Electronic Portfolios for Career Exploration

Electronic Portfolios for Career Exploration

Gabriela Alpírez (Instituto Experimental de la Asunción, Guatemala)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0143-7.ch009

Abstract

For more than 50 years, an all-girls Catholic school located in Guatemala City, Guatemala has aimed to shape the intelligence and the heart of every girl so that they will fulfill their vocation and become strong, resilient women. In accordance with the school’s mission, in 2005 the forward-looking school counselors wanted to increase the students’ awareness of the importance of exploring and planning their professional careers, as it was recognized by many national and international organizations that women who received a formal education could have a greater impact on the economic, political, and social life of their communities. By starting to use electronic portfolios at an earlier age, students are better equipped to make more informed choices in terms of the direction they would like to take their careers.
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Introduction And Background

Instituto Experimental de la Asunción, founded in 1956 by the Assumption Sisters Order, is an all-girls Catholic school located in Guatemala City, Guatemala. For more than 50 years, their educational project has aimed to shape the intelligence and the heart of every girl so that they will fulfill their vocation and become strong, resilient women.

In accordance with the school's mission, in 2005 the forward-looking school counselors wanted to increase the students’ awareness of the importance of exploring and planning their professional careers, as it was recognized by many national and international organizations that women who received a formal education could have a greater impact on the economic, political, and social life of their communities.

To address these new requirements, a “Career Exploration” class was established in 2005 (later in 2008, it became a Module for “My Life Plan Project”) the objectives of which were:

  • To encourage students to choose a career based on their interests, values, abilities, and talents;

  • To recognize their talents, abilities, and skills, and publish them on an electronic portfolio;

  • To experience the world of work by means of shadowing a professional related to their career choice;

  • To promote a healthy and positive self-esteem amongst students.

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What Was Done

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) had then recently produced in 2004 a set of National Standards for Students “to identify and prioritize the specific attitudes, knowledge and skills that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in a school counseling program.” These standards were reviewed by Asunción's counselors, and a subset as follows was considered particularly relevant to the school in relation to student competencies:

Academic Development

  • STANDARD C: Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home and in the community.

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      A:C1.2 Seek co-curricular and community experiences to enhance the school experience

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      A:C1.3 Understand the relationship between learning and work

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      A:C1.5 Understand that school success is the preparation to make the transition from student to community member

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      A:C1.6 Understand how school success and academic achievement enhance future career and vocational opportunities

Personal /Social Development

  • STANDARD A: Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.

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      PS:A1 Acquire Self-knowledge

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      PS:A1.1 Develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person

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      PS:A1.2 Identify values, attitudes and beliefs

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      PS:A1.10 Identify personal strengths and assets

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