What Are My Interests?
Career Counseling Classroom Guidance Unit
Group Level: High School (11th-12th grade)
Number of Lessons Planned: 2
Number of Members: 15-30
Length of each Guidance Lesson: 30 minutes
Location of Each Session: In the Classroom
- To help students gain more awareness about career interests & resources
- To provide students with information regarding different career pathways
- To provide insight into what type of post-secondary options students have available to them.
- To help students align their interests with particular fields of study/occupations.
ASCA National Standards for Students: Career
Standard A: Students will acquire the skills to investigate the world of work in relation to
knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions.
C:A1- Develop Career Awareness
C:A1.1- Develop skills to locate, evaluate and interpret career information
C:A1.3- Develop an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests and motivations
C:A1.5- Learn to make decisions
C:A1.6- Learn how to set goals
C:A1.7- Understand the importance of planning
C:A1.8- Pursue and develop competency in areas of interest
C:A1.9- Develop hobbies and vocational interests
C:A2- Develop Employment Readiness
C:A2.3- Demonstrate knowledge about the changing workplace
Standard B: Students will employ strategies to achieve future career goals with success and
C:B1- Acquire Career Information
C:B1.1- Apply decision-making skills to career planning, course selection and career transition
C:B1.2- Identify personal skills, interests and abilities and relate them to current career choice
C:B1.3- Demonstrate knowledge of the career-planning process
C:B1.5- Use research and information resources to obtain career information
C:B1.6- Learn to use the Internet to access career-planning information
C:B1.8- Understand how changing economic and societal needs influence employment trends
and future training
C:B2- Identify Career Goals
C:B2.1- Demonstrate awareness of the education and training needed to achieve career goals
C:B2.4- Select course work that is related to career interests
Standard C: Students will understand the relationship between personal qualities, education,
training and the world of work.
C:C1- Acquire Knowledge to Achieve Career Goals
C:C1.1- Understand the relationship between educational achievement and career success
C:C1.3- Identify personal preferences and interests influencing career choice and success
C:C1.4- Understand that the changing workplace requires lifelong learning and acquiring new
C:C2.1- Demonstrate how interests, abilities and achievement relate to
achieving personal, social, educational and career goals
ASCA School Counselor Competencies
II-B: Abilities and Skills
II-B-3. Uses student standards, such as ASCA Student Competencies, and district or state
standards, to drive the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program
II-B-3a. Crosswalks the ASCA Student Competencies with other appropriate standards
II-B-4a. Practices ethical principles of the school counseling profession in accordance with the
ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors
IV-B: Abilities and Skills
IV-B.6. Designs and implements action plans aligning with school and school counseling
IV-B.6b. Identifies ASCA domains, standards, and competencies being addressed by the plan
IV-B.6c. Determines the intended impact on academics and behavior
IV-B.6d. Identifies appropriate activities to accomplish objectives
IV-B.6e. Identifies appropriate resources needed
IV-B.6f. Identifies data-collection strategies to gather process, perception and results data
Georgia Performance Standards
Strand B: Educational and Occupational Exploration
Topic 4: Understanding the relationship between educational achievement and career planning
- Standard: -Demonstrate how to apply academic and vocational skills to personal interests.
-Describe the relationship of academic and vocational skills to personal interests. -Describe
how skills developed in academic and vocational programs relate to career goals.
Topic 6: Skills to locate, evaluate, and interpret career information
- Standard: Describe the educational requirements of various occupations. -Demonstrate
use of a range of resources.
Strand C: Career Planning
Topic 9: Skills to make decisions
- Standard: -Demonstrate responsibility for making tentative educational and occupational
choices. -Describe personal strengths and weaknesses in relationship to postsecondary
education/training requirements. -Identify appropriate choices during high school that will
lead to marketable skills for entry-level employment or advanced training.
Topic 12: Skills in career planning
- Standard: -Demonstrate knowledge of postsecondary vocational and academic programs.
-Describe school and community resources to explore educational and occupational
-Develop an individual career plan, updating information from earlier plans, and including
tentative decisions to be implemented after high school.
Lesson #1: What are My Options?
