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White Papers

Kuder’s faculty and other knowledgeable contributors provide white papers to discuss industry trends, share positions on career guidance topics, and educate readers on important, global issues in the field. 

To read a paper in full, click on the title or read more button to download the PDF.

Essential Criteria for CCR ImplementationEssential Criteria for College & Career Readiness: Program Implementation Success

This white paper details evidence-based strategies for educators to strengthen weak spots and close common gaps within their career guidance program by fully integrating new digital resources into their district’s current curriculum.

Preparing students for a successful future has never been more challenging than it is today. School counselors face staggering student-to-counselor ratios of 415-to-1 on average, and their task list has only continued to grow as the COVID pandemic forced every school in the U.S. to do more with less time and resources than ever before. 

The burden of such stressful conditions is exacerbated by the more than 500,000 teachers who left the profession since 2020. Despite these difficulties, new and returning teachers, counselors and administrators diligently continue their inspiring work to help students thrive in their postsecondary plans.  

One of the most influential factors in achieving their goals is the effective selection, implementation, integration, and full-scale utilization of proven career guidance solutions. The achievement of such goals will require district leaders to address several key considerations.

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CTE Engagement and Student InterestsCTE Engagement and Student Interests: Equipping Students with 21st Century Skills to Achieve Career Fulfillment

This white paper examines research on the positive impact of student engagement in Career and Technical Education (CTE), and explore the ways CTE programs can maximize those benefits for students by ensuring they consider their own career interests and develop 21st century skills.

Students today face significant challenges in preparing for their future careers. The evolving nature of the economy presents those in the early stages of career planning with a moving target, effectively forced to take an anticipatory approach when considering potential educational pathways. To succeed in such an economy, students must develop “21st century skills,” i.e., interpersonal skills, problem solving, and technical understanding of the tools that business and industry most value. At the same time, learners should also be aware of labor market trends when considering their next steps. In examining research focusing on student exploration and career preparation, it is evident that engagement in career and technical education (CTE) programs helps to strengthen ability and understanding in these key areas1

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Holland and KuderThe Holland Theory of Career Choice and the Kuder Career Planning System

This white paper provides a brief background on the Holland Theory and its applications in the Kuder Career Planning System® (KCPS). 

The foundation of interest-based assessments dates back to work by Dr. Frederic Kuder published in 1938. Dr. John Holland later refined and contributed to this work in the development of his own theory of vocational interests. Indeed, Holland relied heavily on Kuder-based assessments as he describes in his (unpublished) autobiography, “My staff and I performed simple cluster analyses of the Kuder profiles . . . we were pleased when we discovered that these preliminary classifications looked plausible.”

Holland’s principle theory is described in his article, “A Theory of Vocational Choice” (1959). Nauta writes, “The theory’s core idea is that most people resemble a combination of six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (commonly abbreviated with the acronym RIASEC). Each type is characterized by a constellation of interests, preferred activities, beliefs, abilities, values, and characteristics” (2009).

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SEL & IntelligenceSocial Emotional Learning and Intelligence: Background Literature

This white paper identifies how resources within the Kuder Career Planning System® (KCPS) provide alignment and opportunity with respect to SEL, and reviews findings highlighting the benefits realized in the form of student success. 

Social emotional learning and intelligence are concepts that describe one’s ability to communicate and interpret emotional information and behaviors. Existing literature attributes inadequate development of these skills and behaviors in large part to declining student engagement and increased levels of disaffection in response to the depersonalization of their learning environments. Studies examining differing levels of social emotional proficiency among students found those with greater social emotional intelligence to be more motivated, academically successful, confident, and less emotionally distressed. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) reaffirms the importance of these findings in their designation of Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success (2014). A majority of these are the same behaviors examined in SEL literature.

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The Kuder Career Planning System and Student EngagementKCPS and Student Engagement

This paper summarizes how the Kuder Career Planning System aligns with and supports activities and resources proven to increase student engagement, retention, and success.

Researchers analyzing the impact of the Kuder Career Planning System® (KCPS) have frequently reaffirmed its benefit to students in a wide variety of important areas.This paper highlights the substantive evidence characterizing academic and career guidance activities facilitated by use of the KCPS as a highly beneficial form of student engagement. Additionally, utilization of the KCPS in helping to catalyze active learning and provide support for students positively contributes to the retention and success of newly enrolled community college students.

