Project: Career and Education Plan

Career and Education Plan
Teacher: Johnathan Luckey
School: Capital City School
Location: Topeka, Kansas USA

Start Date
End Date
Description Expected Student Results
Step: 1
03/23/2009
03/27/2009
Topic Selection
Student Task: The student will write an introductory letter to their mentor, including their interests and activities. They will include a description of their area of primary career interest, citing specific reasons why this career is of interest. They will submit their paragraph and will be matched with a mentor with interest and/or experience in that area.

Mentor Task: The mentor will reply by asking questions about student interests and offering his/her own insight. Through the questioning, the mentor will try to help the student narrow the primary interest if necessary that he/she would like to explore further.
THE FIRST PORTFOLIO ENTRY will be an introductory letter from student to mentor that includes their school and extracurricular interests and activities. The letter will include a description of student's primary area of career interest and will explain the specific reasons for their focus on that career. Student will upload this page for the mentor to review. After the mentor reviews and responds to the student's portfolio, the student will respond to mentor with a well-written, correctly punctuated letter thanking mentor for their interest and answering any questions raised by the mentor.

Step: 2
03/30/2009
04/03/2009
Career Research

Mentor Task: The mentor will e-mail the student suggested keywords and websites to use during internet research on their selected career interest. In addition to the questions listed under the student portfolio entry instructions, the mentor should send the student some specific questions related to exploring the career and have the student perform the search and report his/her findings. The teacher will also provide research report guidelines to students to help provide direction during this step.

Student Task: The student will use the internet to research their field of interest using suggested keywords, questions, and websites from the mentor and their own research sources and techniques. The student will e-mail the mentor with interesting findings and compose a research report using guidelines provided by teacher. After writing the report, students will upload it for mentors for feedtack.

THE SECOND PORTFOLIO ENTRY will be a research report detailing information about the student's chosen career, written after individual research and online interaction between student and mentor.

The research report must include the following:

Background:
Name/definition of the career
Background/evolution/history of career
Why does this career interest you right now? (specific reasons)

Preparation:
Educational requirements (What type of degree/training is required for an entry job?)
Describe the skills necessary to enter this career field
What volunteer/summer jobs/etc would be helpful to a student wishing to enter this field?

Work:
Job description and expected salary range for someone in this field (compensation)
Work environment (Describe work environment someone in this profession might have.)
List potential employers for someone working in this field
What types of difficulties/challenges might someone in this field encounter?
Employment opportunities
Occupational outlook for future growth in this field
What are some other related career fields?

Students will site sources within the text of their paper and will include a list of the websites and any other sources used in their research at the end of the paper.

All information must be paraphrased in the student's own words and all sources of information included in the paragraph must be cited at the end of the paragraph for mentor and teacher to reference when reviewing student work. Students must use a minimum of ten online sources to obtain information for this research paper.

Conclusion section: This is the only section where you can write the word “I” in the report!

From what you have learned through your research, do you feel you are suited to this career? Why or why not? What do you need to do this week/month/year to work towards a career in this goal?

It should also include other interesting information relating to the career that student found in his/her online search. Students should reflect on why they feel they are suited for this career and what they plan to do to continue working towards this goal.
Step: 3
04/06/2009
04/10/2009
Information Seeking Strategies – Developing and submitting interview questions

Mentor Task: Ask the student what questions they think would be important in an interview. Discuss with the student differences in an oral interview and in an e-mail interview.

Mentor Task: Guide students as they write a brief introductory paragraph describing their project. This paragraph will be sent along with their interview questions. Stress to the student the importance of correct grammar and punctuation in an interview. Review and help students revise their introductory paragraph and interview questions.

Mentor Task: The mentor will look at professional websites and search other sources to identify professionals who might be willing to answer student interview questions developed during Portfolio 4. Students may request contacts with specific individuals but do not have access to e-mail at school so mentors are asked to assist them to make the contacts for interviews.

Mentors task: E-mail or call and ask at least three professional contacts if they are willing to help a student by answering e-mail interview questions, then let them know to expect the questions.

Please assist the teacher and student by e-mailing the student's questions to the professionals and by posting the answers for their students on the ITP website. Professional organizations are good resources to secure contact with these individuals who are interested in education and in helping young people.

If you don't hear back from a professional, please follow up with the individuals contacted to determine whether or not he/she will be able to answer the student's questions in a timely manner.

