Rather than scrambling to fit all their college and career planning into their final few years of high school, a new statewide initiative will help engage students in mapping out their future as early as middle school.

On September 5, LaVerne Handfield, FCAN’s Statewide Initiatives Programs Coordinator, hosted a webinar outlining Plan It Florida. She was joined by Mark Vianello, Executive Director of Career & Technical Education for Marion County Public Schools, who shared his school district’s new Career Planning Guide, and Nashla Dawahre, Assistant Director of Student Services at Florida Virtual Campus, who highlighted resources from MyCareerShines that supports similar programs.

Get to Know: Plan It Florida

Plan it Florida serves to support schools, counselors, and community organizations as they work to build a plan for what comes after high school by engaging students in the 4 E’s.

  • Expose students to a wide range of potential careers and options available to them after high school.
  • Explore careers and post-high school options students are interested in and encourage them to learn more about them.
  • Experiment with different skill sets and interests to discover what students like, including an internship or allowing them to shadow someone at work.
  • Execute the plans students have made by helping them apply to college, fill out the FAFSA, create a résumé, or apply for jobs.

Plan It Florida pulls together promising practices and strategies from schools and districts throughout the state and nationally that others can learn from and implement for their own students.

Putting Career Planning into Action

One of those promising practices comes courtesy of Marion County Public Schools, which has begun implementing a Career Planning Guide that aims to have 100% of the school district’s graduates leave high school with a coordinated, well-thought-out plan for what comes next.

Each student in grades 7-12 selects one of the three E’s — Enrollment, Employment, or Enlistment — and is subsequently matched with programs and experiences that help them explore their chosen path as they progress through middle school and high school.

Vianello noted that matching students’ interests to the corresponding programs is crucial in ensuring their high school years are as relevant as possible. He also emphasized the importance of developing a plan that incorporates existing resources and strategies.

How MyCareerShines Can Help

The foundation of Marion County’s Career Planning Guide is MyCareerShines, Florida’s comprehensive education and career planning system serving more than 700,000 students and job seekers at no cost.

Dawahre outlined the process of creating a MyCareerShines account and completing the assessments to determine what students like to do, what they are confident doing, and what is important to them in a workplace.

She also noted how schools and districts can track their students’ progress through the Administrative Database Management System (ADMS), which allows users at the district level to monitor usage, post recommended links to students’ home pages, and communicate with system users for district-wide messaging.

Adapting Plan It Florida

FCAN provides free resources and technical assistance to schools and community organizations participating in Plan It Florida. The Plan It Florida Toolkit serves as a framework of activities to guide students in thinking about and planning for life after high school. The College and Career Readiness Guide, which schools and organizations are welcome to adapt and brand, provides students and parents with activities as they progress through grades 6-12.

FCAN is also available to provide site coordinator training on Plan It Florida and the other College Ready Florida statewide initiatives to interested school districts and community organizations.

Show Notes

To learn more about Plan It Florida — or to view the webinar and download the presentation — take advantage of the resources below, which also include handouts related to Marion County’s Career Planning Guide. You can also contact LaVerne Handfield at (813) 974-8712 or lhandfield@floridacollegeaccess.org.

Career Planning Guide
8th Grade Planning Checklist
9th Grade Planning Checklist
10th Grade Planning Checklist
Enrolled Checklist
Employed Checklist
Enlisted Checklist

Be sure to visit our Past Webinars page for access to recordings and downloadable material from FCAN’s previous presentations.

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