Assessments Can Help

What makes you unique - what's your "brand"? What are your interests, passions and motivated skills, goals and objectives, personality type and non-negotiable needs? All of these are components in exploring what YOU are about and how that can "sync up" with some pretty exciting career choices.It is very commonly seen that one of the major issue students encounter once they pass their exams is the confusion in selecting their further studies. They become overwhelmed and somewhat lost in finding the right match.

Most don't even know what the areas of their interests are. Due to lack of counseling, they put little effort into their overall interests and did not receive enough marks because at the time, they had not yet identified their area of interest. Therefore they cannot obtain admission into their desired colleges. At this time they are very upset and uncertain about what career to pursue. Career confusion and indecision, often resulting in career apathy, seem to be common for many people. Yet finding a career direction or focus is remarkably's really all about YOU..

Students should attain basic knowledge about a profession before deciding to take it as their future career. Hence proper Career Guidance or Career Mapping can help students/individuals to build confidence and can give awareness of new career possibilities learning and work opportunities including civic, leisure, and promoting the balance of life and work. Educational, vocational, and school counselors provide individuals and groups with career, personnel, social and educational counseling. The purpose of the school counselors is to assist students of all levels, from elementary school to postsecondary education. Students and those who are about to undergo the challenges of getting jobs and experiencing a new life after formal education, would benefit greatly from career assessment.

As trends are constantly changing, anyone can easily go online on their own time to take a variety of tests to determine their career competencies rather than making an appointment with their respective school's career services or guidance counselor. These online career assessment tools are beneficial to discover and introduce new careers to those who wish to build their career. Through career assessment and mapping, those who are new to the working life will find a clearer path for starting their new work life.

There is much consensus that high quality counseling throughout life is a key component of education, training and employability strategies. This is why Europe is known for becoming the world's most dynamic knowledge based society since the Lisbon Council (2000) {} and Commission's Memorandum on Long Life Learning (LLL) by 2010. Services which refer to assisting individuals include "Career Guidance, Career Assessment, and counselling services" of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers

Some of the major including activities are:

- To assist students activities within schools to clarify career goals and understand the world of work

- Personal or group-based sustenance with decisions about initial courses of study, further education, courses of vocational training and initial job choice, job change, or work force re-entry

- Computer-based or on-line services to provide information about jobs and careers or to help individuals make career choices; and services to produce and disseminate information about jobs, courses of study and vocational training.

Basic purpose of any career assessment tool for career guidance and counselling in the context of LLL can be summarized as follows:

    Guidance helps to build confidence and to empower individuals as well as making people aware of new career possibilities, including civic, leisure, learning and work opportunities and promotes the balance of life and work
    Achieves a better match between skills, interests and qualifications on the one hand and available job opportunities on the other
    Helps to improve the allocation of labor across regions, industries and occupations in the face of labor supply and demand fluctuations resulting from technological and structural change
    Makes a key difference between the successful and unsuccessful implementation of active labor market programmes
    It promotes employability and adaptability by assisting people to make career decisions both on entering the labor market and on moving within it.

Career assessments are a hot-hot topic for job search and career development. Counselors communicate with students individually, in small groups, or as an entire class. Career assessments are one tool to assist in uncovering these clues about ourselves. For the success of students they consult and interact with parents, teachers and schools administrators to develop and implements strategies to help students succeed. A career assessment is a standout tool that can help identify possible avenues on a career path for a student/employee. This enables a person to make better career decisions, market themselves to their best advantage, save their precious time and avoid spending money on the wrong education or future.

The Case for Teaching Civics in School and at Home

For shame... The 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), administered to some 27,000 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade students, tells it all. Questions ranged from how our government is financed to the rights protected by the Constitution and how our laws are passed.

On a 300-point scale, the results:

· Average 4th grade score: 157

· Average 8th grade score: 151

· Average 12th grade score: 148

That's just about failing all around, and says former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, these results "confirm that we have a crisis on our hands when it comes to civics education." And for that very reason, she has founded her icivics website, promoting civics through games and activities.

Equally unsettling is a recent Marist Poll wherein just 60% of our 18- to 29-year-olds correctly named Great Britain as the country from which we gained our independence. Really.