Executive Summaryread full paper

Overview of Career Guidance: ItsOverview of Career Guidance Foundations, Objectives, and Methodology

This paper provides an overview of the foundations, standards, and objectives of career guidance, describes career interventions and settings, while listing tools, resources, and delivery modes.

Because career development is sequential and lifelong, its objectives are different at different life stages. Clear, measurable objectives at each grade level or age range are essential because these become the bedrock for content development and evaluation of the programs and services offered at each age or grade level. The career education movement has tended to divide career guidance services into periods of career awareness (K-grade 5), career exploration (grades 6-8), and career preparation and planning (grades 9-16). Of course, the process does not end there, but continues across the life span as individuals need to develop new skills and change both occupations and jobs due to personal choices and economic demands

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Career Development Needs of Students in aCareer Development Needs
Developing Country in Africa

This white paper shares insights from the Kuder Career Needs Assessment, which was administered to the following stakeholder groups in a developing country in Africa: secondary school students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community partners.

Kuder administered the Kuder Career Needs Assessment to four groups of stakeholders in a developing country in Africa. The purposes of the needs assessments were twofold: (1) to build a career planning system that directly addresses students’ educational and career development needs, and (2) to serve as baseline data for evaluating the effectiveness of the career planning system. Needs assessments were administered to secondary school students, their parents, their teachers and school administrators, and community partners (local leaders, employers, etc.). 

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Career Guidance and Its Implementation in the United StatesCareer Guidance & Its Implementation in the United States

This white paper summarizes the rationale, structure and content, modes of delivery, types of service providers, and major theoretical model for career guidance in the United States.

The rationale for providing career guidance services is built on two foundations: a) the desire for individuals to have satisfying work, or in a more lofty statement, to implement their self-concepts through work; and b) the need for nations to have a sufficient number of trained, skilled individuals to fill the positions that employers have to offer and produce the gross national product that a healthy economy needs. Sometimes these goals are at odds with each other because there are not sufficient jobs to match the interests of all individuals, and a country may need more workers in specific fields than there are individuals who want to work in those fields or are trained to do so. This pull results in the compromise that many need to make in a career choice.

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EvidenceEvidence for Career Guidance Cost-Effectiveness

This white paper reviews the criteria, methodologies, and challenges related to assessing the cost-effectiveness of career guidance programs at local, regional, and national levels.

Though several countries (such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada) have conceptualized evidence-based models to guide the collection of data about the benefits of career guidance, including return on investment, it is difficult to find a model that has been fully implemented in practice. This fact appears to be true due both to the complexity of the task and to the lack of funds to fully implement it. Nonetheless, these models serve as useful overviews of what can be assessed, and for that reason they are described here. 

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Value of Career EducationThe Value of Career Education: A Brief Summary

This white paper seeks to answer the following questions:  (1) What are the critical components of effective career interventions? (2) What are the benefits of computer-based career guidance systems? (3) Why is career development necessary throughout the life span? (4) What are the practical implications of using such career systems?

Vocational psychology has a rich tradition of theory development and critical, empirical evaluation of the career development process across the life span (Brown & Lent, 2005). Many years of research and multiple meta-analytic studies have found that career interventions positively impact the vocational development of students and clients (Brown & Ryan-Krane, 2000; Oliver and Spokane, 1988; Swanson, 1995; Whiston, Sexton, & Lasoff, 1998).

Executive Summaryread Full Paper 

Career Assessment and PlanningCareer Assessment & Planning: A Collaborative Solution for Preparing America’s Workforce

This white paper discusses the major dilemma in the United States in developing a highly trained workforce that keeps pace with today’s fastest growing jobs and presents Kuder research faculty’s solution.

Since the 1930s when Dr. Frederick Kuder developed one of the first career interest inventory surveys, Kuder, Inc. has been at the forefront of career planning and workforce preparation. Today, more than 100 million people in the United States, Europe, and Asia have used Kuder assessment and career planning solutions to make and prepare for satisfying career choices. America is at a crossroads in terms of workforce development and global competition. This workforce crisis requires a new and more coordinated approach that can assist the unemployed, underemployed, and hard-to-reach populations who are not encouraged to engage in a formal career planning process. 

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