CAS 104: Career Exploration
2017-18 pilot year: sophomores (fall 2017), first-years (spring 2018)
This course is designed to help students successfully navigate career choices and challenges in a complex, global economy. It provides an introduction to career development theories, decision making strategies, and career readiness competencies which can help students transition to post-graduate opportunities including jobs, graduate/professional school, volunteerism and entrepreneurship.
Students will use the following to develop a personal career readiness and exploration plan:
- Class readings
- Self-assessment exercises
- Online research
- Informational interviews with alumni
- Exploratory research on industries, professions and career paths of interest
Explore Meliora Program
Students are assigned to contact and conduct an informational interview with a University of Rochester alumnus/alumna as part of the Explore Meliora Program. The purpose of the conversation is to gain insight and advice on career decision-making and the role of career in one’s life.
List of Assignments
- Reflection Paper #1 (Self-Assessment)
- Reflection Paper #2 (Exploring Career Options)
- Explore Meliora Conversation
- Resume Review
- Final Project: Career Readiness and Exploration Plan
The course is grounded in writings and theories that have shaped modern-day thinking about careers and career development, providing a multifaceted perspective on career exploration and decision-making that students can apply to their own unique situation. Each week, assigned readings will provide an overview of a different theory, including person-environment fit, self-concept, life design, narrative, chaos and happenstance.
Course Learning Outcomes
In completing this course, students will be able to do the following:
- Understand theories of career development and decision making strategies
- Describe career development as a process.
- Describe individual interests, values, strengths and skills and connect these findings to career choice.
- Identify and use online resources to research industries, professions, post-graduate academic options, and career paths.
- Practice building professional relationships and articulate the role these relationships play in career development.
- Write a basic resume to document experiences in relation to career readiness competencies as defined by NACE.
- Create a plan to continue the process of exploration, self-understanding, and competency development throughout the college years and beyond.
Schedule of Course Topics and Assignments
MODULE 1: KNOW YOURSELF
Week 1—Overview of Career Development; Introduction to Self-Assessment
- Course/syllabus overview
- Self-assessment exercise/icebreaker
Week 2—Self-Assessment: Values and Interests
- Life values inventory group interpretation activity
- Strong interest inventory group interpretation activity
Week 3—Self-Assessment: Strengths, Traits and Skills
- Activities based on assigned self-assessment activities
MODULE 2: DISCOVER YOUR POTENTIAL
Week 4—Researching Industries and Professions
- Activities for exploring and using online resources for career research
MODULE 3: INTEGRATION AND APPLICATION
Week 5—Making Decisions
- Activities and discussion on effective decision-making strategies
Week 6—You on Paper: Resume Writing
- Basic resume conventions
- Reflective resume writing activity;
Week 7—Career Readiness; Reflective Exercises
- Introduction to NACE career competencies
- Self-reflection activities on career readiness
For more information email Laura Jones, senior career advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.