The Relationship of Individual Career Plans to Programs of Study and Career Pathways

This resource contains both evidence-based research and practice-based materials that can help guide the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of career pathways programs.

Stephanie Kalchik
Kathleen Marie Oertle
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Illinois Office of Community College Research and Leadership
Publication Year
Resource Type
Instructional Material
Key Words
Product Type

This research report article defines Individual Carer Plans (ICP) and describes the benefits of having students complete one and build upon it as they progress through their education and transition to a career. It summarizes how ICPs are being implemented across the country. Challenges to implementing ICPs are discussed and recommendations for improving the implementation of ICPs are given.

Two specific ICP examples are given: (1) The LifeMap model wish is a five-stage developmental model that was developed for use by community college students. (2) The Self-Determined Career Development Model (SDCDM) is used to assist elementary through secondary students to develop ownership of their academic and career plans. This model is also being tested with adult learners. Numerous links are provided for further reading, ICP resources, and references.

Benefits and Uses

The purpose of this resource is to allow students, job seekers, advisors, counselors, parents, and others to conduct career exploration and planning through an easy, accessible, online career exploration tool.  The web-based resource is designed to assist individuals in guiding the next steps in their personal career progression.

Resource Notice

This resource was reviewed and vetted through the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001.