College and Career readiness activities in OST programs naturally align with the Profile. An intentional link with this framework will help support students and also momentum for your program by interested stakeholders.

The Virginia Board of Education has recently developed The Profile of a Virginia Graduate, a framework for diploma standards to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for success in life after high school. The Profile of a Virginia Graduate becomes effective with first-time ninth graders in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year or the graduating class of 2022. This framework describes the knowledge, skills, experiences, and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the workforce and to be “life-ready” in an economy and a world characterized by rapid change. The board has determined that a life-ready Virginia graduate must:

  • Achieve and apply appropriate academic and technical knowledge (content knowledge);
  • Demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors (workplace skills);
  • Build connections and value interactions with others as a responsible and responsive citizen (community engagement and civic responsibility); and
  • Align knowledge, skills and personal interests with career opportunities (career exploration).


Virginia Career Pathways

Virginia's 16 Career Clusters

  1. Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  2. Architecture & Construction
  3. Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
  4. Business Management & Administration
  5. Education & Training
  6. Finance
  7. Government & Public Administration
  8. Health Science
  9. Hospitality & Tourism
  10. Human Services
  11. Information Technology
  12. Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
  13. Manufacturing
  14. Marketing
  15. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
  16. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

VDOE's page for the Career Clusters can be found here. Get more in-depth explanation of the role of career clusters and student career exploration. Individual career cluster pages give info on career snapshots and outlooks in Virginia, such as numbers of employees and wages. The CTE Resource Site for Virginia can be found here, which allows users to search for occupations and browse by Career Clusters.

OST programs can use this information to create programing that is relative to the career climate in Virginia and is relative to our youth.

Existing Programs, Curriculum, and Lessons

  • College Ed: CollegeEd is the College Board's free,standards-based, college planning and career exploration program for middle and high school students, which provides lessons and activities, in the form of PDFs, designed to help students develop the skills to meet their goals in life. CollegeEd topics are organized around three consistent themes: "Who Am I?", "Where Am I Going?" and "How Do I Get There?". The program consists of three levels, each with its own student workbook and accompanying educator guide. (college readiness, middle school, high school)
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA): FBLA is a national career and technical student organization that has middle and high school programs, along with a college-level program. Students explore college and career opportunities, participate in competitions, network with business professionals and engage community service projects. (career readiness, workforce development, competitions, middle school, high school)
  • Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA): FCCLA is a national career and technical student organization that promotes personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education. Focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner, and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and career preparation.  (career readiness, workforce development, middle school, high school)
  • Kids 2 College: Offered by the Sallie Mae Fund, Kids 2 College is a free college awareness program developed for sixth-grade students. Over the course of six in-classroom sessions, youth learn about different careers and the importance of being college ready. The curriculum uses age-appropriate and interactive activities that reinforce the importance of setting students' sights on college. Student handbooks and a companion teacher's guide help facilitate the program in the classroom, and related take-home materials are used to facilitate family discussion. To conclude the program, students and parents participate in a group visit to a local college campus to cement the college experience.  (college readiness, middle school)
  • The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC): JROTC, offered nationally by the United States Army, teaches high school students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership and diversity in a disciplined environment. (career readiness, workforce development, high school)
  • Safe Sitter: Safe Sitter program is designed to prepare young teens to be safe in unsupervised settings, whether babysitting, sibling sitting or home alone. The Safe Sitter® curriculum is designed for younger teens in grades 6 – 8, and covers the following areas: safety skills, childcare skills, first aid & rescue skills, and life & business skills. Safe Sitter® courses are instructor-led and interactive, with hands-on demonstrations and skills practice using soft-bodied dolls and medical manikins.(career readiness, workforce development, youth development, middle school)
  • Virginia Career View: Virginia Career VIEW (Vital Information for Education and Work) is the Commonwealth's Career Information Delivery System for all students in grades K-8. Located at Virginia Tech as part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in the School of Education, Virginia Career VIEW provides career resources, research, outreaches, and professional development training. Lesson plans, games and more broken out by age group are available.

Resources for Popular Clubs or Programs

  • College Access Foundation: Serving public middle and high school students of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Northampton County, VA, College Access Foundation, College Access Foundation, offers college planning assistance to middle and high school students. Services include fee waivers for testing and college applications to eligible high school students, assistance filing the FAFSA form to high school and college students, and assistance to college students on 13 designated college campuses. access also coordinates college visits for high school students and provides scholarships based on a competitive application process. (college readiness, middle school, high school)
  • College Career Academy Support Network: A branch of the University of California Berkeley, the College Career Academy Support Network develops and improves career academies to support high school education by offering information and resources to help schools and districts plan, implement, or enhance academies. This work resulted in a series of guides now available on the CCASN website, along with other tools, templates, a curriculum database, videos, and more.(career readiness, workforce development, high school)
  • Go See Campus: A website that offers free college visit planning. Users can create an account where they can search and add schools, dates, activities and quickly link to resources such as campus maps, information on tours and activities.  (college readiness, field trip, middle school, high school)
  • Khan Academy: Amongst Khan Academy’s wealth of free educational resources, is a portion dedicated to information and videos on College Admissions, many from current college student experiences. Topics include Getting Started, Making High School Count, Exploring College Options, Applying to College, and Paying for College.  (college readiness, high school)
  • Virginia Education Wizard– A comprehensive career and college planning website for Virginia.  Search for careers and top employers throughout various regions of Virginia. Walk through assessments, create career plans and prepare for college admission and attendance. Learn about creating a resume, practice interviewing and networking skills.