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Parent's Guide to Career Planning for Middle and High School Students

Career Kokua provides information that can help your children realize their career goals.

As a parent you play an important part in your children's career development. While you can't choose a career for them, you can help them discover how to make informed choices to realize their dreams.

The following resources will be valuable to you as you help your children plan for their future.

  • Your Children
    By exploring their interests, skills, and goals you can help them to determine greater success in their future career choices.
  • Your School's Career/Guidance Center
    By having materials and assistance on site, it is a valuable resource for providing the tools you need for quality career exploration.
  • Career Kokua, The Hawai‘i Career Information System
    By researching career and education options with your children you can help them make informed choices for their futures. For access to this resource, visit our website at http://www.careerkokua.org or make an appointment at your school's career/guidance center.

    Career Kokua is available in several formats. Books with information on Hawaii occupations, programs of study and training, and local schools are updated and printed each year. The microcomputer version is installed on computers in your school and is used by students either in the classroom or career/guidance center. The closed Internet version requires a username and password for access. You must ask your child's teacher or counselor for permission to use the Internet version.

What is Career Kokua?

Career Kokua is a comprehensive career guidance system providing career information, educational and training information, and career exploration tools to students and adults throughout Hawai‘i. The information in Career Kokua includes:

Occupations & Employment

  • Hawai‘i Occupational Information
  • Career Videos
  • Apprenticeships
  • Hawai'i Industries
  • Hawai'i Career Pathways
  • Career Clusters
  • Job Search Information
  • Occupations by Outlook

Educational Planning

  • Programs of Study and Training
  • Hawai'i Schools
  • National Colleges and Universities
  • College Search and Information
  • Financial Aid Search
  • Financial Aid Resources and Scholarships
  • BestCollege Deals
  • Career Colleges

Career Awareness and Exploration Options

  • Practical Learning Activities
  • Career Assessments (Career Navigator, Holland, Skills, O*NET Interest Profiler, ASVAB)
  • Community Resources (Tours, Field Trips, Career Shadowing, Mentors, Internships, etc.)

Career Kokua includes links to the Hawai'i Job Bank, college and university sites throughout the country as well as other online career resources.

Preparation Tips by Grade Level

Parent involvement can increase success in career decision making. With a little preparation and encouragement you can make the difference between hit and miss career choices and informed choices that reflect your children's skills and interests. Here are a few planning tips for you and your children separated by suggested grade level:

7th Grade

  • Encourage participation in a variety of activities to discover interests and talents.
  • Talk to your children about their interests and talents and how they can relate them to career opportunities in the future.
  • Be open to their ideas and dreams; you are helping them plan for their future.

8th Grade

  • Have your children volunteer at a variety of organizations related to their interests.
  • Encourage your children to try different elective courses to explore interests and talents.

9th Grade

  • Use Career Kokua to explore occupations and to target school curriculum toward goals.
  • Encourage participation in extra curricular activities that enhance career goals.
  • Have your children visit the career/guidance center at their school to see what it offers and talk about their career goals.

10th Grade

  • Have your children use Career Kokua to locate careers of interest and explore the amount of training and/or education needed.
  • Encourage attendance at school and career fairs.
  • Have your children use Career Kokua to gather information about schools and/or industries in which they have shown an interest.
  • Use results from assessment tests such as the ASVAB to explore career options related to their interests and skills.

11th Grade

  • Use the Career Kokua Local Schools file and National Schools module to narrow-down school choices and to obtain information and application deadlines.
  • Have them take the PSAT and sign up for the SAT/ ACT if they are interested in college.
  • If they want to work, encourage your children to seek employment related to future career choices.
  • Use the Career Kokua Job Search Aids file to help with employment success.

12th Grade

  • Use the College Search and Information module in Career Kokua to research and apply to schools and for scholarships.
  • Use the Financial Aid Search and Information option to research financial aid opportunities.
  • Visit schools or organizations of interest with your children to finalize choices.
  • Use the Career Kokua links to obtain information on military careers and enlistment procedures.

Adapted with permission from a brochure developed by the Nevada Career Information System

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