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What's New? Career Decision-Making Tool

NCDG supports many of the key goals outlined in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), President Bush's signature education reform initiative.

A short paper, National Career Development Guidelines and No Child Left Behind (WORD, 2005), discusses how NCDG supports NCLB. The major points are summarized below.

NCLB Overview

The No Child Left Behind law of 2002 is founded on four key principles:

  • increasing state and local accountability for student performance;
  • creating more flexibility and reduced bureaucracy at the state and local levels;
  • focusing on what works by emphasizing evidence-based research; and
  • increasing options for parents.

NCLB particularly emphasizes high standards of achievement for all students, so they will have the knowledge and skills they need to pursue additional education and a good career.

To this end, NCLB also stresses:

  • improved teaching;
  • using technology in the classroom; and
  • increasing the number of student who go on to postsecondary education after high school.

For extensive information on NCLB, see the U.S. Department of Education's NCLB website.

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NCDG Overview

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) are a resource to help:

  • educators,
  • career development professionals,
  • counselors,
  • teachers,
  • parents, and
  • community leaders

develop high-quality career development programs for youth and adults nationwide.

NCDG helps people understand the relationship between education and employment and the need for lifelong learning by increasing their self-knowledge and enhancing their career decision-making and planning skills.

The guidelines are set out in a framework that describes a continuum of personal, education and career skills young people and adults should master to get the most from education, life and work.

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How NCDG Supports NCLB

Students who have goals, plans, and a reason for being in school are generally more engaged in their education than students who do not. They are also more likely to go to college, finish college, and succeed in their chosen careers. NCDG provides the framework that schools, teachers, counselors, and parents need to help students set goals and make plans.

In particular, NCDG directly reinforces the following NCLB goals:

  • Promoting safe and drug-free schools and enhancing strong personal qualities.  Students who understand themselves, know how to get along with others and make informed decisions are less likely to resort to violence and drugs. The following NCDG goals specifically address these NCLB goals:

Develop understanding of yourself to build and maintain a positive self-concept.

Develop positive interpersonal skills including respect for diversity.

Integrate personal growth and change into your career development.

Balance personal, leisure, community, learner, family and work roles.

Use a process of decision-making as one component of career development.

And NCDG indirectly reinforces these NCLB goals:

  • High-quality academic assessments, curriculum, and instructional materials aligned with challenging state academic standards. The NCDG seeks to align personal and career goals with standards-based curriculum and state standards.
  • Accountability. NCDG can increase program accountability because it encourages self assessment, which leads to aligning student outcomes with instructional materials.
  • Improving teaching quality. The NCDG gives teachers, administrators and counselors the skills and knowledge they need to help students and parents make career choices and plan their education accordingly.
  • A developmental, preventive approach to counseling. Career development activities and lessons based on the NCDG help students make connections between their school subjects and occupations so they better understand the relationship between educational achievement and future opportunities.
  • Increased parental options and choice. NCDG gives parents information, activities and resources so they can support their children's education and career development.


Career development concepts and skills, as set out in the National Career Development Guidelines, support many of the goals of No Child Left Behind. They spur higher academic achievement, and help students develop the personal qualities that lead to academic, social and career success. The NCDG framework provides a solid foundation for parents, educators and counselors as they help students maximize their school experience and prepare for successful transition to postsecondary opportunities.

See also, Appendix A [WORD] from No Child Left Behind and the National Career Development Guidelines--Making Connections, Linda Kobylarz, 2005.


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