Meanwhile, though, most educators agree that a solid grounding in civics and American history is essential to our country's success and standing in the world. Moreover, an unofficial survey of middle and high school teachers finds these topics topping the list:

· The fight for independence and the prominent players in that struggle

· The Bill of Rights--the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution

· Law-making in the U.S.

· The Civil War and slavery, along with the 13th and 15th Amendments

· The impact of Supreme Court rulings on our daily lives

· The workings of the House of Representatives and Senate, along with who are Pennsylvania's members of Congress

· Prohibition, along with the 18th and 21st Amendments

Wondering now how you measure up? To find out, take's Independence Day Quiz-your teenage child, too. Just be advised that, reportedly, 96% of high school seniors failed the quiz, as did more than 50% of those over 50.

Questions range from naming our National Anthem and our current president to how many Constitutional Amendments there are, the number proposed by Congress but never ratified, and who said, 'Give me liberty or give me death." Go ahead and give it a try.

And since Election Day has recently come and gone, I've just got to ask: did you vote? Your children will ask, too. Sadly, turnout was light. Take Philadelphia, for instance, where only 17.6% of eligible voters bothered to turn out.

No wonder then that we now have Democracy Day, first celebrated this past March 23rd and sponsored by Rock the Vote and the National Education Association. The date coincides with the passage of the 26th Amendment giving 18-year-olds the right to vote-something most of our voting-age teens apparently know next to nothing about. How about you?

Says Vote the Rock's president Heather Smith, "Turning 18 and becoming eligible to vote is a tremendous rite of passage. Junior and senior year of high school is the ideal moment to connect with young people and give them the tools to become life-long voters and participants in our country's democracy."

The need, then, for fostering your children's interest in history and civics cannot be overstated, so, along with your vote, consider:

· Civil War Reunion at Pennypacker Mills Park, 5 Haldeman Road in Schwenksville, on Saturday, June 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 5th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You'll enjoy continuous demonstrations, activities, refreshments, and even Civil War music. For more information, call 610-287-9349.

· The Dreyfuss Initiative: An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss at the Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street in Philadelphia, on June 8th, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. His mission: to change the way students learn about civics and the rights and duties of citizenship. Seating is limited so don't delay in registering online at

· The History Channel: Be a frequent visitor. Head there today, May 17th, and discover that, on this date, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided, ruling that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

· The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: This site promotes the study and love of American history, offering numerous programs and resources to all who visit.

· The Conspirator is a film based on the guilt/innocence of Mary Surratt in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln-a story most Americans know little, if anything, about.

In other words, be part of the solution, not the problem, helping to ensure that your kids get hooked on history and civics, too.

Carol is a learning specialist who worked with middle school children and their parents at the Methacton School District in Pennsylvania for more than 25 years and now supervises student teachers at Gwynedd-Mercy College. Along with the booklet, 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips: Intermediate Grades & Up, and numerous articles in such publications as Teaching Pre-K-8 and Curious Parents, she has authored three successful learning guidebooks: Getting School-Wise: A Student Guidebook, Other-Wise and School-Wise: A Parent Guidebook, and ESL Activities for Every Month of the School Year. Carol also writes for; find her articles at For more information, go to or contact Carol at

Family - Core Values and Christian Character

Following Jesus' teachings should be at the heart of every action a Christian takes and every choice he or she makes. It is important that we regularly examine our values based on what Jesus taught and practiced. These foundational values are important as they affect our personal decisions and moral choices. Christian values help us establish our priorities and result in spiritual grown as they draw us closer to God.

The simplest Core Values and Christian Characterdefinition of values is: something that is important to me something which is important enough to find consistent expression in the choices I make or that which is translated into lifestyle and actions.

Christian values are something which are important to God. As Christians we want these two feelings and idea to match. These values deal with the basics of our relationship with other people, our family and our community.

The Federal government has identified values education as essential in the fight against drugs and crime. Business now recognizes that a responsible labor force requires workers who have character traits of honesty, dependability, pride in their work, and the capacity to cooperate with others.

