Course outlines -- detailed results
Diablo Valley College Course
CARER-110: Career and Life Planning 
In this course students will learn research strategies to make effective career and major choices, using a variety of techniques to find, retrieve, and evaluate career planning information. Students will use career assessments to identify their preferred work values, interests, skills and personality traits. Research will then focus on the exploration of labor market needs; educational and employment requirements; and career ladders within given professions resulting in an effective educational and job search plan. This course will help students develop psychological "soft skills" in the domain of human relations such as interpersonal communication, self-esteem and professional confidence, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and effective collaboration in team-building skills. 
Eligibility for ENGL 122 or equivalent
General Information
Department: Counseling 
Division: Counseling and Support Services 
Units: 3.00 
Grade Code: Student choice 
Repeatability: 0 
Max day class size: 30 
Max night class size: 30 
Number of Hours
Per Semester
Lecture: 54.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
By Arrangement
Lecture: 0.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate career interests, skills, aptitudes, and values.
  2. Develop personal knowledge and understanding of concepts and issues related to career development.
  3. Use critical thinking and decision-making skills in the evaluation of research materials.
  4. Engage in in-depth exploration into the student's vocational interests, aptitudes, abilities and desired work environment.
  5. Employ knowledge of labor market information both locally and nationally, including wages, employment outlook, working conditions and work environment using print and electronic formats.
  6. Compare and contrast the career paths for three possible career choices, including training and educational preparation using appropriate bibliographic citations for a variety of material.
  7. Conduct two or three informational interviews with persons in careers of interest to the student.
  8. Produce an electronic resume appropriately formatted.
  9. Recognize the importance of a professional web image.
  10. Design a job search strategy, including names and addresses of possible employers.
  11. Demonstrate basic interview skills and discuss the ethical and legal issues of the interview process.
  12. Develop a career plan, including possibilities of advancement within a given field utilizing information technology to access and retrieve resources in various formats.
  13. Develop the skills needed for salary negotiation.
  14. Examine and promote healthy lifestyle (diet, rest, physiological balance) in managing the stressors involved in career and life planning.
  1. Formats and organization of information
    1. Assessment instruments (e.g. interests, skills, values, etc.)
    2. Theories of career development
    3. Theories of career choice
    4. Occupational clusters and groupings
  2. Research and information seeking strategy
    1. Exercises to promote self-awareness (e.g., interests, skills, values, and self-concept; priorities in career value consideration, integration of past experience into selection process, as well as identify blocks to goal setting and decision making)
    2. Career research materials - print and electronic (e.g., O*NET, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Encyclopedia of Careers, Eureka, etc.)
    3. Introduction to the job search process (e.g., informational interviewing, writing a resume, job interviewing techniques, salary negotiations, etc.)
    4. Exercises and assignments to promote in-depth exploration of various career fields, industries, majors and educational institutions
    5. Educational and/or training options to achieve career goal
    6. Examine healthy lifestyles and work/life balance
  3. Evaluating information sources
    1. Scholarly and general career development resources
    2. Evaluation criteria for career and work/life balance websites
    3. Writing a comprehensive career plan, including educational major and goals
  4. Legal and ethical aspects of information use
    1. Pre-employment inquiry guidelines from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing
    2. Citing sources
    3. Plagiarism
Lecture, Discussion, Distance Education, (1) Individual research (2) Readings (3) Student presentations. (4) Use of audio-visual materials 
Reading 1: Read the chapter on assessing your skills. Be prepared to discuss your risk-taking/adventure style in relation to your Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator results. 
Reading 2: Read the chapter on information integration and be prepared to discuss and identify the main internet sources for career development information. 
Writing, problem solving, performance 1: Conduct an informational interview in one of your top three career choices. Present your findings to the class, including education and/or training necessary to enter your chosen field. Include discussion of employability skills required such as communication, critical thinking, creative problem solving, time management, etc. 
Writing, problem solving, performance 2: Develop a personal career portfolio, both print and electronic, including a descriptive summary, a resume, letters of reference, work samples, certificates/awards, and other examples of accomplishments. 
Lab, field activity, product or report: Choose a career development research topic. Select five sources from at least three types of formats of information and compile an annotated bibliography using the MLA format. 
Sample One: Analyze the results of your Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Identify three possible careers that are indicated by these results. Choose possible majors and complete a review of the educational requirements for each of these careers using the and similar websites. 

Sample Two:

Conduct an informational interview with a person in a career of interest to you. Analyze their responses in relation to your interests. What did you learn that would encourage you to choose this as a career to pursue? What did you learn that might help you decide that this is not a career choice for you? Explain in detail.


Frequency of Evaluation:

Evaluations will adhere to the DVC "Fairness in Grading" guidelines and will include as a minimum:

  • Evaluation of students within the first quarter of the course and notifying student of the results

  • Counting a final examination for no more than one-half the course grade

  • Basing final grades on at least three students' tests and/or reports


Sample Textbook. See the current course syllabus or for the actual course textbook.
Book One
Author: Sukiennik, Diane, William Bendat and Lisa Raufman. 
Title: Career Fitness Program, Exercising Your Options 
Publisher: Prentice-Hall 
City: Upper Saddle River, NJ 
Year: 2012 
Book Two
Author: Bolles, Richard 
Title: What Color is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changes 
Publisher: Ten Speed Press 
City: Berkeley, CA 
Year: 2012 
Career Assessment Inventories 
Approval Date
Feb 2 2016 
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