SAC 250, Career Exploration, is a survey course. You will learn “the basics” – vocabulary, concepts, theory, and research, and you will have the opportunity to discuss many topics with other students and with me.
As I said in the Welcome document, this course is also what you make of it. You truly will get out of it what you put in to the course. But let me clarify something. Neither this course nor the instructor can tell you what job or career will tell you what you “should be”. There is no right answer to that, rather many answers exist which may satisfy you. No one, not even a TV psychic at $5 a minute can tell you what job will make you happy. But I sure would like $5 a minute for every minute you’re on-line working on this class!
Career Exploration is designed for the person who hasn’t made a career decision. SAC 250 teaches a decision-making model designed to help you make realistic career/life choices now and in the future.
By the end of the course, you will:
have learned how the “taking charge” method of career choosing differs from the way people have traditionally gotten into their careers.
understand how the development of effective attitudes and competencies enables you to take charge of your career and life.
know how the career/life decision-making model can be used to make realistic career choices.
have identified the primary skills that you have to contribute to the world of work.
have clarified what you need and want in a career through self-understanding.
have translated the career needs and wants you have identified into life goals and objectives.
have identified those career alternatives best suited to your unique personal attributes.
understand how to effectively explore the occupational world and how to obtain information needed for informed career decision-making.
have made a tentative or definite career choice through a careful assessment of your list of career alternatives.
have developed objectives appropriate to your career choice and translated those into achievable action plans.
There is no required textbook. There used to be, but frankly it got too expensive for what it delivered. I will use materials I will pull from the web or upload from my own resources for you to use. I will also assign on-line resources for you to read and comment on. In addition, to meet the requirements of the course assignments, you will need to surf the Web and locate numerous articles on topics you select. Basically, there is no “wrong” answer in this course, but there is a wrong way of doing things. That wrong way is by not completing assignments, not providing careful and thougtful analysis of your replies, discussions, and responses, and not keeping up.
The main goal of this course is to lead you through the process of career planning, which includes goal setting, self-assessment, decision making, and job search strategy; the primary objective is to assist you in making satisfactory career choices.
There are 168 hours in a week, you’ll spend more than a third of them working, thinking about work, etc. My hope for all of you is that you’ll find work and a lifestyle that fill your life with meaning, happiness, and success.
Course Learning Activities
The course is divided into several Modules.
The following learning activities apply to each module:
1. Read the assigned material.
2. Complete assigned exercises and/or discussion questions.
3. Create and submit a discussion question for modules with discussion.
4. Respond publicly to at least two of the questions/topics submitted by other students.
5. Reply to all students who respond to your question.
6. In each module I may pose one or more questions in the Discussion area.
When I do, you must discuss them with me and the other students.
In most modules, you will find Discussions. These are just like a classroom discussion, except instead of sitting in the room hoping not to be called on, you need to contribute- if you don’t it won’t hurt me, but it will hurt you.
In a “web” sense, think of yourself as a moderator of each thread, just like on your favorite message board on line, with me as the supreme moderator of a sort. I don’t always participate in the discussions- I have found that as soon as I do, most of the responses just echo what I had said.
For each module you will ask a “critical thinking” question about some topic in the chapters, get responses from other students, and reply to those responses. Here too, you will answer the questions posed by other students, and they will reply to your answers. You are welcome to keep up these “virtual discussions” as long as you wish. The idea here is for each student to lead a discussion with the other students about some important issue introduced in the chapters. A large percentage of your final grade is determined by your participation in these discussions: 30% for the quality and quantity of your postings, and 10% for the quality of the discussion thread you lead in each module. I will sometimes stay out of discussions unless they get off-track. You are responsible for maintaining the quality of the discussion thread you lead. Every posting to a discussion should add something substantive. I grade your initial post, so if you don’t post your own topic, you get a zero. I also grade two of your responses.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Well now…wondering how you’ll be graded for this course Me too! Actually, the grading policy for the class is fairly simple. The bottom line is, do the work, and do it well. This is a Career Exploration course. Please treat each assignment as if it were given by a superior on the job. Be thorough and thoughtful.
Class Participation and attendance: If you participate in a module (submit the assignments on time and participate in discussions) you’ll get points toward that module. There are three very substantive Information Interviews in this course, which account for almost half of your grade. The other half comes from the activities in each module.
Grading in this course is based on a Point System; there are a maximum of 1000 points to be earned, and grades break down correspondingly with points earned. Assignments submitted late (the day after the due date) are automatically subject to a 10% reduction in grade. All modules close at 11:55 PM on the date specified as the end date of the module in the Course Schedule. After 3 days, I do not accept assignments unless exceptional circumstances warrant or prior arrangements are made.
Assignment Points Points Earned*
Class participation and attendance
Activity Completion (Module Assignments)
Written Assignments (Papers)
Information Interviews (3)
Discussion follow-ups (beyond the minimum) 50 OK, these are 50 bonus points out there to be earned.
Grading Scale: here are the cutoffs for the course grades:
Grading System Equivalencies:
A = 950-1000
A- = 900-949
B = 834-866
B- = 800-833
C = 734-766
C- = 700-733
D = 600-700
F = Below 600
*Points will be subtracted for late assignments per syllabus.
Here is the discussion evaluation rubric:
Discussion Grades Criteria:
1. Did the student answer the discussion question
2. Did the student attempt to connect significantly with the ideas of another student
3. How many times did the student log an entry
4. When in the module did the student enter the discussion
5. Over how long a period did the student participate in the discussion
6. Were the entries written in grammatical English, and were they proofread and spell-checked
This is a three credit college course, so you will be very busy!!! A rule of thumb for traditional college courses is that for every hour you spend in class a week (three hours a week for a three credit course), you can plan on at least an additional 2-3 hours for outside the class work- reading, homework, etc. For a three credit course, the rough equivalent is 12 hours of work a week per course. You will need to do all of that for this class, so be ready to work.
This means several papers, quizzes, assignments, and several assessment tools. I will open each module on the first day it is assigned. This course is on 24-7, so you can do the work any time. A caveat; the work is due when I say it’s due with no variation except at my discretion. Much like you have deadlines in a job setting that are inflexible, the same is true in this course. Each module opens at midnight/12:00AM of the Sunday it is specified to open. Assignments will be due on Saturday night by 11:55, and you’ll have a limited amount of time to complete them so plan accordingly. Don’t let it slide!!! You will find it nearly impossible to catch up. Additionally, many modules will be open and overlap with others. Pay close attention to due dates!!!