Career Exploration/Planning

Career Exploration/Planning


Spring 2011
01/18/2011 - 05/15/2011

Course Information

Section 007
TTh 12:00 - 13:15
RRC1 1211.00
Raymond Gerson

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

Course Requirements

16 Week Career Exploration and Planning Course Syllabus


POFT 1310



Instructor:        Raymond Gerson                


Office Hours:  11:30 am – 12 noon


Other times are available by appointment.


Office Location: RRC            Room 1205


Phone:             223-1790 Ext. 26127                          Email Address:


Course Info:  Section: 007                             Synonym #26880                   

Campus/Roomlocation: RRC 1211.00          

Days and times:          12pm – 1:15 pm        

Dates of course:          January 18-May 12, 2011                  

Course Description:

Introduction to the process of career decision-making, educational planning, and job searching. Topics include analyzing personal career interests, skills, values, and aptitudes; surveying and researching fields with related educational and training requirements; practicing a decision-making process; and basic job search skills such as completing applications, writing letters of application, developing and using resumes, and interviewing.

Course Purpose:  The purpose is to teach you a comprehensive career planning process. This learning experience is designed to assist you in selecting a college major and developing career options.

Course Objectives:

To make educational and career decisions based on a planning model.

To communicate more effectively and increase people skills

To learn critical thinking skills

To learn sound financial management

To identify personal interests, skills, and values, and personality type

To assess personal strengths

To research career fields and occupations of interest.

To implement a personal job search campaign.

To interview for a job with confidence and effectiveness.

To write resume and documentation for the job search process.


Instructional Methodology: This course will include the following teaching and learning methods: lecture, individual application exercises, small group activities, class discussions and homework assignments. Students will use the DISCOVER multi-media program (or similar career assessment program recommended by their instructor) and the internet and library for career assessment and research. Students will develop a career portfolio which will include a job search packet and will participate in mock job interviews.


Required Texts/Materials:  

                     Achieve Career Success: Discover and Get the Job You Want by Raymond Gerson


Grading:    The following elements will be used in calculating the course grade:


1. Attendance–Attendance and participation areessentialin this course since you will be completing activities in class and working in groups much of the time. Your active participation in class activities will increase your own learning as well as that of others. You start with 20 points for attendance. You can gain another 3 extra points for perfect attendance. If you miss one class you will still have 20 points. Beginning with the second absence you lose 2 points per absence. If you miss more than five absences you will be withdrawn from the course. Being late three times will cost you 3 points for every three times you are late. You should keep careful note of your attendance so that you will not be surprised at the end of the term.


Responsibility for withdrawing for personal reasons remains with you, but it is important to let me know if you are considering withdrawing from the course so that we can discuss it.


2. Six Summaries–Students will answer questions on each summary related to chapters in the text. These will be higher level thinking questions to promote critical and creative thinking.  Each summary addresses questions related to two chapters in the textbook. There are also attachments to these summaries that are required and are figured into the total possible points per summary. Total possible points for each summary are: Summary 1 (24 points), Summary 2 (40 points), Summary 3 (49 points), Summary 4 (34 points), Summary 5 (34 points), and Summary 6 (39 points).


Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the dates indicated. Those not received at that time will lose two points for each class day they are late.


3. Case Study Paper- The “final exam” is a paper by you reviewing your personal decision making process regarding the educational and career decisions you made during the semester. In addition to the written paper, an oral presentation will be made to the class. (See format for Case Study Paper later in this syllabus). This paper is worth up to 25 points.


The course grade will be determined by totaling the scores earned in each of the areas above and adjusting for attendance and extra points as appropriate. The final grade will be based on the scale below:


         A= 238-265

B= 210-237

C= 182-209

 D= 154-181

F = 153 and below


Incomplete Grade: You are expected to complete the course within the semester time frame. An incomplete grade will only be given in very special circumstances and failure to complete the requirements by the deadline will result in a grade of “F” for the course.


Scholastic Honesty:  Acts prohibited for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to, tests, quizzes, journals and papers whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; and classroom presentations.


Academic Freedom:  Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. These differences enhance the learning and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn. On sensitive topics, students may sometimes disagree not only with each other but also with the instructor. It is expected that faculty and students will respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.

Student Discipline:“Students at the College have the rights accorded by the Constitution to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association. These rights carry with them the responsibility to accord the same rights to others in the College community and not to interfere with or disrupt the educational process.


Students with Disabilities: Most collegecampuses offer support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities usually request reasonable accommodations through an Office for Students with Disabilities (or similar name) on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this a few weeks before the start of the semester.


