When the career advisor at Riverside Adult Education in Maine meets one-on-one with students in the Career Exploration course, both are prepared with material that helps them jump right into a conversation about the student’s personal goals and plans. This is because, prior to the meeting, students complete and reflect on self-assessments that reveal their values, skills, and interests as part of the new online course. Career advisor and instructor Kelsey Gosselin notes that, because of this, advising meetings are now much more efficient and productive.
Riverside Adult Education staff developed this eight-week Career Exploration course to prepare students with the exploration and tools they need to make an informed career plan. Students begin with self-exploration, completing assessments such as Indigo Pathway to uncover their interests, aptitudes, and skills. Equipped with new self-knowledge, they explore careers using Rumie-Learn Bytes. Students review the 100 Bytes on Rumie and choose ten that they wanted to explore, such as “So You Want to be a Dentist.” Students use a Google Form to share their reactions and reflections with the advisor at the end of each activity. For example, Kelsey explains that many learners noted the accuracy and helpfulness of the Indigo Pathway assessment results, saying:
“The Indigo Pathway was a student favorite because the report was so comprehensive and insightful. After reading the report, learners felt validated.”
After the first cohort completed the Career Exploration course, Kelsey and program director Rebecca Cross were struck by how much students discovered about themselves. They were learning about and considering for the first time new careers that they had not heard of before. During the self-exploration segment, one student noted that she wanted to work with children, animals, and the elderly. As a result of exploring careers on Rumie Bytes, she identified vet tech, pre-K, and hospice care as jobs of interest, but also took an interest in “archivist,” a job that she had not known about before. Another student gained confidence about her potential as a supervisor, after it was reflected back to her how strong her self-management and interpersonal skills were, and the amount of care she shows her current co-workers.
The completed Indigo Pathways assessment and reflections, as well as an updated resume and “dream job” essay that is part of the course, all provide excellent material for education and career advising sessions. Riverside Adult Education staff plan to continue offering the Career Exploration course with the PWSS resources woven into it and hope to use some of the activities to make advising meetings more efficient and impactful with students in other classes. Students note how the class increased their self-knowledge and helped them identify jobs for which they are actually well suited. Because of the insights gained through the course, one student noted”
“This Career Exploration class should be required for anyone enrolling in an Adult Education program.”