Spring 2000
Vol 8 Issue 2


Database of Dreams?

Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX)

Who's Doing What

Student Learning Through Career Exploration

High and Low Technology Have Roles in Today's Complex Machining Industry


Invisible Lines of Connection

The Forum



Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction

The Labyrinth... Sharing Information on Learning Technologies

Student Learning Through Career Exploration
Jesse Chanley, MCC

Career exploration and development services are the basis for growing collaborations among faculty, student services, and information technology.

In 1991, Gary Kilduff, a Counseling faculty at EMCC, began working on the three-stage A.I.M. (Assessment, Investigation, and Marketing) model of career development. In the Assessment stage, students are encouraged to explore their values, interests, and skills. In the second stage, Investigation, students explore career options that are compatible with their interests and skills. In this stage, students also identify academic courses that will provide the knowledge and skills needed for particular careers. Finally, in the third or Marketing stage, students learn job application skills and identify particular job opportunities in their chosen profession.

One of the primary values of the A.I.M. model is its simplicity. However, while the model is simple to grasp, a great deal of information and tools are needed to implement the model. To bring together the resources needed for A.I.M., Gary worked with Michael Springer, coordinator of Career Services at SCC, to develop resources that are accessible and that can be easily expanded. The web meets both of these criteria. Michael explored the growing number of career exploration tools available on the web and began work on a site that would organize career resources according to the three stages of the A.I.M. model.

A good example of the A.I.M. program is on the website of Career Services at SCC (http://www.sc.maricopa.edu/career_services/). Resources are available for all three stages of A.I.M. Assessment links include the Birkman Method® Career Style Summary and the Michigan Occupational Information System Self-Assessment Career Survey. Among the Investigation links are the U.S. News Online: Hot Job Tracks and the University of Delaware's Major Resource Kits. Marketing tools include "How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume" and "Job Interviewing Tricks and Tips."

At present, counselors and career services staff are striving to inform students and faculty about the existing resources. EMCC counselors utilize the A.I.M. model and tools with students. Gary Kilduff and Michael Springer also presented the model to the EMCC faculty at their orientation showcase in the fall 1999 semester. At SCC, counseling faculty are working with faculty in Hotel Resort management and in the Culinary Arts program to investigate employment information for students. As faculty become aware of the value of these tools, career development can be integrated into core courses of programs.

While great strides have been made with the A.I.M. program, the potential value of this work is just beginning to be realized. Future developments will include linking career information with course and degree information. For example, when a student identifies a potential career and related college program, a degree audit system would allow a student to see how their previous coursework fits with their career interest and what additional courses are needed. Another potential development would be to link course competencies to the personal skill inventories of students. Ideally, as a student completes a course, the competencies acquired and the level of competency mastered could automatically be added to the student's personal skill inventory. For example, when a student completes an intermediate algebra course (MAT120/121/122), the student's ability to factor polynomial expressions and solve rational equations could be added to the student's personal skill inventory. Skill inventories are already a feature of Maricopa Recruiter, the District's job placement website (http://www. maricopa.edu/recruiter/).

Improvements in career development tools will assist students in developing effective educational plans for successful careers. The ultimate goal is to integrate career development into all college programs.