CIS 360 Curriculum

Curriculum is designed around CIS 360 Career Plan and integrates a variety of activities that cater to different learning styles and interests. These range from individual research projects, presentations, group discussions, and role-play scenarios. Curriculum includes variations to make lessons flexible and customizable for each classroom. While Career Plan can be used independently, the curriculum adds additional depth for students to engage with their career readiness and future planning in a classroom setting.

Curriculum Lessons
 CCI Quick Pic
High School
Junior (Middle School)

Complete the CCI Quick Pic, explore clusters that match interests, and learn which classmates share interests.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Career Cluster Inventory
High SchoolComplete Career Cluster Inventory and make a plan to explore the careers and clusters that match interests.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Entrepreneurial AssessmentHigh SchoolConsider the characteristics and temperament required for self-employment with the Entrepreneurial Assessment.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Informational Interview
High SchoolConduct an informational interview to further explore a career of interest using the Informational Interview Career Plan Activity. Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Interest ProfilerHigh SchoolExplore career matches through Interest Profiler and learn which programs of study may be a fit for career goals.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Interest Profiler MiniJunior (Middle School)Explore careers that match interest areas with Interest Profiler Mini.
Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
 Learning Styles Survey
High School
Junior (Middle School)
Use Learning Style Survey to explore primary learning style, study tips, and note-taking strategies.
Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide 
Make a Resume
High School
Junior (Middle School)
Learn about resumes and create one with Resume Builder.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
My Experiential Learning PlansHigh School
Junior (Middle School)
Reflect on experiential learning activities, explore their role in career discovery, and consider strategies to gain experience using the My Experiential Learning Plans Career Plan Activity.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Occupation SortHigh SchoolUse Occupation Sort to consider the factors of different careers and complete a career research project.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Reality Check
High School
Junior (Middle School)
Complete Reality Check calculator to learn how much money is needed for a desired lifestyle and which careers align.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Work Importance Locator
High SchoolIdentify top work values with Work Importance Locator and find careers that typically align with these values.
Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
 Workplace Employability Skills
High School
Junior (Middle School)
Explore skills with Workplace Employability Skills and brainstorm where other skills can be developed for future employment.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
 Workplace Employability Skills Role Play
High School
Junior (Middle School)
Identify top skills using Workplace Employability Skills, consider how to develop new skills, and participate in a soft skills role play.Lesson, Presentation, Scoring Guide
Career Plan Framework

Our career development framework defines three steps that recur at various developmental stages throughout secondary education: Who am I? Where am I going? How do I get there? These steps can be found in Career Plan as well as our curriculum. A focus on self-awareness, exploration, analysis, goal-setting, and actionable planning is embedded in each step. 

Activities are developmentally arranged within each Career Plan to progress through all three steps. Teachers can use the steps independently or in combination to meet overall class objectives. To review Career Plan Activities and customize your own Career Plan, visit Admin Tools.

Who am I?
Where am I going?
How do I get there?
Who am I?

Students use formal and informal methods to promote understanding of self, respect for others, and the sharing of self-discoveries. Lessons provide ways to link self-knowledge with career exploration.

Career Plan Activities

High School
Junior (Middle School)
Career Cluster Inventory & Reflection
Career Cluster Inventory Quick Pic & Reflections
 Entrepreneurial Assessment & Reflection
Important Life Events
 Interest Profiler & Reflection
 Interest Profiler Mini & Reflections
 Learning Styles Survey & Reflection
 Learning Styles Survey & Reflections
 Looking Inward
 My Accomplishments
 My Resume Information
My Resume Information
Occupation Sort & Reflection
Qualities for Success
 Reality Check & Reflection
Reality Check & Reflections
 Work Importance Locator & Reflection
Should I Join?
 Workplace Employability Skills & Reflection
 This I Like to Do
Thinking About Myself
Where am I going?

Students engage with meaningful career and education research. Lessons connect students to content inside and outside of CIS 360. Students learn how to prioritize and weigh both education and career options. Content focuses on useful decision-making skills as building blocks to help make life and career decisions in the future.

Career Plan Activities

High School
Junior (Middle School)
 Career Cluster Project
 Career Project
  Experiential Learning Plans
 Compare Careers
 How Do I Make Decisions?
 Compare Schools
  Job Shadow Guide 
 Education Research
  Jr. Careers
Explore Programs of Study
 Learn a New Skill
 Informational Interview Guide
  Make a Change 
 Job Shadow Guide
 Personal Goals  
 Military FAQs
  Academic Goals 
 Military Careers
 What are Working Conditions?
Programs of Study  What Rewards Do I Want from Work?
 Schools Why Do People Work?
 School FAQs
How do I get there?