- Students will brainstorm and consider what their options are post-high school
- Students will be taught about the 7 steps to decision making and will learn to apply it
to their lives
- “7 Steps to Decision-Making” handout
1. First things, first—I’m an upperclassman in high school now and don’t know what I want to
do after high school… what are my options? Many students ask this question as they start to
determine what life after high school looks like for them, so it is important to help students
brainstorm what their options are after high school. This is a good time to have an honest
discussion with students about graduation requirements, college requirements, etc. Let students
ask any questions that are on-topic regarding requirements for graduation, testing, careers,
2. Okay, I know my options… now what?? Students will be broken up into groups of 4-5 and will
be given a handout entitled “7 Steps to Decision-Making.” After a brief overview of how the
decision-making process works, groups will be assigned a post-high school option (enter the
workforce, join the military, attend a 4-year college, attend a 2-year college, attend vocational
training, etc.). Using the choice they are given, students will go through the decision-making
model step-by-step and will be asked to think about and write down what they would need to
take into consideration for each step. Through this exercise, students will be asked to honestly
consider what each decision will require and what some of the drawbacks may be. Students will
briefly present some of their discussions to their classmates.
* Include “The Riley Guide” to career growth and average income.
3. Ask students to hold on to the “7 Steps to Decision-Making” handout because it will be used
again in the following guidance lesson.
Lesson #2: Interest Assessment
- Students will learn about skills assessments and inventories
- Students will gain a better understanding of their interests and skills
- Students will learn about O*Net and will be given a tutorial of the website
- Worksheet #1: Interests Assessment, Worksheet #2: Skills and Abilities Assessment,
“Assessing Your Interests” handout (ASCA Scene, posted by Carly Dennis, “The
Career Key Map of Holland RIASEC Types/Work Groups” handout (ASCA Scene,
posted by Juliet Jones)
1. Students will complete Worksheet #1: Interests Assessment in order to gain a better
understanding of what types of careers might suit them best. Facilitator will walk around the
room to ensure that students understand the directions and complete the task.
(Interests Assessment, Pg. 9 @ http://breitlinks.com/careers/career_pdfs/Assessment_07.pdf)
2. Students will again be given a handout that outlines the “7 Steps to Decision-Making.” After
a brief overview of how it works, the facilitator will break students into groups based on the
student’s dominant interest on worksheet #1—people, data, things, or ideas. Students will use
their dominant interest to apply the “7 steps to decision-making” to a career-related decision in
order to understand how the decision-making process works with career decisions.
*Include resources for students with disabilities in powerpoint
3. While still in the same groups, students will brainstorm what type of jobs might fall in their
group’s category. Give students “Worksheet #2: Skills and Abilities Assessment.”
(Skills and Abilities Assessment, Pg. 10 @
4. Students will return to their seats and will be given the “Assessing Your Interests” handout.
To introduce this activity, the facilitator will give the students a brief overview of John Holland
and the Holland code. Students will be given ample time to complete the worksheet. Facilitator
will give out “The Career Key Map of Holland RIASEC Types/Work Groups” handout and will
use the classroom computer to show students how to take their results and use O*Net
(http://www.onetonline.org/find/career) to gain more information about potential career interests.
The facilitator will ask a few students to volunteer the results from their interests inventory in
order to tailor the information to the students.
** If time and space allows, this step could be a lesson in itself. For this lesson, students
could meet with the facilitator in a computer lab and each student could gain hand-on
time using O*Net.
5. If time allows, students will be asked to consider the similarities and differences between the
2 inventories that they took. Ask the students if their results were pretty similar or differed quite
a bit, what they learned about themselves, what they thought was off, etc.
Evaluation of Career Guidance Unit
Please answer the following questions by circling the appropriate number. 1 is not true at all, 2 is
sometimes true, 3 is not sure/I don’t know, 4 is true, and 5 is very true.
1. I found this guidance unit to be informative. 1 2 3 4 5
2. I would recommend this guidance unit to other students. 1 2 3 4 5
3. What I liked most about this guidance unit was:
5. What I liked least about this guidance unit was:
6. To improve this guidance unit I would suggest:
7. Additional Comments:
Your Name (optional)________________________