The Coalition for Career Development Center (CCD) Center is an industry-led nonpartisan coalition committed to making career readiness the first priority of American education and dedicated to transforming career development through priorities including education reform, research initiatives, stakeholder engagement, and more. The CCD Center believes in providing ALL learners with high-quality career development services and technologies that will help secure productive employment in their chosen careers as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
The CCD Center works collaboratively with leaders from education, business, government, and non-profit organizations to create a national movement dedicated to helping all learners become career and future ready. Our scope of work includes:
Communicating the value of career development;
Identifying and promoting best practices;
Organizing and conducting convenings;
Promoting research and evaluation; and,
To establish cross-sector collaborations among education, business, government and non-profit organizations to establish broader community engagement in career development and future readiness efforts. Career development is a process that informs individuals about career opportunities, helps them identify their talent, become aware of how their talent transfers into a wide range of occupational opportunities and enables them to make effective decisions on the academic and postsecondary pathways that will enable them to pursue their career and life goals.
Identify and empower leaders in business and industry–including Chambers of Commerce, state and local workforce boards, and foundations–to become champions of career development. Leaders must collaborate with education, government and non-profit organizations to provide high quality career development support including work-based learning opportunities, career information, mentoring and encouragement--especially for individuals who are unrepresented in their fields.
Enable learners to pursue non-linear career pathways and employers to identify the potential of non-traditional applicants. Career pathways are not one-size-fits-all, and we must educate our future workforce to pursue the pathways that will lead them to the greatest success. Furthermore, we must educate employers to foster non-traditional applicants who can create innovative solutions to complex business problems.
Raise awareness of the dignity and importance of all forms of work. All forms of work support our communities, and no career path should be inaccessible to those who have the appropriate training.
The Five Pillars
High-Quality Career Development Systems:
Efforts to increase career readiness are critical to improving post-secondary readiness—therefore career development activities should begin no later than middle school, and require all students to develop and maintain a personal Career and Academic Plan that aligns career and life goals to academic, postsecondary, and career pathways.
To ensure that career development becomes a central priority, schools and post-secondary institutions need to appoint trained professionals to oversee this work. Providing access to high-quality career development will require more credentialed career advisers and licensed counselors in every school and post-secondary institution. These advisers must have specific career– development knowledge and competencies. To help meet this need, the Coalition has worked with the National Career Development Association to create a new staff position, School Career Development Advisors (SCDAs), who would be expected to involve the whole school, families, employers and the broader community in this effort. SCDAs would play both a direct service role in working with students, and a coordinating role, helping integrate career development activities throughout the school experience, and working with employers to increase opportunities for work-based learning.
Applied and work-based learning should be an integral part of education in high school and beyond. Business, government, and educators must collaborate to scale up a continuum of options, such as job shadows, internships, apprenticeships, etc. States, school systems, and post-secondary institutions should set bold goals for increasing these opportunities. Educational programs should also encourage students to earn high-quality, industry-recognized certifications where available.
High-quality career development technologies should play a key role in helping students develop their personal career and education plans. All students, teachers and career development advisers should be provided access to a defined baseline level of technology that will ensure they can make good use of these tools.
While most states have adopted measures of accountability that recognize the importance of career readiness, they now need to concentrate on rigorous implementation to ensure all students have access to quality career pathway programs and student supports to ensure success. States should base funding of post-secondary institutions on outcome measures, like job placement and graduation, rather than input measures such as enrollment.