Students learn how to set goals for their career and education plans. They practice setting personal, academic, and career goals. Lessons involve students in making future plans for school, work, and their personal lives. Planning is a lifelong skill, and students learn a framework to effectively plan for their life and career.

Career Plan Activities

High School
Junior (Middle School)
Academic Goals
 Being Dependable
 Career Goals
  Connect School and Job Success
 Education Plan
  Education Plans
 Experiential Learning Plans
  Explore Electives
 FAFSA  Job Success Scale
 Financial Aid FAQs
  Listening Skills on the Job
 Financial Aid Estimator
My Resume Information 
 Job Search Action Plan
 Options After High School
 Personal Goals
 Using My Time for Success
 Quick Course Plan
  Workplace Employability Skills & Reflection 
My Resume Information
 Track Scholarships
 Track Schools
 Track Test Scores
Teaching Career Development

The purpose of using curriculum alongside Career Plan is to motivate students to become deeply engaged with their learning and career development. Our overriding motivation is to help instill hope and realism for planning future careers and life in a very uncertain world.

Consider your own strengths, limitations, dreams, commitments, and biases. You instill your beliefs about work and career whether you intend to or not; you live them. Understanding these parts of yourself is as critical to teaching career development as it is to the career development process of your students. If you are honest and open about your own development, your integrity will rub off on them. Students should understand the following career development tenets.

Find what you want. Go after what is really important to you.

As adults, we too often concern ourselves with helping young people become "realistic" at the expense of their dreams. Reality will impose itself on these students of its own accord; we do not need to accelerate this process. We need to help them map the steps and provide the tools and strategies required to move toward their dreams. Students may not live out their visions, but they should be able to strive for them and perhaps find new career paths as a result.

Identify your values, beliefs, and interests, and, more importantly, develop ways to continually re-assess them throughout your life.

Life is about change and growth, and careers need to reflect the changes in ourselves as well as the world around us. We need to help young people keep their eyes open for opportunities that will allow them to fulfill their values, beliefs, and interests. We need to help them recognize that such fulfillment comes from all parts of life. Most of us are not, after all, completely fulfilled by work alone. Numerous lessons in this curriculum help students become more self-aware and identify who they are becoming. These lessons also teach strategies for looking at oneself in the future, a key skill for life.

Focus on the journey; life is not a destination.

One of the reasons that the field of career development has been preoccupied with helping individuals select appropriate career destinations is that we want to help people find meaningful and fulfilling work. In doing so, however, we often under-emphasize the meaningfulness of the journey towards that career destination. We must make great efforts to help people better fulfill their values, beliefs, and interests with every decision they make.

We should help people move away from feeling a need to correctly make the BIG decision ("What should I be when I grow up?") and move toward examining the immediate and enduring affects of the many decisions they'll make along the way. Almost every decision can be viewed as a potential career decision: what courses to take, what intramural sports to choose, what extracurricular lessons to undertake, even what clothes to buy. When we help a student decide something, therefore, we are in some sense helping them make career decisions. This may, in fact, take some of the pressure off. It removes the paralyzing need to make the BIG decision and therefore run the risk of making the BIG mistake.

Learning is life-long.

In education we know about "lifelong learning" and its importance. Unfortunately, many people cringe when they hear "lifelong learning." People who have had limited success with formal education and who are, therefore, anxious about "lifelong learning" need to know that most learning does not occur in formal settings.

So often we have miscommunicated the message "stay learning even after you are out of school" as "go to college." For many, universities are wonderful places to learn. We need to communicate the "stay learning" message so that all students leaving school are already on an active path of personal learning, regardless of whether they are learning through their hearts, hands, or heads.

People also need ways to track their learning experiences. Individuals continually accumulate assets through learning, but few people have methods by which they can identify, record, and organize these assets. Consequently, they often do not recognize and acknowledge the learning they have achieved. We need to encourage students to use Career Plan to track the accomplishments they achieve. You will see suggestions throughout this curriculum for items to include in Career Plan.

Access your allies. The people in your family, school, and community whom you respect and trust are your allies in career development.

This brings us to the importance of community. Many people do not feel part of a community and do not know how to create one for themselves. Many youth, in particular, see the labor market as something external, "out there," and distant. They do not realize that it surrounds them, and is represented by their neighbors, friends' parents, and parents' friends. These people are often willing and able to be a valuable resource to youth, supporting their career journey, yet often they appear to have little ability to connect with each other. Many lessons in this curriculum target helping students acquire this understanding and these community connections.

Approach teaching career development as a joyful unfolding of your own learning and discovery, and model the concepts described above in the way you teach. You can feel confident that your students will have a meaningful and exciting career development experience as they absorb the values you bring, the behavior you model, and the information resources you share.

