Middle School Career Education

Middle School is a bridge Between Elementary School and High School. Middle School is a time of transition.

Need for Middle School Career Education

National Alliance of Business (1999) believed that Middle school was an ideal age at which to expose students to the challenging world of work. Kerka (2000) described middle school as the threshold between elementary and high school, between childhood and adulthood. Middle school career education laid the groundwork for future career development by helping students achieve the following goals:

  • Knowledge of personal characteristics, interests, aptitudes, and skills
  • Awareness of and respect for the diversity of the world of work;
  • Understanding of the relationship between school performance and future choices
  • Development of a positive attitude toward work (Developmental Career Programs 1998)

Yet, without Middle School Career Education, students failed to build a foundation of the connection between high school academic subjects, potential careers, world of work, and post-secondary training (Kerka 1994, Wells and Gaus' 1991, Finch and Mooney 1997, Johnson 2000). As a result, students had poor self concepts, possessed poor intrinsic motivation, lacked self awareness, and made limited career choices. Finally, some of the students who failed to participate in a career education program dropped out of school (Castellano et al., 2002).

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