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Career Exploration & Planning

Possibilities road sign with 6 arrows pointing to different possibilities Charlottesville City Schools, in collaboration with local businesses, community service agencies, Piedmont Virginia Community College, and the Charlottesville-Area Technical Education Center (CATEC), has developed a comprehensive career development program designed to prepare students to transition from school to post-secondary education and employment.

Acknowledging that career development is everyone’s responsibility (administrators, teachers, counselors, support staff, students, parents and the community), the Career Planning and Placement office supports a comprehensive career development program infused into the K-12 curriculum by helping students gain: knowledge of self in relation to careers; an awareness and understanding of various careers; an understanding and appreciation of the need for marketable skills and experience through work-based learning opportunities.

Lean More about Career Planning

Career Exploration in Elementary & Middle School

Students in grades K-6 are introduced to career awareness and exploration by teachers, counselors and business representatives. This can include career days, field trips, learning stations, and more.

At Walker, all students are exposed to college and career options through the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) elementary program. Each year, Walker hosts a College/Career Night where students and their families can have direct contact with representatives from a wide range of careers in our area. Fifth- and sixth-graders also participate in core curriculum lessons with school counselors that expose them to a variety of career paths.

At Buford Middle School, students use various aspects of the VA Wizard and VA Career View websites to identify their skills, interests and values relating to careers. Buford also hosts a career fair for their seventh-graders and takes all eighth-graders to a college located within 75 miles.

Career Related Opportunities for High School Students

School counselors assist students in developing an Academic and Career Plan to achieve post-secondary educational and career goals. CPP staff collaborate with CCC staff (College & Career Corner) to assist students in the identification and exploration of career interests, aptitudes, skills, learning styles, work values and other work behaviors.

All tenth-grade students participate in a career development workshop in their English 10 classes during the fall semester that includes a career assessment and discussion of the career planning process. CHS participates in a regional career day sponsored by PVCC, Piedmont Futures and a consortium of local schools during the spring semester. Area businesses provide presentations on numerous career areas. Students select two career areas to further explore during this event.

High school students have numerous career-related and skill-building elective courses to choose from, ranging from culinary arts to engineering. Also, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) offers ten programs and two academies to help students become career-ready.

Students can gain real-world experience through a class called Work-based Learning: Marketing Co-op  or a senior internship (see Program of Studies). Also, student clubs offer opportunities to expand one’s knowledge and experience in particular fields.

Students are encouraged to explore different career options as presented in the CCS Program of Studies and at CATEC. They are encouraged to select a career pathway matching one of 16 career families identified by the Virginia Department of Education Office of Career and Technical Education Services.

Transition Services for Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities (SWD) are encouraged to participate in career planning activities and programs provided to all students. In addition, formal transition planning outlined in the student’s IEP is coordinated and implemented with the assistance of the Vocational Planner and the resources of CPP.

For More Information

To Learn More

Patrick Farrell
Intervention and Support Coordinator
1400 Melbourne Road (Central Office Annex at CHS)
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 245-2666