Student Task: The student will work with the mentor to develop a short introductory paragraph and questions for the e-mail interviews. The introductory paragraph should be a note explaining their career interest and purpose of their research. They will respond appropriately and immediately with a thank you note (Step 6 of the process) when interview responses are recieved.

After interview questions have been developed with their mentors, students may mark this step complete and proceed to step 5, where a thorough discussion of the research to be conducted on colleges and the response process for interviews appears.

The third portfolio entry will be a short note written to a professional person explaining your career interest and the purpose of your research and containing a typed list of ten questions for an e-mail interview that have been generated and revised through student/mentor communication.

After submitting the interview questions, the student will compose a written entry to reflect on what he or she hopes/expects to learn from the interview experience prior to receiving responses from interview subjects.


Possible Sample Questions –
How did you become interested in your field?
What education did you need to join this profession?
What kinds of grades would you say I need in high school/college to enter this field?
What classes/internships/jobs would help me prepare for a career in this field?
Why and how did you choose the university/college you attended and do you think it helped prepare you for your profession?
What university/college you believe has the best educational program for my area of interest?
What other jobs have you held in the past?
Where do you currently work?
What kinds of tasks do you do on a typical day at work?
Knowing what you now know, if you could pick any other field to work in, what would it be?
Do you consider your work to be fun? Challenging?
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
What advice would you give to someone interested in doing the job that you currently do?

After questions are submitted, the student will have to wait for responses. This sometimes takes several weeks. During this time, the student will work on college research as outlined in Portfolio 5.

Students will correspond with mentors during the time they are waiting for interview responses and working on their college research and will seek mentor opinions about good programs in their field of interest.

After interview questions have been developed with their mentors and students have written a note to the professionals they wish to contact AND written a reflective paragraph about what they hope to learn during the interview process, students may mark this step complete and proceed to step 5, where a thorough discussion of the research to be conducted on colleges and the response process for interviews appears.



Step: 4
04/13/2009
04/17/2009
Portfolio 4: Conducting College Research and Analyzing Professional Interviews

Mentor Task: During Step 3, the mentor contacted professional individuals via phone or e-mail asking them to answer student interview questions and submitted the questions to those individuals via e-mail. During step 5, the mentor will hopefully receive the student's interview questions via e-mail. When answers are received from the professionals, mentors will post the interview responses to students through the telementor site.

Mentor Task: While waiting for interviews to be returned, the mentor will work with the student to help them explore college/university websites and learn information about the admissions requirements, degree/program offerings, cost, and other important topics as outlined in the student task section. Mentors should challenge students be sure that their chosen schools offer their major field of interest and challenge students to thoroughly research their chosen universities.

Mentor Task: As interviews are received and students summarize and respond with a thank you note, mentors will help proofread and make suggestions for improvement on student thank you notes. After they are refined, mentors will forward student thank you notes to each professional. In addition, they will proofread and collaborate with students as they evaluate information received during interviews and will provide feedback to students as they summarize interview responses. This process carries over into Portfolio 6.

Student Task for College Research while waiting for interviews: The students will use the Internet to research at least three universities/colleges of interest that have highly respected programs in their chosen career field. At least one university must be in Louisiana.

They will use keywords that the mentor recommends to locate other universities/colleges that offer programs in their field of interest and read about several before selecting three universities to research in-depth. Students will compile the information into a written entry and submit it to the mentor for evaluation and feedback.

Written entries should be organized by university and will include the following information: The college/university name and website, the location of the college/university, distance from home, cost of attendance including tuition, required fees, cost of room and board (housing and food), admissions requirements including required ACT/SAT scores and grade point average, admission application deadlines for the current year, scholarship application deadlines for current year, specific reasons why each college/university was chosen, and other important information. The teacher will supply spreadsheet-type graphic organizers for students to record information or students may create their own. Students will correspond with mentors throughout the time they are doing their college research and will seek mentor opinions about good programs in their field of interest.

Note: Students should always search degree offerings at each college/university to ensure that the major fields of study they are interested in are offered at their schools of choice! (Sometimes students set their sites on a school because it is considered to be the "in school" but don't check out whether that school has their field of interest in its curriculum! If can be very disappointing for a student to apply to a school and count on going a certain place, only to discover later that the school does not offer the particular major that they really are interested in pursuing! )

Student Task for Analyzing Professional Interviews: As soon as each interview is received, students will read and analyze information provided by the professionals. They will record information about each professional and summarize/write a portfolio entry detailing information from each professional interview. In addition to including the information provided by the professionals, students will include any new insights they learned about their career of interest. Students will upload their summary for mentor approval AND will immediately write a thank you note as outlined in Portfolio 6. The mentor will make suggestions for improvement and forward the student’s finalized thank you not to each professional who responds as soon as possible.



