ERIC Identifier: ED273397
Publication Date: 1985-03-00
Author: Pitts, Ilse M.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural
Education and Small Schools Las Cruces NM.
Career Education Counseling for Migrant Students.
The high mobility and concurrently high dropout rate among migrant
students have attracted a great deal of attention, and a number of programs have
been developed to make the educational process more compatible with lifestyles
of migrant students. However, unless students participate in such programs, they
have little meaning. This digest presents an overview of career education
counseling and provides guidance to assist teachers, counselors, and
administrators in incorporating it into their curricula.
WHAT IS CAREER EDUCATION COUNSELING?
Although special consideration must be given to the factors of high mobility
and dropout rate that characterize the migrant student population, career
education itself is essentially the same for all students. The guiding principle
for all should be to prepare students for life in the working world. To this
end, career education counseling incorporates three major elements: career
exposure, work preparation, and basic skill development.
WHAT IS CAREER EXPROSURE
Career exposure seeks to promote self-awareness, to provide job and role
information, and to teach decision-making and goal attaining skills.
Self-awareness activities consider the values, talents, and desires of the
student and include close self-examination of the student's own physical,
emotional, and mental being. The most effective career decisions will be based
on knowledge of special talents and limitations. All youth should understand
that each person is an individual with unique abilities and unique opportunities
to share them. Self-awareness can be encouraged not only in specific
self-awareness sessions in a formal career education program but also in
learning experiences in all areas of school life.
Information on jobs and roles is an important part of career development. It
may include the skills and tasks, tools and equipment, training and formal
education, and placement and advancement opportunities for various occupations.
Job and role awareness ensures that students will make occupational choices
based on true and complete rather than false or inadequate information.
Decision-making and goal-attaining activities provide a structure for
reaching goals by making decisions and following through with sequential
activities which ultimately lead to goal attainment. Thus, students are guided
through processes in which they formulate their goals in tangible terms;
investigate available resources; consider all options and probable outcomes;
make a decision; plan, act or review their progress; and ultimately reach their
WHAT IS WORK PREPARATION?
For the most part, migrant youth know one type of work--migrant agricultural
labor. They must be made aware that there are other options. Therefore, all
students should be provided not only with written information but also with
direct experience in a variety of occupations through interview, shadowing, and
work experience programs.
The student prepares for the interview by first reading about an occupation
and then talking to professionals in that occupation. Shadowing provides the
student with the opportunity to follow a professional in his or her work
activities for several days. The work experience component allows the student to
spend a number of weeks or months working alongside a professional. The student
is paid for the time involved and the work performed. Thus, the student can
participate in a new work experience while building basic skills and discussing
career issues with a counselor or teacher. Such a setting also provides practice
in employment interviewing, resume writing, and other work preparation
WHAT IS BASIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT?
For youth who have left school prior to graduation, as do many migrant
students, career education counseling must be accompanied by programs which
provide training in basic literacy, English as a second language (when needed),
and content area studies. Following is a brief description of some existing
1. Adult Basic Education (ABE) is for those who have left school and need
basic literacy, second-language training, and/or basic mathematical skills.
2. General Equivalency Diploma (GED) programs are for those who have the
basic skills but lack a high school diploma.
3. Giving Rural Adults a Study Program (GRASP) is a method by which adults
who cannot participate in a traditional daytime schedule of studies may still be
able to participate in an ABE or GED program. GRASP programs may use the rural
library or the post office system to deliver units of study which the student
completes at home. Friends or neighbors may be used as tutors. (For further
information, contact Andrea May at the New Paltz Migrant Tutorial Outreach
Program, P.O. Box 2509, New Paltz, NY 12561.)
4. Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) programs began in California as an
option for the migrant student who did not wish to leave school but who
encountered severe difficulties in completing the course credits due to frequent
moves. PASS provides units which may be completed independently or with the help
of a tutor. Upon completion of a given course of study, high school credit is
issued by the PASS sponsoring school. (For more information, contact the
Coordinator, PASS Program, Fresno County Department of Education, 2314 Mariposa
Street, Fresno, CA 93721.)
WHEN SHOULD CAREER EDUCATION COUNSELING BEGIN?
