NCDA Partners with the Global Pathways Institute
By Lourdes Rivera
At the June 29, 2015 NCDA Board meeting held at the Global Career Development Conference in Denver, CO, members of the Board had the opportunity to speak with William Symonds, Director of the Global Pathways Institute and keynote speaker at the conference. During this conversation, Bill and NCDA Board members discussed mutually shared goals and explored opportunities to collaborate on promoting the value of career counseling in preparing K-12 students for their futures.
Housed at Arizona State University, the mission of the Global Pathways Institute is to work collaboratively with educators, employers, professional and community organizations to influence policy and practice that provides all students with high quality educational pathways that lead to productive and financially independent lives and the “career literacy” to make that a reality.
Sighting recent statistics on the unemployment and underemployment of young adults, college graduation rates, and the disconnect between the skills employers are looking for and those possessed by young adults, Bill made the case that there is a great deal more that needs to be done in our schools to ensure that students are being adequately prepared for future success and employment. Closing skills gaps, helping students understand the multitude of postsecondary options, and ensuring that they understand and are prepared to meet the demands and challenges of work and/or continued education upon high school graduation, are just some of the objectives shared by NCDA and the Global Pathways Institute.
A major focus of the Global Pathways Institute is ensuring that students are provided with clear educational pathways, or educational plans, which delineate what students need to know and do in order to reach a particular career goal. By providing students with clear educational pathways, awareness of employment options, and opportunities for work-based learning, students are better able to relate their school-based learning to career possibilities and identify clear goals to work toward. The expectation being that upon high school graduation, students are able to smoothly transition into either continued educational opportunities (e.g., college, specialized training) or employment in an area that is in demand, they have been adequately prepared for and in which they have an identified interest.
Another focus is that of increasing students’ “career literacy.” In his presentation to the Board, Bill discussed importance of providing career counseling within the educational system in order to ensure that students are adequately prepared to make well-informed decisions about their futures and that they possess the necessary information and skills to become successful. Essentially, Bill’s reference to career literacy represents the outcome of quality career education and career counseling—the awareness, knowledge and skills essential to make well-informed career decisions. Together, career pathways and career counseling can provide the needed preparation for students to pursue rewarding careers, the educational preparation to ensure they possess the skills in demand by employers and the career counseling to more effectively negotiate their lives after high school and become productive and successful members of society.
Career counseling interventions in conjunction with the educational programs that provide students with clear pathways to future employment is essential in guaranteeing students are prepared to pursue the educational, employment and life opportunities available to them. Together, this approach is expected to address the current challenges of youth unemployment and underemployment.
In keeping with NCDA's ongoing commitment to promote career development and career counseling throughout the life span and to advocate for the provision of career counseling services to all members of society, the NCDA Board voted unanimously to partner with the Global Pathways Institute. Working together with the Global Pathways Institute and other groups, NCDA seeks to foster collaboration in strengthening the message that career counseling is and must continue to be a part of our education efforts. If as a society we want to ensure that we have an adequately educated and prepared workforce, career counseling must become a priority. By working collaboratively, our combined energies can strengthen the message to key policy makers, educators, and legislative bodies that career counseling is essential in preparing youth to become career and college ready.
“By partnering with the Global Pathways Institute, NCDA is joining an ally in the career development field to share research, resources, and networks to improve the career education and planning for K-12 students” explains Mark Danaher, NCDA President (2014-15). “NCDA will be working with the Institute, beginning with a meeting in August, to brainstorm ideas, best practices and research ways to help students become more career literate.”
This collaboration is another way in which NCDA continues to promote and advocate for career counseling services that “inspire and empower individuals to achieve their career and life goals.
To learn more about NCDA initiatives, contact an NCDA Board member, read the NCDA Board Meeting Minutes located under About NCDA on the website or read Career Convergence for future updates.
To view Bill Symonds PowerPoint Keynote at the NCDA Global Conference click here:
"Reimagining the Role of Career Development"
More information on the Global Pathways Institute can be obtained at www.globalpathwaysinstitute.org
Lourdes M. Rivera, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Counselor Education Program at Queens College of the City University of New York. Dr. Rivera’s main area of interest is in career counseling and development with a focus on multicultural issues. Most recently, Dr. Rivera has focused her attention on how best to address the career development needs of children and adolescents in the school setting. Working with teachers and administrators, she has participated in the development and implementation of a career development intervention program for students attending an early college high school (grades 6 through 12). Dr. Rivera has served in a number of leadership positions in professional organizations, including NCDA Board of Trustee's member (2012-15), and is a past-president of the New York State Career Development Association. She completed the NCDA Leadership Academy in 2009. Dr. Rivera received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University and holds a Master’s in counseling from New York University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org