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Getting Real
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Getting Real
Helping Teens Find Their Future

Second Edition


September 2008 | 216 pages | Corwin

"Gray provides a systematic method for working with students to look at opportunities after high school in a realistic way."
—Mary Reeve, Director
Services for Exceptional Students

Help teens achieve success after high school through meaningful career development!

Without a realistic postsecondary strategy, more than half of students fail to graduate college or land rewarding jobs. Educators and parents can improve students' odds by encouraging them to develop the long-term initiative and commitment of a solid career plan.

This updated edition of Getting Real examines real-world occupational trends and projections to help teens gain "career maturity" and a sense of direction. The second edition has been expanded to address students with special needs and those at risk of dropping out, and includes a new chapter on understanding today's teens and parents. Offering a systematic, six-step plan for helping adolescents integrate youthful aspirations with economic realities, the author examines:

  • The fundamentals of the labor market
  • Myths and misconceptions that can limit students' choices
  • Alternative options to a four-year degree
  • Career exploration strategies and activities, such as job shadowing and work-study

Develop confident, clear-thinking teens who can make well-informed academic and career decisions about their future!


 
Preface to the Second Edition
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Getting Real: New Realities for Postsecondary Success
A New Goal: Postsecondary Success

 
Career Direction and the "Fourth" R

 
Career Maturity and Career Direction

 
Career Exploration Activities and Career Maturity

 
Career Development Programs: Are They Effective?

 
Society's Ambivalence About Career Choice

 
The Role of Public Schools

 
Making the Case for Career Development Programs

 
Promoting Success

 
 
Part I. Understanding Those We Try to Help “Get Real”
 
2. Today’s Teens and Their Parents
Today’s Teens

 
Today’s Parents

 
Promoting Success

 
 
3. Dropouts, Teens With Disabilities, and Graduates Seeking Full Time Employment
Getting Real and High School Dropouts

 
Getting Real and Special Populations

 
High School Graduates Who Seek Full Time Employment

 
Promoting Success

 
 
4. Creating Opportunities by Countering Stereotypes
Occupational Stereotypes

 
Gender Stereotypes and Earnings: Education or Occupation?

 
Occupational Stereotyping: Minorities and the Economically Disadvantaged

 
Promoting Success

 
 
Part II. Understanding Labor Market Fundamentals
 
5. Labor Market Misunderstandings and Bad Advice
Misunderstanding 1: A University Degree Guarantees Access to High Wages

 
Misunderstanding 2: A University Degree Guarantees Access to Professional Careers

 
Misunderstanding 3: High Tech Careers Require a University Degree

 
Misunderstanding 4: Career Planning Is Worthless Because People Change Jobs All the Time Anyway

 
Misunderstanding 5: University Graduates Will Take All the Good Jobs

 
Labor Market Advantage: The Secret to Getting High-Skill / High-Wage Employment

 
Bad Advice Given to Teens

 
Will Tentative Career Decisions Close the Door to Future Opportunity?

 
Promoting Success

 
 
6. Occupational Projections, Technical and Middle Skill Employment
I: Using Labor Market Information

 
II: Occupational Projections

 
III: The Other Way to Win: Technical and Middle-Skill Occupations

 
A Selective List of Technical and Middle Skilled Occupations: This Is Rocket Science

 
Promoting Success

 
 
Part III. Strategies to Promote Career Direction
 
7. Career Success, Decision Making, and Teens
The Path to Career Success?

 
Characteristics of a Career Mature Teenager

 
Career Decision Making Anxiety of Teens

 
Reducing Teen Anxiety Over Making Career Decisions

 
Promoting Success

 
 
8. Strategies to Promote Adolescent Career Maturity and Direction
Student Outcome Goals for Career Development Program

 
Outcome Goal 1: Promoting a Tentative Career Direction While in the 10th Grade

 
Outcome Goal 2: Verifying Tentative Career Directions

 
Outcome Goal 3: Develop a Postsecondary Plan

 
Providing Career Counseling

 
Promoting Success

 
 
9. Considering “All” the Alternatives
Traditional Formal Education Alternatives

 
Alternatives to College

 
The “Bridge” or “Prep” Year

 
Promoting Success

 
 
10. Six-Step Plan for Postsecondary Success
Talking to Parents

 
Parents and Career Choice

 
Six-Step Plan for Postsecondary Success

 
Helping Parents With Difficult Choices

 
Promoting Success

 
 
11. Getting Real and the Role of the Business Community
Community Organizations

 
Promoting Success

 
 
12. How Are Teenagers Best Served, Nutritional Lies or Reality?
Nutritional Lies

 
Creating Opportunity

 
Five Premises for Success

 
Well-Intended but Bad Advice Given to Teens

 
Understanding Our Role

 
Fighting the Good Fight

 
 
References
 
Index

"I applaud the author’s efforts in promoting a shift from the 'one way to win' stance toward that of helping students face reality and develop career goals that will help them be successful."

Shawn Grime, School Counselor
Bryan High School, OH

"Stresses the need for career maturity. This is one of the few books that addresses this topic so well."

Diane Smith, School Counselor
Smethport Area High School, PA

"This book is a must-read for those involved in developing futures planning for students in ninth grade through their exit from high school into adult life."

Kelli S. Kercher, Transition Specialist
Murray School District, UT

“Gray provides a systematic method for working with students to look at opportunities after high school in a realistic way.”

Mary Reeve, Director
Services for Exceptional Students

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1


For instructors

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