As a result of these and other social practices parent and teacher, the family and the church provide an example of and an opportunity for involvement, interaction, and internalization of assuming community responsibility. Character is nurtured, taught by instruction, not indoctrination.

Life stages, identity groups, cultural trends, and socialization experiences are all forces that shape our children's values. We need to explore available resources for areas of application that will help build values and character from a moral perspective.

We must examine curriculum for teaching Christian ethics, multicultural and civic education. Preventative programs for drug and alcohol abuse need to be initiated. We need to provide a religious moral perspective with Biblical concepts to influence society with moral principles that will replace the emptiness of norms and ideals so common today.

As parents, Christian leaders, and educators we need to remember that our personal integrity determines our impact on the lives we are molding.

Richard R. Blake, Christian Education Consultant, Book Store Owner

Higher Education and Society

Institutions of education, and the system of which they are a part, face a host of unprecedented challenges from forces in society that affect and are influenced by these very institutions and their communities of learners and educators. Among these forces are sweeping demographic changes, shrinking provincial budgets, revolutionary advances in information and telecommunication technologies, globalization, competition from new educational providers, market pressures to shape educational and scholarly practices toward profit-driven ends, and increasing demands and pressures for fundamental changes in public policy and public accountability relative to the role of higher education in addressing pressing issues of communities and the society at large. Anyone of these challenges would be significant on their own, but collectively they increase the complexity and difficulty for education to sustain or advance the fundamental work of serving the public good.

Through a forum on education, we can agree to: Strengthening the relationship between higher education and society will require a broad-based effort that encompasses all of education, not just individual institutions, departments and associations.

Piecemeal solutions can only go so far; strategies for change must be informed by a shared vision and a set of common objectives. A "movement" approach for change holds greater promise for transforming academic culture than the prevailing "organizational" approach.

Mobilizing change will require strategic alliances, networks, and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders within and beyond education.

The Common Agenda is specifically designed to support a "movement" approach to change by encouraging the emergence of strategic alliances among individuals and organizations who care about the role of higher education in advancing the ideals of a diverse democratic system through education practices, relationships and service to society.

A Common Agenda

The Common Agenda is intended to be a "living" document and an open process that guides collective action and learning among committed partners within and outside of higher education. As a living document, the Common Agenda is a collection of focused activity aimed at advancing civic, social, and cultural roles in society. This collaboratively created, implemented, and focused Common Agenda respects the diversity of activity and programmatic foci of individuals, institutions, and networks, as well as recognizes the common interests of the whole. As an open process, the Common Agenda is a structure for connecting work and relationships around common interests focusing on the academic role in serving society. Various modes of aliening and amplifying the common work within and beyond education will be provided within the Common Agenda process.

This approach is understandably ambitious and unique in its purpose and application. Ultimately, the Common Agenda challenges the system of higher education, and those who view education as vital to addressing society's pressing issues, to act deliberately, collectively, and clearly on an evolving and significant set of commitments to society. Currently, four broad issue areas are shaping the focus of the Common Agenda: 1) Building public understanding and support for our civic mission and actions; 2) Cultivating networks and partnerships; 3) Infusing and reinforcing the value of civic responsibility into the culture of higher education institutions; and 4) Embedding civic engagement and social responsibility in the structure of the education system

VISION We have a vision of higher education that nurtures individual prosperity, institutional responsiveness and inclusivity, and societal health by promoting and practicing learning, scholarship, and engagement that respects public needs. Our universities are proactive and responsive to pressing social, ethical, and economic problems facing our communities and greater society. Our students are people of integrity who embrace diversity and are socially responsible and civilly engaged throughout their lives.

MISSION The purpose of the Common Agenda is to provide a framework for organizing, guiding and communicating the values and practices of education relative to its civic, social and economic commitments to a diverse democratic system.


I believe social justice, ethics, educational equity, and societal change for positive effects are fundamental to the work of higher education. We consider the relationship between communities and education institutions to be based on the values of equally, respect and reciprocity, and the work in education to be interdependent with the other institutions and individuals in society.

We will seek and rely on extensive partnerships with all types of institutions and devoted individuals inside and outside of higher education.

