are particularly important for youth who may become disconnected during the summer following high school graduation, a time when some students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, need significant support to navigate the college enrollment and matriculation maze. GEER II and ESSER funds also may be used to pay college application fees.
  • Provide supplemental support to help students plan for and apply to postsecondary education, as well as career navigation and other transition services, by contracting with nonprofit and community-based organizations and other external partners with expertise in serving youth from low-income backgrounds and young people who contend with barriers to success in school and the labor market.
  • Purchase software that facilitates the development and use of individual career and academic plans and that offers students and their families opportunities to explore different career options; and, provide professional development to school staff in using these resources.
Your Place in Space Challenge

Your Place in Space Challenge
(March 2023 - February 2024)

The purpose of the Your Place in Space Challenge is to create engaging learning opportunities for students to explore the challenges and opportunities in space missions; connect CTE programs with a wide variety of space careers; and inspire students to envision and pursue space careers. The call to action is to submit a design for a product or service that will contribute to space missions and exploration.


Our Pillars

Strategies to prepare students for their futures.

Dual Enrollment

Earn college credit during high school

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Work-based Learning

Gain early exposure to real world experience

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Workforce Credentials

Develop a competitive edge for your career

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Career Advising and Navigation

Make informed decisions about life after high school

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