Career Counseling Plan for Middle School Students Essay

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A Practical Comprehensive Career Counseling Plan for Middle School Students

Thankfully, dreams can change. If we'd all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. – Stephen Colbert

Many young people have a general idea about what they “want to be when they grow up,” but as the epigraph above makes clear, these ideas tend to change over time as they learn more about the world and what types of occupations are available to them. To this end, career counselors can facilitate this process by helping students learn more about their viable career choices depending on their individual preferences and aptitudes. This paper describes a proposed “career day/fair” for middle school students to help them become more knowledgeable concerning their career choices followed by a summary of relevant career counseling contributions by other researchers. Finally, an explanation concerning the importance of addressing career education throughout the child's middle school experience and a discussion concerning how this assignment can help practitioners become more effective guidance counselors, particularly as it relates to college and career opportunities are followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning career counseling for middle school students in the conclusion.

Section One: Targeted Group

Although career readiness counseling should begin early on in elementary school and continue through the high school years, middle school students in particular can stand to benefit from these initiatives (Gysbers, 2013). Moreover, student interest in high-demand careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields drops off during the middle school years (McGinnis, 2014). Therefore, the focus of this comprehensive career counseling plan will be on promoting STEM careers for middle school students in grades 6 through 8.

Section Two: Career Day/Fair and Goals

The STEM career day/fair’s overarching goals will be to educate middle school students concerning the following facts as they apply to their choice of careers:

Men and women choose careers as scientists and engineers;

Most scientists and engineers work in teams;

Science affects everyday life;

Scientific knowledge is a result of human endeavors, imagination, and creativity;

Individuals and teams from many nations and cultures have contributed to advances in science and engineering; and,

Science and engineering are influenced by society, and society is influenced by science and engineering (McGinnis, 2014, p. 79).

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The programs developed for the STEM career day/fair are set forth below.

A 30-minute opening speech by a keynote speaker for all attendees;

A series of smaller half-hour group presentations in classrooms devoted to specific STEM-related careers including hands-on demonstrations of representative technologies (if available) with attendees rotating through six different presentations;;

Refreshments (pizzas and soft drinks);

Tour of exhibitors by all attendees; and,

A question-and-answer session for all attendees.

Section Three

A study by McGinnis (2014) involved planning, coordinating and conducting a STEM career fair day that proved highly effective in….....

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Gysbers, N. C. (2013, September). Career-ready students: A goal of comprehensive school counseling programs. Career Development Quarterly, 61(3), 283-285.

Kier, M. W. & Blanchard, M. R. (2014, February). Connecting students to STEM careers. Science Scope, 37(6), 72-75.

McGinnis, P. (2014, February). How to organize a STEM career day. Science Scope, 37(6), 78-81.

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