Collaboration is Key to Successful Career Development

By Kim Hebel

Just as schools are required to provide more academic and social services and prepare students to be both college and career ready, school counselors and community mental health professionals have also felt the pressure to increase services to students and clients in tangible, career-related ways. In the process, helpers can feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work to be done each day.


While school and mental health counselors can be a tremendous help with career development, they are often so busy with the day-to-day treating of academic, emotional, and social issues that career guidance takes a back seat. Some counselors may even feel that the one career education course they took in graduate school has left them underprepared to offer significant help with career development


Recent changes in the field of career guidance can help schools and communities. One of the major changes in the field of career guidance in the past few years has been the emergence of career development facilitators (CDFs). A CDF is a person who works in any career development setting or who incorporates career development information or skills in their work with students, adults, clients, employees, or the public. A CDF has received in-depth training in the areas of career development in the form of 120 instructional hours, provided by a nationally qualified and certified trainer.


What Do CDFs Study?

The CDF training focuses on twelve career-related competencies, developed by the National Career Development Association. These competencies are vital for effective practice, whether pursuing the CDF credential or not. Learn more at www.ncda.org


The competencies include:

  1. Helping Skills

  2. Labor Market Information and Resources

  3. Working with Diverse Populations

  4. Technology and Career Development

  5. Ethical and Legal Issues

  6. Employability Skills

  7. Consultation/Supervision

  8. Training Clients and Peers

  9. Career Development Theories and Models

  10. Program Management and Implementation

  11. Assessment

  12. Promotion and Public Relations



How Will CDFs Help?

Most CDFs are currently working in community colleges as career coaches. Why not bring them into the high schools and community mental health centers? CDFs could work collaboratively with school counselors to both improve school counseling programs and increase the students’ ability to be both college and career ready. They can work with mental health counselors as an adjunct to therapy for those providers who need the extra support.


Sounds Great! What Is Stopping This From Happening?


Ok! How Can the Problems Be Fixed?


Start Advocating!

Counselors and CDFs working collaboratively not only improves the ability to make sure all of their constituents are college and career ready, it also lowers workloads on personnel and enables staff to efficiently focus more time and energy on specialized tasks. Career guidance should not just be one more thing personnel have to do. It should be a top priority. Having CDFs on staff is a win-win situation for all involved.



Kim HebelKim Hebel, Ed.S, CDF, has twelve years of experience working in the field of education. Her career path led her through many areas within education including special education, regular education, and school guidance and counseling. She has worked in grades 4-12. She works as a Senior Counselor and Building Concurrent Credit Coordinator for the Greenbrier School District. She has a MSE in Special Education and an Ed.S in School Guidance and Counseling from Harding University. She also has her CDF certification. She is currently working towards her certification in Building Administration. She received the Distinguished Educator award from Greenbrier High School in 2013. Kim can be reached at hebelk@greenbrierschools.org.

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1 Comment

Sandy Hocker   on Wednesday 11/05/2014 at 10:56 AM

Your article is very informative and gives valuable insight on the importance of Career Development Facilitators. Thank you for sharing!

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