How to Use the Tools of the System

The curriculum tools are meant to be used together to create a holistic understanding of a learner’s interests and abilities in regard to competency development and career and education planning.  Please see the Implementation Tools section for all curriculum tools and instructions.

The tools can be used in any order, but the following is strongly suggested:


Appraise and Assess

If you plan to use the paper CASAS, first an appraisal and then an assessment will be administered.  The appraisal should be done as soon as possible with the assessment closely following in order to get an immediate understanding of the reading and math levels at which your students are functioning.  Reading level especially will predict the types of instructional materials used.   Many times, the appraisal can be administered during the orientation session if there is one.

2. Competency Learning Plan

In order to develop a comprehensive class profile, the Competency Learning Plan should also be administered early in the process.  Many Career Competencies have to be observed and/or demonstrated by the learner which might be difficult when you are just getting to know your learners, or have just started instruction on the Career Competencies.

A rule of thumb might be that the reading and/or math levels indicate which additional Career Competencies need work.  However, this isn’t always the case.  For instance, a learner could be reading at a Tier II level (grade 10), but hasn’t yet mastered Tier I (grade 8/9) competencies like problem-solving and decision-making.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that an instructor of adults and/or out-of-school youth begin at the beginning with the Competency Learning Plans.

Competency Learning Plan

Unlike a younger, in-school youth, an adult or out-of-school youth might have had at least some experience with work.  Finding out from your learners what experience they have had in the work place and discussing different scenarios involving competencies like problem-solving and decision-making might give you a better indication of which tier level to begin with.  But again, just because an adult can fill out a job application and attach to a job for any length of time, doesn’t mean they possess all or even most Career Competencies.

3. Harrington O’Shea Career Tool

These tools can and should be incorporated into classroom activities closely following the administration of the CASAS and Competency Learning Plan.  There are classroom examples of the completion and use of both in the Dream Résumé section on this website.

4. Personal Development Profile

The questions related to the Personal Development Profile are to assist with self-assessing health and well-being. These questions are geared to the individual, family, friends, neighborhood, school and community. How questions are answered should remain confidential – between individual and instructor (unless an emergency arises). Therefore, it is recommended that this tool be administered towards the beginning to give an instructor an idea of what support services (if needed) and goals need to be addressed for an individual.

5. Personal Learning Blueprint

These tools can and should be incorporated into classroom activities closely following the administration of the above.  There are classroom examples of the completion and use of both in the Dream Résumé section on this handbook. The Personal Learning Blueprint can and should be completed along the way.  After each of  the other tools are administered and completed, various goals will be apparent and should be recorded.  For instance, once the Competency Learning Plan and the Career Interest Inventory have been administered for the first time, a learner will want to choose their competency goals related to their career interests.  Also, if the CASAS is administered and a learner is deficient in basic skills, a Personal Learning Blueprint goal is required for reading and/or math.

PLEASE NOTE: The Personal Learning Blueprint is a living, breathing document.  In other words, it’s not meant to be completed and just left in a file somewhere to collect dust.  This is a goal-setting and planning tool that should be re-evaluated on a regular basis and should be shared with mentors, family or with whomever has interest in the learners’ achievement.