Preparing Middle School Students for College

Career Education in Middle Schools


Many middle school programs can help students plan for a career even if they do not provide specific training for a vocation. The most effective programs combine general middle school education strategies with vocational education. Middle school student can explore career options by doing the following:


Career planning is integrated into middle school curriculum in several ways.

One way is Work-Related Skills Development. Curriculum can introduce students to the world of work by providing career information and by integrating learning with working. Students can participate in monitored work experiences, pre-apprenticeships, entrepreneurships, job shadowing, and community and neighborhood service. These experiences can also help schools prevent students from dropping out. An important part of curriculum involving work is support from adults. These adults include parents, school staff members who act as advisors, brokers, troubleshooters or behavior modifiers, and community and business mentors.

Another way for students to learn work skills is to integrate teaching them with teaching academic skills. Academic skills are learned by performing certain vocational tasks which provides a real world context for academic skills.

Students can learn academic subjects, integrate the use of technology, and explore career opportunities in the community by studying local hospitals, restaurants, and other places of business that provide goods or services.

Adapted from the article “Preparing Middle School Students for a Career .”   2006  Reprinted with permission.  Visit to read the full text.