We realize the interconnection of politics, power and privilege. The Common Agenda is not for higher education to self-serve, but to "walk the talk" relative to espoused public goals. We understand the Common Agenda as a dynamic living document, and expect the activities it encompasses to change over time.

THE COMMON AGENDA FRAMEWORK The general framework for the common agenda is represented in the following diagram. It is clear that while goals and action items are organized and aliened within certain issues areas, there is considerable overlap and complimentarity among the issues, goals and action items. Also, following each action item are names of individuals who committed to serve as "point persons" for that particular item. A list of "point persons," with their organizational affiliation(s) is included with the common agenda.



Public understanding more and more equates higher education benefits with acquiring a "good job" and receiving "higher salaries." To understand and support the full benefits of higher education the public and higher education leaders need to engage in critical and honest discussions about the role of higher education in society. Goal: Develop a common language that resonates both inside and outside the institution. Action Items: Develop a common language and themes about our academic role and responsibility to the public good, through discussions with a broader public.

Collect scholarship on public good, examine themes and identify remaining questions. Develop a national awareness of the importance of higher education for the public good through the development of marketing efforts.

Goal: Promote effective and broader discourse. Action Items: Raise public awareness about the institutional diversity within and between higher education institutions.

Identify strategies for engaging alumni associations for articulating public good and building bridges between higher education and the various private and public sector companies. Develop guidelines of discourse to improve the quality of dialogue on every level of society. Organize a series of civil dialogues with various public sectors about higher education and the public good.


Approaching complex issues such as the role of higher education in society that requires a broad mix of partners to create strategies and actions that encompass multiple valued perspectives and experiences.

Broad partnerships to strengthen the relationship between higher education and society involves working strategically with those within and outside of higher education to achieve mutual goals on behalf of the public good.

Goal: Create broad and dispersed communication systems and processes.

Action Items:

Create an information and resource network across higher education associations Create information processes that announce relevant conferences, recruit presenters and encourage presentations in appropriate national conferences Develop opportunities for information sharing and learning within and between various types of postsecondary institutions (e.g. research-centered communities).

Goal: Create and support strategic alliances and diverse collaborations.

Action Items: Establish and support on-going partnerships and collaborations between higher education associations and the external community (e.g. civic organizations, legislators, community members) Explore with the public how to employ the role of arts in advancing higher education for the public good Promote collaboration between higher education and to address access, retention, and graduation concerns


Education should attend to the implicit and explicit consequences of its work, and reexamine "what counts" to integrate research, teaching and service for the public good to the core working of the institution.

Goal: Emphasize civic skills and leadership development in the curriculum and co-curriculum.

Action Items: Ddvelop and implement a curriculum in colleges and universities that promote civic engagement of students Create co-curricular student and community programs for leadership and civic engagement development Develop learning opportunities, inside and outside of the classroom, that promote liberty, democratic responsibility, social justice and knowledge of the economic system Develop student leadership and service opportunities that focus on ethical behavior Teach graduate students organizing and networking skills, and encourage student leadership and Diversity education

Goal: Foster a deeper commitment to the public good.

Action Items: Work with faculty on communication skills and languages to describe their engagement with the public, and educate faculty for the common good Identify models for promotion and tenure standards Identify models for faculty development

Goal: Identify, recognize, and support engaged scholarship.

Action Items: Identify and disseminate models and exemplars of scholarship on the public good Encourage the participation in community research Help institutions call attention to exemplary outreach. Establish a capacity building effort for institutions

Goal: Bring graduate education into alignment with the civic mission.

Action Items: Work with disciplinary associations to hold dialogues on ways graduate student training can incorporate public engagement, involvement and service Promote "civic engagement" within academic and professional disciplines according to the disciplines' definition of "civic engagement" Incorporate the concept of higher education for the public good into current graduate education reform efforts


Promoting the public benefits of higher education requires system efforts beyond institutions to intentionally embed values of civic engagement and social responsibility in governance practices, policy decisions, and educational processes.

Goal: Align governing structures and administrative strategies.

Action Items: Develop ways to improve student and the community involvement in the governance and decision making process of educational institutions. Identify and promote ways for institutions to improve involvement with the public and the practice of democracy within their own institution. Establish public good/civic engagement units that orchestrate this work throughout institutions.

