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Partnerships That Unlock Social Mobility

Counselor Professional Development


Preparing Students For Becoming Part of Today's Strong Workforce

The California Community College system has maintained a unique relationship with its secondary educational partners and community organizations over the years. As these systems continue to deliver students interested in the community college promise, it is critically important that Career and Technical Education is rebranded for the benefit of all stakeholders. Read more »

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The Strong Workforce Task Force recommended that industry informed career pathways be developed and broadly publicized and that the value of CTE be promotoed with a sustained, public outreach campaign to industry, high school students, counselors, parents and the community at large (recommendations 3 and 21).

The importance of adopting a 21st Century skills lexicon and career pathway structural framework cannot be understated for today’s K-14 counselors. Assisting with the preparation of learners for the workforce by learning industry skill and proficiency requirements will enable tomorrow’s workers to overcome the current skills-jobs mismatch in California. This notion of heightening preparedness for the workforce is a major focal point of the Student Success Taskforce Recommendations (recommendation 4.1, p. 43) and it was integrated into the Seymour-Campbell Student Success Act of 2012 (Ed. Code 78211(f)). These concepts also converge seamlessly with the student success category under the first Board of Governor’s Strong Workforce Taskforce Recommendation (1a-1e). It delineates the need for raising the career planning acumen of K-14 counselors with a focus on labor market demand and earnings potential; while also emphasizing work-based learning and workplace readiness skills along a continuum of career preparation that expects counselors to build capacity in offering CTE-related program counseling.

Building a strong workforce requires an understanding that the ultimate client of a community college is an employer who holds the expectation of hiring a day one ready worker. For students to arrive at this point of readiness, irrelevant of their academic goals and career interests, counselors must be able to help learners subscribe to an adult decision-making framework that prioritizes career choice within the cycle of selecting a major and college. Read more »

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As students seek to transition from adolescence and solidify a career that connects with their interests, values, and core skills, counselors must remember to shape and hone student sessions by highlighting the core outcomes of the community college in light of college and career readiness (completing certificate and/or major coursework, general education and electives that align with the student’s educational objective).

Nowhere is this need more apparent than with today’s Millennials. Many in their generation are earning wages that are lower than their parents and often walking out of school with debt (Young Invincibles Report, p.3). Yes, we need more CTE specific counselors to help address these challenges; however, we also need general counselors to step up and participate in professional development geared to prepare students for a familiar challenge, but with a new strategy.

Resources for Counselors

Building Career & CTE Counseling Capacity

Career Pathways Counseling Support

Support Tools


The Opportunity
For community colleges to become essential catalysts to California’s economic recovery and jobs creation at the local, regional and state levels.

The Strategy
Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are:

  • Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy
  • Make Room for Jobs and the Economy
  • Promote Student Success
  • Innovate for Jobs and the Economy
California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office