Student Task: Students will work on college research as outlined below while waiting for interviews.

The students will use the Internet to research at least three universities/colleges of interest that have highly respected programs in their chosen career field. At least one university must be in Louisiana.

Students will communicate with their mentor and ask their advice about university programs and will discuss their findings and collaborate with mentor for deeper research throughout this step.

Students will use keywords/college websites/ and other information that the mentor suggests to locate other universities/colleges that offer programs in their field of interest and read about several before selecting three universities to research in-depth.

Students will compile the information into a written entry and submit it to the mentor for evaluation and feedback.

BEFORE a student selects a particular university as one of their three to research, students and mentors should search university degree offerings to be certain that their degree program of interest is offered at that particular school.

Written entries should be organized by university and will include the following information:
The college/university name and website
The location of the college/university
Distance from home
Cost of attendance including tuition, required fees, cost of room and board (housing and food)
Admissions requirements including required ACT/SAT scores and grade point average, or combination of the two Admission application deadlines for the current year, Scholarship application deadlines for current year Specific reasons why each college/university was chosen Any other important information

The teacher will supply spreadsheet-type graphic organizers for students to record information or students may create their own. Students will correspond with mentors throughout the time they are doing their college research and will seek mentor opinions about good programs in their field of interest.

Note: Students should always search degree offerings at each college/university to ensure that the major fields of study they are interested in are offered at their schools of choice! (Sometimes students set their sites on a school because it is considered to be the "in school" but don't check out whether that school has their field of interest in its curriculum! If can be very disappointing for a student to apply to a school and count on going a certain place, only to discover later that the school does not offer the particular major that they really are interested in pursuing.)

Student Task for Analyzing Professional Interviews: As soon as each interview is received, students will read and analyze information provided by the professionals. They will record information about each professional and summarize/write a portfolio entry detailing information from each professional interview. In addition to including the information provided by the professionals, students will include any new insights they learned about their career of interest. Students will upload their summary for mentor approval AND will immediately write a thank you note as outlined in Portfolio 6. The mentor will make suggestions for improvement and forward the student’s finalized thank you not to each professional who responds as soon as possible.
Step: 5
04/20/2009
04/24/2009
Preparing Letter of Thanks:

Mentor Task: After each interview has been received, mentors should guide students through the summary process. Then, mentors should let students know how to properly address their thank you notes to the professionals.(Dr., Captain, Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc). At no time should e-mail contacts be exchanged between student and professionals. Mentors may decide for their student whether they want them to mail or e-mail their thank you notes to the professionals. If e-mail thank you notes are preferred, the mentors should forward the thank you note to the individual. If a hand-written thank you by mail is preferred, the mentor should obtain the mailing address of the professional and the teacher will help ensure that the thank you note is properly addressed and mailed from the school.

Student task: The student will create a letter of thanks specifically tailored for each of their interview subjects. Each of the professionals who were contacted for interviews about the area of interest should receive a personalized letter of thanks. The information in the letter should refer to the student's skill and interest as evidenced by the interview. The individuals' contact information will be a part of the action plan and letters of reference will be maintained in the student's portfolio.
The fifth portfolio entry

The student will create a letter of thanks specifically tailored for each of the professionals who answered their questions.

Thank you letters may not be generic "thank you for helping me..." types of letters. Remember that these professionals have taken valuable time to write to you and share their advice with you, so you should take the time to thoughtfully write a response.

Each personalized letter of thanks should include references to specific pieces of information contained in the interview response that helped students or attracted their particular attention.

Here are just a few possible examples of how to work specific pieces of valuable information from the interview back into your thank you note to show the professionals that you both READ carefully and TRULY do appreciate their help!

Thank you for sharing the information about...with me.

I thought it was particularly interesting when you said....

Your advice about ....will be of help in the future because...

I appreciated when you mentioned ....because...

I didn't know that ...

Your emphasis on ...was very interesting to me because...

Students will send a draft of each thank you note to their mentor for feedback. They will make suggested corrections and upload the note for final approval from the mentor.

After thank you note has been approved, student will print a copy of their letter of thanks for their portfolio.

