In according to Mei et al.'s, (2008) article, a school counselor's role is to identify the resources and assets of a student in order to help them overcome barriers that stop them from pursuing their desired careers. This can be done through analysis of students' individual perceptions of what represents barriers or resources for them (Mei et al., 293).
An example is some students are less confident or not motivated to pursue any type of postsecondary option. According to Mei et al, the school counselors need to help these students discover what factors make it difficult for them to have confidence in this area. Do they have lack of role models? Is it financial limitations or parental opposition? Is it due to misconception about careers and job opportunities (Mei et al., 293)?
According to Mei et al.'s (2008) article, once school counselors identify these barriers, the next step is to help students find their personal assets, family resources, and any supportive factors from their school, church, or community that can help them defeat the barriers they perceive (293).
Intervention strategies should be implemented at various levels. At the school-wide level, a school counseling program with a career development component that aligns with the career national standards should be implemented. A career fair is an example that allows students to meet professionals in a variety of work fields. A career fair increases students' awareness and basic understanding of a variety of occupations (293).
Mei et al. (2008) also stated field practice projects for students are another intervention school counselors can set up. Students will learn specific aspects of a particular occupation. School counselors can also work with community agencies to identify resources that may help with speakers or serve as field-trip sites. These activities provide learning experiences for students to better understand their career related set of interests and skills (285). At the classroom level, collaborating with teachers in designing a curriculum will help students apply subject content area to career options. School counselors can help teachers create class projects that require students to research a selected occupation and apply the course content to that particular occupation. School counselors also can develop activities geared toward understanding oneself in relation to work. These activities can include discussion of students' interests, abilities, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations. Students can become engaged in experiential activities so they can identify their current interests and self-efficacy in a variety of occupations (Mei et al, 285).
The article, The Use of Genograms in Career Counseling with Elementary, Middle, and High School Students by Donna M. Gibson (2005), wrote about how ASCA, 2003 discussed using the career genogram with students in grade 9 through 12 identifies how personal preferences and interests influence career choices and success; applying the decisions-making process to real life situations; developing an educational plan to support career goals; and using time management skills to balance school, work, and leisure activities. The main purpose of using the career genogram is to examine the themes or patterns of specific motivational factors within the family for making decisions about career and education. It leads students to examine if these themes are influencing their current decisions about career and education decisions and if these decisions are appropriate for them. The career genogram is flexible and an appropriate tool that allows integration into regular curricula. This process encourages the school counselor and high school teachers to collaborate on curricular competencies in both the comprehensive developmental guidance program and specific subject area. Using career genograms promotes communication and education between children and families. It allows opportunities for children to learn how to self-assess and examine family career themes that affect career decision making. Genograms with sufficient time will help school counselors incorporate a flexible and inexpensive technique.
The findings that Mei, Wei, and Newmeyer (2008) have studied, illustrated the importance of learning experiences, self-efficacy, interests, and outcome expectations in high school students' career development processes. The interrelationship of these factors is active; therefore, successful intervention needs to consider the complexity of the interrelationships among these factors and incorporate a variety of interventions at multi-systematic levels. School counselors could be instrumental in developing and implementing a comprehensive career development program that helps students develop self-efficacy in their desired careers through practical learning activities (287).
There are several implications for school counselors in designing and developing career development programs. When developing career intervention plans, the major implication is to consider individual variants such as gender, self-efficacy, interests, and outcome expectations, and contextual factors such as socioeconomic background. The two critical factors influencing high school students' career development is learning experiences and self-efficacy. Career development programs should provide meaningful learning experiences that will facilitate the development of self-efficacy in students' aspired careers. Community members also should be partnered up with school counselors to identify resources that would help students improve their career self-efficacy and career related skills. Parents should also be incorporated into interventions plans as well (Mei et al., 287).
In the article from Hawaii Reporter, "James Campbell High School Sabers Brimming with Achievement Locally and Nationally, June 28, 2010 stated counselors from James Campbell High (JCHS), Eleyne Fia (2007-2008) and Rick Yamashiro (2008-2009) were both named the "State of Hawaii Counselor of the Year". JCHS has shared the effort behind its success in changing the school culture at national conferences such as AVID and the National Association of College Admissions. AVID is a program that JCHS uses to help promote career development. AVID's mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.
"What does this have to do with what I'm gonna need in the real world?" are students' comments about their required courses in high school. Career development is needed by all students! Hitchner and Hitchner cited an article from Education Week's "Learning to Earn" series entitled "Bridging the Gap," (January 26, 1994), addresses the "relevancy" issue and emphasis on various approaches that educators and employers are now utilizing to help students make a successful transition from school to workplace: apprenticeships, tech-prep programs, career academies, cooperative education, etc. With one on one or group career counseling, school counselors can make an impact on students' lifelong development (Hitchner, A; Hitchner, K; 353, ).