Programs which promote self-awareness, provide job and role information, and
encourage the development of decision-making skills beginning as early as
kindergarten prove beneficial. As the students progress through high school,
interviewing, shadowing, and work experience programs can be added. Often these
activities serve to demonstrate the usefulness of remaining in high school to
prepare for productive roles in the world of work.
HOW IS CAREER EDUCATION COUNSELING DIFFERENT FOR MIGRANT YOUTH?
Because of continuing mobility, migrant youth often do not participate in
such community activities as scouting, church, and city-sponsored youth groups.
Therefore, the advantages provided by such groups should be included in a
migrant career education counseling program. Also, both ABE and GED programs
must be made available in a non-traditional and creative manner to accommodate
the transient lifestyle of migrant youth. Career education must be approached
through short units which can be completed in limited periods of time. The
alternative programs described above and others have been developed to mediate
the effect of the high dropout rate among migrant, as well as other, students.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MIGRANT CAREER EDUCATION COUNSELING AND WHO PAYS?
Those tutors or teachers who are most often in contact with the migrant
in-school youth must be prepared to support such students with career
information and guidance, preferably incorporated into language arts and content
area studies. The teacher, tutor, and/or student can benefit form the support of
a trained career education counselor, who should be responsible for reviewing
currently available programs and training the tutor and teacher to work with the
student. Counseling of secondary school students and those no longer in school
is also an important part of the counselor's role. Community professionals and
workers can help by speaking to groups of students. They can also bring reality
to career education by participating directly in interviewing, shadowing, and
work experience projects. This community support has the side effect of
promoting greater community understanding of the unique qualities and attributes
of migrant youth and families.
ARE THERE SOME PROGRAMS ALREADY DEVELOPED TO MEET THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF
Following is a list of some current migrant career education programs and
1. CHOICE (Changing Options in Career Education) Margaret Taylor, Project
Director P.O. Box 250 New Paltz, NY 12561
2. MAP (Migrant Awareness Program) Shirley Holder 305 W. Hanson Street
Hammond, LA 70401
3. MAP-S (Model Appraisal Process-Secondary) Darlene M. Mincy, Program
Specialist Migrant Education Program Division of Compensatory/Bilingual
Education New Jersey State Dept. of Education, CN 500 Trenton, NJ 08625
4. Minnesota Career Education Materials Diana Mathews, Specialist Minnesota
Department of Education Capitol Square 550 Cedar Street Saint Paul, MN 55101
5. High School Equivalency Program Joseph Bertoglio Compensatory Education
Program Office of Elementary and Secondary Education U.S. Department of
Education 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. ashington, DC 20202
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Flores, Merced. A RESOURCE GUIDE ON SOCIAL SCIENCE CAREERS. Salem, OR: Oregon
Migrant Education Service Center, July, 1980. ED 197 867.
Hamar, Rosalind, and Andrea Hunter. CHOICES FOR MIGRANT YOUTH: IDEAS FOR
ACTION IN EDUCATION AND WORK. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational
Laboratory, September, 1983. ED 239 801.
Kissam, Edward, and Penelope L. Richardson. Y. E. S., INC. GUIDEBOOK: A YOUTH
EMPLOYMENT SKILLS MEDIA AND OUTREACH PROJECT. Los Angeles, CA: KCET-TV, 1983. ED
New York State Education Department, Bureau of Pupil Services. IDEAS THAT
WORK: A COMPENDIUM OF GUIDANCE PROGRAM PRACTICES K-12. Albany, NY: State
Department of Education, 1984. ED 247 512.
Orum, Lori S. CAREER INFORMATION AND HISPANIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
Washington, DC: National Council of La Raza, September, 1982. ED 238 650.
Pendergrass, John, Nancy Carter, and Marcia Douglas. IDEA BOOK: MEETING THE
OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION NEEDS OF DISADVANTAGED YOUTH. Portland, OR: Northwest
Regional Educational Laboratory, 1981. ED 237 595.
Worthington, Robert M. THE FUTURE ROLE OF VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE: A NATIONAL
PERSPECTIVE. Washington, DC: Office of Vocational and Adult Education,
Department of Education, September, 1983. ED 240 315.