The Contributions of Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Programs to the Career and College Readiness of all Students

Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs consist of subject matter and related techniques and methods organized to facilitate the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students K-12.

In addition, comprehensive guidance and counseling program content assists all students and their parents in making informed educational choices that lead to more educational and career options; to become career and college ready. Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs also emphasize the development of academic and career awareness exploration and planning skills, employability skills, relationship skills, education and career decision making skills, work based learning, and the development and understanding of local, state, and national educational, occupational, and labor market opportunities, needs, and trends.

It is important to remember that students will not master these career and college readiness skills by themselves. They will need to be active learners in rigorous and relevant academic programs, career and technical education, and comprehensive guidance and counseling programs. All three programs must work collaboratively to provide all students with these skills so that they can become career and college ready. It is equally important to remember that comprehensive guidance and counseling programs featuring career development do provide important substantial, specific, and unique value-added contributions to the college and career readiness process.

This is accomplished through a program framework of the guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support. The content, activities, and services of the framework are designed to facilitate the career development of all students so that they are college and career ready. This means that they will have the requisite academic and technical knowledge and skills as well as the personal/social soft skills to enter and succeed in our highly skilled workforce or go on for more education in a variety of post-secondary settings, including college and then enter and succeed in our highly skilled workforce.


  1. A career-literate person effectively navigates pathways that connect education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure and successful career. A career is more than just a job. Career readiness has no defined endpoint. To be career ready in our ever changing global economy requires adaptability and a commitment to lifelong learning, along with mastery of key academic, technical and workplace knowledge, skills, and dispositions that vary from one career to another and change over time as a person progresses along a developmental continuum. Knowledge, skills and dispositions that are inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing.
  2. Career-ready individuals take personal ownership of their own educational and career goals, and they regularly act on a plan to attain these goals. They understand their own career interests, preferences, goals and requirements. They have perspective regarding the pathways available to them and the time, effort, experience and other requirements to pursue each, including a path of entrepreneurship. They recognize the value of each step in the educational and experiential process, and they recognize that nearly all career paths require ongoing education and experience. They seek counselors, mentors and other experts to assist in the planning and execution of career and personal goals.


Lauren Jones Austin, MA, NCC, MCC*
CTE Program Director for Special Populations, Counseling & Equity
phone: 720-858-2825
*MCC= Meaningful Career Conversationalist

Colorado CTE
9101 East Lowry Blvd
Denver, CO 80230