Goal: Publicly recognize and support valuable engagement work.

Action Items: Offer public awards that reward institutions with demonstrable track record in serving the public good in order to encourage institutionalization of performance around the public good and civic engagement.

Develop a comprehensive inventory of funding sources, association activities, initiatives, and exemplary practices that advance the public good. Identify, recognize, and support early career scholars who choose to do research on higher education and its public role in society.

Goal: Ensure that assessment and accreditation processes include civic engagement and social responsibility.

Action Items: Identify service for the public good as a key component in provincial and federal educational plans (e.g. Master Plans, provincial budgets, and professional associations).

Bring higher education associations and legislators together to broaden current definition of student outcomes and achievement, and develop a plan for assessment.

Develop strategies and processes to refocus system-wide planning, accreditation and evaluation agendas to consider criteria assessing the social, public benefits of education.

Goal: Cultivate stronger ties between the university, federal and provincial government.

Action Items: Develop a 2-year implementation plan that joins the university rector / Pro-rector and Director with provincial legislators to engage in an assessment of the needs of the public by province Host a series of dialogues between trustees and provincial legislators to discuss the role of universities and public policy in advancing public good at a local, provincial, and national level.

Ms. Afshan Saleem
Senior Lecturer
Bahria University

Civic Sense - The Nation Builder

We the human beings are the social animals. And the society expects each one of us to have some sense of respect for the needs of society. To me this sense of respect for society needs is Civic Sense. When you have more population with greater civic sense in the society you have great nation & bright future always.

Now let us see the few basic actions which elaborates the society needs

1. Respect the laws of the land.
2. Keep your surroundings neat & clean.
3. Respect the queue.
4. Respect the elders & women.
5. Discourage the anti social activities like dowry & corruption....
6. Be your own morale police.
7. Respect handicapped friends.
8. Respect the value of time.

This list could go on & on but I think you can understand what I mean. Since I am from India I know we have to go a long way in this direction. And one should always try to improve. I firmly believe that every thing starts from you.

Some of my personal observations are listed below

· It can be taught at early stage of a child.
· It differs from cultures to cultures & communities to communities.
· Self discipline & civic sense go hand in hand.
· Education & civic sense has no direct relationship.
· You will enjoy more where you find such societies.
· In India I will rate Goa as a number 1 in civic sense & Pune as a last.

Now I hope you will agree with me if you want to live in prosperous & healthy society & a great nation. Some of the simple actions each one of us can take are

Start from self.
Be a role model to your children.
Be upright to fight anti social elements.
Respect elders, women & handicapped friends.Follow queue even if you don't like.

So let us start without wasting any more time.

Non-Formal Education in the Philippines

Non-formal Education is one of the means to spread literacy and employable skills to the people and it covers a much larger audience than the formal system. The NFE in Philippines is designed to assist the out-of-school youth and adults who have been deprived of formal education. There may be varying reasons for this.It may include the economic, social and geographical limitations which have hindered the path of literacy and employable skills.

The mission of the NFE program in Philippines is to empower the people with "desirable knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable him/her to think critically and creatively, act innovatively and humanely in improving the quality of his/her life and that of his/her family, community and country."

The main objective of NFE in Philippines is to reduce the number of illiterates in the country and provide them with need-based literacy programmes and also develop basic employable skills.Activities like vocational training, adult reading classes, family planning sessions as well as leadership workshops for community leaders.

This branch of education is looked after by the Bureau of Non-Formal Education which has its history dating back to 1829 when civic educational lectures were introduced in the country.Non-formal education was formally started in 1973 and is now an integral part of the developmental activities.There is a 3-pronged approach in this method which focuses on literacy, continuing education and staff development.

The main thrust of NFE is on the acquisition of skills needed for earning livelihood and to survive the competitiveness in the labor market.The horizons of non-formal education are far wider as compared to the formal system.

NFE reaches out to a greater audience irrespective of demographic characteristics, socio-economic conditions and varied general interests. In a few words, this system reaches out to all those people who might otherwise never get a chance to have any sort of education.