Each student and his/her mentor will decide whether to e-mail or to "snail mail" their thank you notes to the professionals who answered their interview questions. Mentors will provide mailing addresses for students if they want their students to mail the letters from school. Students who are to mail their letters will print, address an envelope, and mail their letters from school.

Students will type a list of names of each professional who was contacted and the date thank you notes were sent. Students will turn this information into teacher by a specified deadline.


Step: 6
04/27/2009
05/01/2009
Creating a Personal Mission Statement and a Plan of Action

From all the information that has been gathered, the student will create a Plan of Action. The plan will outline in detail the steps that are needed for the student to be successful in his/her area of interest. It will include courses to take, jobs to have, contacts to make and any other information that the mentor and student decide is important for the particular area.

Since it often takes several weeks for students to get interview responses back from professionals, students may jump ahead to this portfolio task and begin working on it with their mentors while they wait for interviews to be returned. It is helpful to students if mentors can share examples of mission statements and give suggestions for creating their plan of action while they are waiting for interviews to be returned to keep collaboration going and encourage them as they wait for their interview responses. As soon as interview responses are returned, students should promptly respond with a thank you note and summary reflecting on the professional interview response. Mentors can give valuable insight into how to respond and what they think is the most important advice contained in the interview and should correspond with the student about various aspects of the interview response and challenge students to really consider the information and not just read and forget it!


Student Task: The student will create a plan of action through correspondence with their mentor and reflection on personal goals.

The sixth portfolio entry will consist of two parts, the plan of action and personal mission statement.

Student Task: Students will create a Personal Mission Statement and a Plan of Action and using the following guidelines. They will consult with their teacher and mentor while developing their Mission Statement and Plan of Action.

The student MAY choose to develop a Personal Mission Statement by using Stephen Covey’s Mission Statement Development site at: http://www.franklincovey.com/fc/library_and_resources/mission_statement_builder

Students do not have to use the Covey site and may choose instead to write their own mission statement. The mission statement should express their values, goals, and what they perceive as their life mission. Students will proofread their statement and upload it for mentor approval.


Creating an updated Plan of Action

From all the information that has been gathered, the student will create a Plan of Action. The plan will outline in detail the steps that are needed for the student to be successful in his/her area of interest. It will include the name of their area of interest, courses to take, jobs to have, contacts to make and any other information that the mentor and student decide is important for the particular area. They will send this entry to their mentor for feedback.

Plan of Action Template (can and should be modified to meet individual student needs/actions/intent):

My primary area of interest is the field of__________________. I plan to read ___________ to continue learning as much about my interest as possible and to develop positive habits. I plan on volunteering at ________ to learn more about my area of interest during the next _____________months/years.

My current career goal is to (study, earn a degree in, become…) ___________. In order to reach this goal, I plan to apply to and attend_______________ university/college (you may list alternate universities too) and major in _________________. I will contact the _____________at my university of interest to request information and prepare for college entrance and success.

The high school and/or college courses (primary curriculum areas) I am currently enrolled in that are most directly related to my interests include ___________________. In order to prepare for a successful start to my postsecondary education, this semester, I am currently addressing the following three educational, social, and/or personal goals (list three areas)___________________ ___________________ and __________________to try to improve my chances of future success.

To meet my goal, I plan to develop a better understanding of the following area(s) of college life ____________, _______________, ______________during the next month. In addition, I plan to ______________during the next two months to learn more about ____________. During my first year of college, I plan to ________. During the second year of college, I anticipate _______________. My third year of college, I will be ________________. My fourth year of college will be spent_____________________.

Five years from now I plan to_____________________. I hope to live___________________ After that, I will go____________________ and do________________and be__________________. I anticipate success in my future college and career because I have prepared ___________________. I believe I can and will meet my goals because I am determined to _______________.

The student will upload the plan of action to the mentor for approval and input. After interaction with mentor, student will print their plan of action and personal mission statement and put it in their portfolio
Step: 7
04/27/2009
05/01/2009
Sharing the Plan

Mentor will encourage student as they prepare and present their project to an appropriate audience. They will discuss oral presentation skills and give advice and professional tips to help students present their work in an orderly, professional manner.

Student Task: Student will share their final project product plan with an appropriate audience.



Students will present their work to an appropriate audience.

Students should dress appropriately and ensure that all materials are prepared.

Student will write thank you letter to mentor detailing specific areas that have been especially beneficial during the project.