Career Café: Inviting Students

Career Café is an opportunity for students to learn about careers from individuals in their community. One of my biggest success as a school counselor has been starting a Career Café at my school. Students absolutely love Career Café, it is a blast to host, and it meets ASCA Student Standard in the Career Domain. Career Cafe can also be geared toward any level - elementary, middle, or high school!

I have gotten tons of inquiries and questions about hosting a Career Café. I am creating a series of posts to explain Career Café in greater detail and provide you with the tools you need to start a Career Café at your school. 

Selecting Students to Participate 
One the most frequently asked questions I receive about Career Café is "how do you decide which students you invite?"

This answer may be different for everyone who is reading this post! We all work in different size schools with different grades and different populations of students. We may serve elementary students, middle school students, high school students or even college students! We may have 300 students on our caseload or 3,000! 

I must reiterate the best part about Career Café is that you can make it fit YOUR needs and YOUR population! 

If you are planning to start Career Café for the first time ever I would recommend targeting a specific population or group at your school. Starting out with one grade level or group will be much more manageable. If I had to do it all over again I would have made Career Café for specific grade levels instead of trying to do it for every grade I served. My original goal was to serve as many students as I could. More is not always better. When you are trying to create a program from the ground up you want to be purposeful about what group you want to serve.

Once you decide which group you will be pulling students from, you can use career interest inventories to determine which students to invite to specific sessions. You could also use a Career Café sign up sheet for extra spots or for students or for other students who express an interest in a specific Career Café. Click on the image below for a PDF version.

*If you want some specific advice of which students to select, catered to your school and needs, leave a comment below or contact me!

Inviting Students to Career Café
Now for the fun part! Inviting students! 

Career Café Passes
Students absolutely love to be invited to Career Café! To manage this, I make sure to give invited students passes.  There are a few different ways you can create passes for Career Café. 

Create Passes a Word Processing Program
I used a Microsoft Word postcard template to make the Career Café pass below. You can download a printable PDF version of this pass and use it at your school! 

You could also make a generic pass without a specific date and time and laminate it so you could re-use it for each session.

Create Passes Using VistaPrint
I love using VistaPrint to create items for school! I created postcard size passes and business card size passes for my Career Café.  The VistaPrint Career Café passes I created look professional and give the feel of a cohesive theme. 
You can create your own Career Café passes on VistaPrint or order them from the School Counselor Blog store

I delivered passes to students on the morning of the Career Café. I wanted to make sure students were present so I accounted for the correct number of students. I wrote the students' names on the top of their pass. (Some students wanted to go to Career Café so badly that they would take other students' passes! Writing names on the passes curbed that problem.)

How do you determine which students to invite to Career Café? How do you create passes or invite students?

This post is the fifth post in a series of how to host a Career Café at your school. 
Career Café: Location, Location, Location!
Career Café: Setting a Schedule
Career Café: Career Interest Resources Elementary, Middle, and High School
Career Café: Recruiting Speakers

Read other posts about Career Café:

Comment below, tweetcontact Danielle, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitter, PinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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