 Withdrawal: Per state law, students enrolling for the first time in fall 2oo7 or later at any Texas college or university may not withdraw (receive a W) from more than six courses during their undergraduate college career. Students should consult with the instructor whenever there is concern about completing the course satisfactorily.


Cell phones: Please silence cell phones in class. Answering cell phones or text messaging in class is not allowed.


Late papers: Two points will be deducted for each class period that journals and project papers are turned in late.


Grading Standards for writing Summaries and the Case Study Paper


The following descriptions provide guidance on the standards of performance for grades earned in the  course:


                     “A” level work 

Responds fully and accurately to the requirements of the assignment; demonstrates excellence in thinking, creativity and performance throughout; is clear, thorough, and well-organized with ample supporting examples and details; is well-presented with very few, if any, errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format.


“B” level work

Responds well to the requirements of the assignment; demonstrates sound thinking and competent performance throughout; is clear, fairly thorough, and well organized with sufficient supporting examples and details; is presented with few errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format.


“C” level work

Responds to most of the requirements of the assignment; demonstrates mixed levels of thinking and only adequate performance throughout; is occasionally clear, lacks thoroughness, and has some organization with few supporting examples or details; is presented with several errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, or format.


“D” level work

Responds to few of the requirements of the assignment; demonstrates poor levels of thinking and inadequate performance throughout; is unclear or incomplete, and is poorly organized with little or no supporting examples or details; is poorly presented and includes several major errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, or format.


“F” level work

Fails to respond to the requirements of the assignment; does not demonstrate evidence of thinking or concern for performance; is thoroughly confusing, incomplete, and disorganized with significant flaws in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format throughout.


By evaluating and revising your work according to these standards prior to handing it in, you can increase its quality and the level of your success in all of your courses.

Adapted from work by Richard Paul and the Critical Thinking Consortium, Sonoma State University, CA




Extra points: You can earnextra points as follows:

  1. Perfect attendance:Three extra points (added to final points).
  2. Attend a career workshop and write a one page summary about what you learned:Three extra points.

3.               Read another career development book and write a one page                                typewritten paper about what you learned: Three extra points. Or read a chapter on maintaining good health and write a one page summary for three extra points.



Importance of this course:Your career will have an important impact on all aspects of your life; your health, family, finances, state of mind, etc. It is important to invest time and effort to discover a career that is right for you.


Success in the course: Your success in this course will be achieved if you are open, honest, hard working, maintain good attendance, participate in class, and turn assignments in on time. The degree of commitment is your choice and may determine the direction or course of your life. Putting together a good career plan will take a lot of effort and thought. You will receive encouragement from the class and instructor, but your primary motivation to explore must come from within. You will get out o this class what you put into it.


Graded Assignments


1.     Summary 1- Self-information is analyzed in these areas: talents, skills, interests, values, and personality type.


2.    Summary 2 – Goal setting, Multiple Intelligences and time management and career research and exploration.


  1. Summary 3– Effective job search strategies including resumes, cover letters, job search methods, and job interviewing and salary negotiation.


  1. Summary 4– Vocabulary development and critical thinking skill questions are addressed in this assignment.


  1. Summary 5– How to build excellent relationships and money management questions are part of this assignment.


  1. Summary 6– Addresses questions about creating a desirable job and life and making a positive contribution.


  1. Case Study Paper- The “final exam” is a paper by each student reviewing their personal decision making process regarding the educational and career decisions made during the semester. In addition to the written paper, an oral presentation will be made to the class.



Format for Summaries 1 through 6


            Each summary consists of six questions to be answered. You will also be asked to attach a summary or outline of two chapters in the book to each summary. The book has 12 chapters and each summary addresses two of them until all chapters have been included. Your answers to the summary questions must be typed in 12 point font size and double spaced to leave room for instructor comments.


Format for the Case Study Paper


            The Case Study Paper is a comprehensive review of each student’s career decision-making process over the semester. It is worth up to 25 points. The eight- step decision-making model is personalized and an individual appraisal of each step is explained in detail. Emphasis is placed on accomplishments made to date and steps that need to be taken for the career plan to be a success.


  1. Length is a minimum of five typed pages.
  2. Use 12 font and double space.
  3. Include research and references.
  4. Explain feelings and changes that took place over the semester.
  5. Highlight accomplishments toward your plan.
  6. Specify the steps you need to take to succeed.


Achieve Career Success...Discover and Get the Job You Want by Raymond Gerson

Course Subjects

See Syllabus under course requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

See syllabus under Course Requirements.