Career Café: Career Interest Resources Elementary, Middle and High School

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.  

There are a number of ways that you can determine how students are selected to participate in Career Café. Students can be chosen based on results of career interest inventories, select which Career Cafés they would like to attend, or entire classrooms or grade levels can be invited to participate.

Selecting Students to Participate
The size of your Career Café location dictates the number of students you are able to select to participate in a Career Café session. I recommend creating a list of students who you plan to invite so you can determine if their are enough participants or too many.

At my school I hosted Career Café for grades 5-8. Last year, for grades 5 and 6 I used the Holland Code Career Party and had students sign-up for Career Cafés that related to their interests. 

For grades 7 and 8 I had all students take the My Next Move career interest inventory. I used their results to determine who would be invited to each speaker. If I had extra slots I would allow other interested students to sign-upIn the future I would probably use PA CareerZone since it has been recently revamped and includes a login for students. (I made a printable PDF Version of a Sign-Up Sheet for you to utilize at your school.)

Below I have provided links to various FREE career interest inventories and games. Most of these resources require computer access. 

I have also provided a list of books you could utilize in classroom lessons and activities with students in conjunction with Career Café.

Elementary Level

Career Interest Inventories and Games for Elementary School Students:
Career Books to Use with Elementary School Students:
Middle School and High School Level

Career Interest Inventories and Games for Middle and High School Students
Career Books to Use with Middle and High School Students:
I keep emphasizing this, but you can really make Career Café your own. If you are at a smaller school, it may be possible for you to invite a whole grade level or whole classrooms to Career Café sessions. You may decide you only want to host Career Café for a certain grade level. There are many different ways you host Career Café and choose which students to invite. 

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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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