Career Planning Framework and the Units of Instruction Explained

Career development is an ongoing, lifelong process, and the CIS career development framework defines five steps that recur at various developmental stages throughout secondary education. This Framework focuses upon self-awareness, exploration, analysis, goal-setting, and planning. The lessons are coded and grouped into units of curriculum at three development levels:

  • Getting Started (grades 8-9),
  • Looking Deeper (grades 10-11) and
  • Next Steps (grade12).

Teachers can use these units independently or in combination to meet overall class objectives; they may combine the units with other materials for a term-long class. Alternatively, since the lessons are developmentally organized, you could use the three units in order to create a term-long class. Each unit contains roughly 14 hours of instructional time.

The CIS career development framework organizes career development into orderly steps, the same steps used in My Career Plan. This organization also provides a sorting structure for the lessons, as each lesson is coded for its primary theme or career development focus area. As with any structure, some lessons could be placed in more than one area; a Know Myself activity might include Researching Options or Setting Goals for example. Click on the links above, under Units of Curriculum, to view each of the three units of instruction.


Framework Explained

Know Myself

These lessons include formal and informal methods to help students learn about themselves. They promote understanding of and respect for self and others as students learn and share information about themselves. They also provide ways to link self-knowledge with occupational exploration.

Research Options

The lessons introduce researching activities that engage students in meaningful occupational and educational research, connecting students to the CIS information content and information outside CIS as well.

Evaluate Options

These lessons help students learn to prioritize and weigh both educational and occupational options. They teach useful decision-making skills and building blocks. Students practice decision-making for life and career decisions in these lessons.

Set Goals

These lessons teach students how to set goals for career and educational plans. Students practice setting personal, academic, and career goals in these lessons.

Make Plans

These lessons involve students in making future plans for school, work, and their personal lives. Planning is a lifelong skill and students need to practice planning to become competent life planners. These lessons cultivate life and career planning skills.


Review Video: