Project: Spring 2013 Career Exploration - Airline High

Step Description Expected Student Results
1 Starting the Discussion/Mission and Values Statement
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 an interest in 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.
The student will 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.

1. Complete and examine results of Pathway Builder Interest Inventory
2. Complete Portfolio Sections:
• Personal Information
• Career objective

2 Career Research

Mentor Task: The mentor will send 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 feedback.
1. Examine Career Central, Explore Career Clusters

The second portfolio entry will be a research report detailing information about the student's chosen career cluster, written after individual research and online interaction between student and mentor.

The research report must include the following:

Background:
Name/definition of the career cluster
Background/evolution/history of interest in career cluster
Why does this career interest you right now?

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?

Conclusion:
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.

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.
3 Researching Businesses and Pathways
Mentor Tasks: The mentor will help the student identify three top employers and/or professional organizations in the student’s career area of interest.

The mentor will suggest specific companies or professional organization websites for student to explore and ask students questions that will help them as they learn more about post-secondary education and employment opportunities in their area of career interest.

The mentor will search professional organizations and contact individuals (Human Resource professionals or individuals working in their student’s field of interest) that they feel might be good candidates to answer their student’s interview questions. Questions will be written by students and e-mailed to professionals by the mentor over the upcoming weeks and this will enable the mentor to be prepared to assist the student with Steps 4 and 5.

Student Tasks: The student will identify two successful people working in their area of interest and research information about their accomplishments. Students will analyze information and form an opinion about what makes them considered top professionals in the field. They will share the names and information about these individuals with their mentor. The student will also identify three professional organizations in their field of interest and conduct research to identify benefits provided by the organization to its members.
1. Examine Areas of Concentration,
(including Bossier Parish options)


The third portfolio entry will be a typed record of student research into businesses and organizations.

The student will identify people working in their area of interest and research information about their accomplishments. Students will analyze information and form an opinion about what makes people successful in the field. They will share the names and information about these individuals and companies with their mentor. The student will also identify three professional organizations in their field of interest and conduct research to identify benefits provided by the organization to its members.


The student will research and identify individuals successfully working in the career field the student is researching. They will write a paragraph about the accomplishments of each individual, specifically describing what accomplishments make those individuals successful in their fields. They will also collect contact information for the individuals if it is available.

The student will also research and identify at three professional organizations and compose a paragraph about each one. They will list benefits of membership in each of the organizations, record membership fees, identify journals (professional publications), discover important activities of the professional organization, and reasons that joining the professional organizations is helpful to professionals.

Student will submit research to mentor for feedback.
4 Information Seeking Strategies – Developing and submitting interview questions to Community Connections

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. Stress to the student the importance of correct grammar and punctuation in an interview. Review and help students revise interview questions. Contact professionals for e-mail interviews and post the information to the ITP website once it is received.

Assist student by identifying and contacting l individuals currently working in their field of interest. Locate e-mail addresses for contacts and send student questions to the interview subjects once they are completed.

It is very important that mentors help students by developing a list of potential contacts for professionals working in the student's field of interest and that the mentors make contact via e-mail with professionals. If this is done early in the project, the contacts will be ready when students reach this step.

Mentors should e-mail/call and ask the HR professionals and community contacts if they are willing to help a student by answering e-mail interview questions, then let them know to expect the questions. Mentors will assist the teacher and student by e-mailing the student's questions to the professionals posting the answers for their students on the ITP website. Human Resource professionals or members of professional organizations are good resources to secure contact with these individuals who are interested in education and in helping young people.

After mentor has secured agreement from contacts that they will answer student questions, they should let students know how to properly address their notes while working on Portfolio 4 (ie-Mr., Mrs., or Ms Smith). At no time will student and community contacts exchange email.

Student Task: The student will work with the mentor to develop questions for the e-mail interviews. They will also write a note explaining their career interest and purpose of their research. They will respond appropriately when they receive interview responses.

1. Explore Career Clusters and Fields covered in sessions
2. Complete Portfolio Section:
• Cover Letter


The fourth portfolio entry will be a cover letter written to a professional person explaining your career interest and the purpose of your research and containing a typed list of ten questions for a phone or e-mail interview. The questions are 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 (Teachers will note that not all are appropriate for each interview subject) –
Where do you currently work?
What kinds of tasks do you do on a typical day at work?
How did you become interested in your field?
What education did you need to join this field?
If you were my age and wanting to enter this field today, what resources available today would you use to make that transition more successful?
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 post-secondary school or university/college you attended, and do you think it helped prepare you for your profession?
What educational institutions have positive reputations for preparing people to do your work?
What other jobs have you held in the past and how have those experiences contributed to your success in your current field?