National Standards

American School Counselor's Association (ASCA) Mindset and Behaviors for Student Success

Each of the following standards can be applied to the academic, career, and social/emotional domains.

Mindset Standards

  • Belief in Development of Whole Self, Including a Healthy Balance of Mental, Social/Emotional and Physical Well-Being
  • Self-Confidence in Ability to Succeed
  • Sense of Belonging in the School Environment
  • Understanding that Post secondary Education and Life-Long Learning are Necessary for Long-Term Career Success
  • Belief in Using Abilities to their Fullest to Achieve High-Quality Results and Outcomes
  • Positive Attitude Toward Work and Learning

Behavior Standards: Learning Strategies

  • Demonstrate Critical-Thinking Skills to Make Informed Decisions
  • Demonstrate Creativity
  • Use Time-Management, Organizational and Study-Skills
  • Apply Self-Motivation and Self-Direction to Learning
  • Apply Media and Technology Skills
  • Set High Standards of Quality
  • Identify long- and short-term Academic, Career and Social/Emotional Goals
  • Actively Engage in Challenging Coursework
  • Gather Evidence and Consider Multiple Perspectives to Make Informed Decisions
  • Participate in Enrichment and Extracurricular Activities

Behavior Standards: Self-Management Skills

  • Demonstrate Ability to Assume Responsibility
  • Demonstrate Self-Discipline and Self-Control
  • Demonstrate Ability to Work Independently
  • Demonstrate Ability to Delay Immediate Gratification for Long-Term Rewards
  • Demonstrate Perseverance to Achieve Long- and Short-Term Goals
  • Demonstrate Ability to Overcome Barriers to Learning
  • Demonstrate Effective Coping Skills when Faced with a Problem
  • Demonstrate the Ability to Balance School, Home and Community Activities
  • Demonstrate Personal Safety Skills
  • Demonstrate Ability to Manage Transitions and Ability to Adapt to Changing Situations and Responsibilities

Behavior Standards: Social Skills

  • Use Effective Oral and Written Communication Skills and Listening Skills
  • Create Positive and Supportive Relationships with Other Students
  • Create Relationships with Adults that Support Success
  • Demonstrate Empathy
  • Demonstrate Ethical Decision-Making and Social Responsibility
  • Use Effective Collaboration and Cooperation Skills
  • Use Leadership and Teamwork Skills to Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
  • Demonstrate Advocacy Skills and Ability to Assert Self, when Necessary
  • Demonstrate Social Maturity and Behaviors Appropriate to the Situation and Environment

American School Counselor's Association (ASCA) National Standards for Students

The American School Counselor's Association (ASCA) developed the National Standards for Students to identify and prioritize the specific attitudes, knowledge and skills that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in a school counseling program. Standards aim to:

  • Help school systems identity what students will know and be able to do as a result of participating in a school counseling program
  • Establish similar goals, expectations, support systems, and experiences for all students
  • Serve as an organizational tool to identify and prioritize the elements of an effective school counseling program
  • Provide an opportunity to discuss the role of counseling programs in school to enhance student learning

The ASCA Standards are organized into three domains, competencies that support those domains, and indicators under each competency. These domains represent the career development skill areas that students need to master.

  • Academic Development: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills contributing to effective learning in school and across the life span.
  • Career Development: Students will complete school with the academic preparation essential to choose from a wide range of substantial post-secondary options, including college.
  • Personal Social Development: Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home and in the community.

National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) Framework

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) are a framework for building a comprehensive career development program and for incorporating career development concepts into the classroom. The guidelines have been used as a foundation for career guidance models throughout the United States and Canada.

The NCDG framework is organized into three domains, goals that support those domains, and indicators of mastery under each goal. The three framework domains are Personal Social Development , Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning, and Career Management. These domains represent the career development skill areas that students need to master. Under each domain are a series of goals that describe broad areas of career development competency.

Personal Social Development

  • PS 1: Develop understanding of self to build and maintain a positive self-concept.
  • PS 2: Develop positive interpersonal skills including respect for diversity.
  • PS 3: Integrate growth and change into your career development.
  • PS 4: Balance personal, leisure, community, learner, family and work roles.

Educational Attainment and Lifelong Learning

  • ED 1: Attain educational achievement and performance levels needed to reach your personal and career goals.
  • ED 2: Participate in ongoing, lifelong learning experiences to enhance your ability to function effectively in a diverse and changing economy.

Career Management

  • CM 1: Create and manage a career plan that meets your career goals.
  • CM 2: Use a process of decision-making as one component of career development.
  • CM 3: Use accurate, current and unbiased career information during career planning and management.
  • CM 4: Master academic, occupational and general employability skills in order to obtain, create, maintain and/or advance your employment.
  • CM 5: Integrate changing employment trends, societal needs and economic conditions into your career plans.