The Non-formal Education Program of Philippines lays thrust on the following aspects:
• Literacy Programs for numeracy and functional literacy of each individual
• Development of Livelihood Skills
• Expansion of Certification and Equivalency Programmes

One of the main aims of NFE is to bring about a decrease in the poverty levels among the communities.To attain this goal, the bureau provides leadership and technical assistance in the implementation of literacy programmes, projects, trainings, workshops etc.This process includes the following features:

Female Functional Literacy & Parent Education: This program majorly involves the mother and provides them with essential skills and competencies to perform better in the fields related to child survival, protection and development.

Literacy Project for Cultural Communities: The target group for this program is that section of the society which is unable to attend the formal education system.This may include the cultural communities in general and also the hill tribes in particular.

Development of Literacy Measures: The Bureau of Non-formal Education in Philippines has developed some literacy parameters through a series of seminars and workshops.At the moment there are seven literacy measures which decide the functional literacy of the target group.This is also accompanied by a Manual of Instructions for using the Measures and its scoring.
Development of Resource Material: It also focuses on the development of the curricula for various levels of literacy and also the resource material needed for the same.This includes booklets, posters and the facilitator's guide.

Actual Implementation on the Field: This is the most important component of the whole project.Efforts are made to implement the literacy and livelihood development programmes in the actual field with the target group in order to eradicate illiteracy and thereby alleviating poverty.

Thus, the Bureau of Non-formal Education in Philippines works on four major action points - family life skills which also includes health, nutrition, childcare, household management, family planning; vocational skills, functional skills and enhancing livelihood skills.

Atlanta School District Receives High Marks and Scholarship Funds

Newsweek Ranks North Atlanta High School in Top 2%

Newsweek magazine ranks twenty-seven thousand high schools throughout the nation and North Atlanta High School, part of the Atlanta School District, ranks among top 2%. Newsweek magazine compiles the lists of Best High School and releases the list at the end of every school year. This year North Atlanta High School was ranked at 531 out of the 27,000 schools ranked. These rankings are based on the high schools' use and offering of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Advanced placement classes are college preparation courses. The international baccalaureate uses an internationally recognized course curriculum.

North Atlanta High School offers and encourages students to take and pursue advanced placement classes or international baccalaureate courses. North Atlanta High School also operates International Studies and Performing Arts magnet school programs. The International Studies magnet program offers courses that focus own foreign languages, communications and social studies courses. The International Studies magnet program offers students opportunities to take part in youth foreign exchanges and internships in international companies. The Performing Arts magnet program stresses high academic achievement with performance art training.

Mays High School Teacher Receives Award

A Mays High School, a high school in the district of Atlanta Schools, teacher received the Close Up Foundation's Linda Myers Chosen Award for Teaching Excellence in Civic Education. Hajj Womack received a plaque and one thousand dollars. Mr. Womack, a social studies teacher, was awarded the Close Up Foundation's Linda Myers Chosen Award for Teaching Excellence in Civic Education while in Washington D.C. with students participating in the Close Up Washington program. Civics education is vital for students because teens often feel separated from politics in America.

Atlanta School District's Douglass High School Receives Scholarship Funds from Magic Johnson

Former NBA player Magic Johnson visited Douglass High School on his nationwide AIDS awareness tour. He spoke to the students about safe sex, the value of education and their future. He gave the school twenty thousand dollars for college scholarships for graduating seniors. Twenty students were awarded $1000 scholarships as part of Douglass High School's Visions of the Future Awards program. The awarded students were: Bianca Barnswell Talesha Noble, Lawrence Boddie Jihan Pankey, Mychael Bond Andrea Parks, Seron Fields Louis Perrino, Ramia Finley Shatila Platt, Aamir Fard Adrienne Richardson, Mavia Hanson Anthony Rogers, Yareli Hernandez Catrina Searcy, Kadayas Howard Delisa Stevens, Kenya Merritt Paul White. Magic Johnson gave the students advice that they should continue their education in college or start their own business. Johnson discussed his own work as a businessman after retiring from basketball. He also gave out Los Angeles Lakers jerseys to eight students in the audience. The jerseys bore Johnson's own number and current Lakers players.

Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more on Atlanta schools visit