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?
5 Conducting and Analyzing Interviews

Mentor Task: The mentor will send and receive the student's interview questions to three professionals working in the career field of student interest. When answers are received from the professionals, mentors will forward the messages to students through the telementor site.

Student Task: Students will read and analyze information provided by the professionals. They will record contact information for each professional and write a portfolio entry detailing information from each interview. In addition to including the information provided by the respondents, students will include any new insights they learned about their career of interest.

Complete Portfolio Section:
• References


The fifth portfolio entry will be a typed paragraph including the names of three professionals working in the student's field of interest and their fields, company names, and job description.

Students will read and analyze information gathered during their interviews and will write a portfolio entry detailing information from each interview. In addition to including the information provided by the participants, students will include any new insights they learned about their career of interest.

The student will reflect on the interviews and the process by recording his/her thoughts about the success of the interview and any new insights about the career interest.

Student will upload this page for the mentor to review.
All messages between student and mentor in this step should be included with the entry.
6 Preparing Letter of Thanks

The student will create a letter of thanks specifically tailored for each of their interview subjects. Each of the people and organizations 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. In the portfolio, students will maintain interview respondent’s contact information and letters of reference as a part of the action plan.
1. Complete Portfolio Section:
• References
• Thank you letter


The sixth portfolio entry

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

Thank you letters may not be generic "thank you for helping me..." types of letters. Remember that these people have taken valuable time to write to you and share their advice with you, so you should take the time to write a thoughtful 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 respondents 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 people 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 person who was contacted and the date thank you notes were sent. Students will turn this information into teacher by a specified deadline.

7 Updating the Personal Mission Statement and Drafting 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


Student Task: The student will create a plan of action through correspondence with their mentor and reflection on personal goals.
The seventh portfolio entry will consist of two parts, the plan of action and personal mission statement.

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

The student MAY choose to recreate 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_______________ college, technical college, or other source of post-secondary education. I will contact the _____________at my workplace or school of interest to request information. I will discuss with ________________________ whether or not dual enrollment in the technical school or community college is appropriate for me.

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 life after high school ____________, _______________, ______________during the next month. In addition, I plan to ______________during the next two months to learn more about ____________. During my first year of life after high school, I plan to ________. During the second year of life after high school, I anticipate _______________. My third year of life after high school, I will be ________________. My fourth year of life after high school will be spent_____________________.

Five years from now I plan to_____________________. I hope to live___________________ After that, I will go to ____________________ and do________________ and be__________________. I anticipate success in my future education and career because I have ___________________. 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
8 Preparing to Share the Action Plan

Mentor will share with student suggestions on ways to share their project with an appropriate audience.

Student Task: Student will develop tools to help share their final project product plan with mentors online and will finalize and print their portfolio for others to view. They will prepare to present the information gathered during this project to an appropriate audience.

Student Task: Student will prepare PowerPoint template-generated poster (using guidelines provided by their teacher) including information gathered during this project and will prepare to share the presentation with an appropriate audience.

Teacher will assist students by enlarging/printing project posters on computer generated template.

Students will present their posters as a visual aid along with their project portfolios when they present their work to an appropriate audience. Action
1. Complete draft 5 year plan

Students will prepare materials to share their work with an appropriate audience.

Students will create a project poster using a computer generated template provided by teacher.


Students will give a presentation to share their project with an appropriate audience.

The poster will include the following major sections of the project relating to their chosen career that was gathered during the mentor/student research through this program.

Presentation must include:

Student's name, student's school, mentor's name and mentor's company, name of career researched.

Names of companies or individuals in field that student researched

Names, graphic symbols, and information about each company or organization researched

Summary/Results of interviews with at least three Community Connections, including representatives of employers as well as representatives of post-secondary education institutions
Interview Subject #1 Name, job description, and top advice (from Portfolio 6)
Interview Subject #2 Name, job description, and top advice
Interview Subject #3 Name, job description, and top advice

Personal Mission Statement

Personal Action Plan

Closing Statement about short and long-term educational and career goals and comments about what student learned from this project.

Student will present project to an appropriate audience and discuss career goals, information learned through the research, and share his/her mission statement and action plan with audience.

We will print entire portfolio and bind it for presentation and future reference. Students will turn portfolio in for teacher evaluation and grading at the end of their presentation.


Student will write thank you letter to mentor detailing specific areas that have been especially beneficial during the project.
9 Sharing the Action 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.
Revise Plan to Share with Community Connection
Complete Plan and Share with Community Connection


1. Revise 5 Year Plan
2. Complete Portfolio Sections:
References, Additional Info, Resume


Students will present their work to Bossier Parish Community College Workforce Development staff, Bossier Chamber of Commerce staff, Bossier Parish Schools staff, and a community connection. Community connection should be one of the interview contacts or another stakeholder the student has communicated with during the course of the project.
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.