College and Career

College and career education begins in kindergarten and is exemplified by students who are knowledgeable about options and are prepared to enroll and succeed in any postsecondary experience without the need for remediation. ASCA recognizes all students possess the skills and knowledge needed to qualify for and succeed in their chosen field. 

School counselors play a critical role in students’ college and career development by:

  • Introducing careers and the world of work beginning in lower elementary grades 
  • Providing learning and experiential opportunities for students to acquire behaviors and skills for career readiness 
  • Working with students to identify their interests, abilities, specific career clusters and postsecondary plans 
  • Helping students understand the connection between school and the world of work
  • Helping students plan the transition from school to postsecondary education and/or the world of work 
  • Advising students on multiple postsecondary pathways (e.g., college, career-specific credentials and certifications, apprenticeships, military, service-year programs, full-time employment with a family-supporting wage) 
  • Connecting students to early college programs (e.g., dual credit/dual enrollment).
  • Collaborating with administration, teachers, staff and decision makers to create a postsecondary-readiness and collegegoing culture
  • Providing and advocating for individual pre-K through postsecondary students’ college and career awareness through exploration and postsecondary planning and decision making, which supports students’ right to choose from the wide array of options after completing secondary education
  • Identifying gaps in college and career access and the implications of such data for addressing both intentional and unintentional biases related to college and career counseling
  • Working with teachers to integrate career education learning in the curricula
  • Providing opportunities for all students to develop the mindsets and behaviors necessary to learn work-related skills, resilience, perseverance, an understanding of lifelong learning as a part of long-term career success, a positive attitude toward learning and a strong work ethic
  • Recognizing and supporting essential developmental factors key to future successes, such as self-efficacy and identity, motivation and perseverance 

--ASCA Position Statement "The School Counselor and Career Development"

College and Career in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Edge

Oklahoma Edge is the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s commitment to giving our students a competitive edge as they pursue college and career. We’ve already strengthened our academic standards and assessments to ensure students are prepared for the real world of work and higher education after they graduate high school. When students have an Oklahoma Edge, families will save more than $22 million a year on remedial courses in college. Best of all, with that competitive edge, students will be ready for high-skill jobs and innovative careers after high school graduation and be poised to become great problem-solvers, strategic thinkers and leaders.

Studies show that Oklahoma currently faces a large work skills gap. In 2016, approximately half (46 percent) of the Oklahoma workforce had either attained only a high school diploma or dropped out of high school altogether. However, by 2025, 77 percent of Oklahoma jobs will require some form of education beyond high school. It’s a sobering fact: Few future jobs will require only a high school education. To meet Oklahoma’s future needs, we need an additional one-fourth of our workforce to obtain postsecondary training in order to be employment-ready.

We want all students to be successful after high school. Success means that a student can obtain gainful employment that matches his or her passions and interests while still providing a living wage. The need for students to plan for college or career while still in school is clear. That is why all Oklahoma students will now complete an Individual Career Academic Plan, often referred to as “ICAP.”

What is an Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP)?

ICAP refers to a process that helps students prepare for life after high school. During the ICAP process, your child will participate in a variety of academic and career development activities. Insight gained from these activities will result in a personalized roadmap they can use when navigating college or career plans after high school.

ICAP is not just another graduation checklist – it is student-driven and student-owned. This plan will empower them to:

  • Understand their own interests, strengths, values, and learning styles
  • Create a vision of their future
  • Develop individual goals
  • Prepare a personal plan for achieving their vision and goals
  • Gain workplace experience through internships, job shadowing or pre-apprenticeships

Additionally, you can use this ICAP and ASCA Student Standards Alignment tool to align the six required ICAP components with ASCA Student Standards.

College and Career Resources

OK Career Guide

Does your district need an online tool for Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP)? This interactive website is an easy online tool available for all Oklahomans to explore their future. You can take assessments, identify occupations, establish education plans, and, ultimately, connect to employers. Whether you are a student searching for career and college options or an adult looking for a new career path, OK Career Guide is a powerful tool to provide all the career and educational resources you need to chart your course for the future. For more information visit the webpage.

OK College Start

This is a free resource available for your district's ICAP online tool. This interactive site is a comprehensive place where you can plan for college powered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.  Visit the OKCollegeStart webpage for more information.

Additional Resources

Scholarship Opportunities 

Financial Aid Resources


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Last updated on February 1, 2023