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Career Advising for Tennessee Students

To help schools understand and create career readiness programs that will help their students succeed in life, the Tennessee Board of Regents has received a USDA Rural Community Development Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant is intended to provide five rural districts with a career readiness framework.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is working with numerous partners for implementation including NS4ed. Schools can easily navigate local labor market information to discover high-value careers in their region with NS4ed’s Pathway2Careers Labor Market Navigator. With valuable information at the ready, districts can make data-driven decisions appropriate to serve their students and community development objectives.

Teachers and counselors are gaining resources to better understand labor market information to properly prepare their students. There is also training for existing advisors and teachers so they can continue helping their students and communities.

There are seven guiding principles for the program to be a Career Advising Specialists:

  1. “Use and demonstrate the identified resources for career exploration, career awareness, and career development;
  2. Apply key findings and recommendations of white papers, research provided during the professional development, and available online resources;
  3. Identify and address key factors identified in the research that impact the future of work, including: Rethinking College and Career Readiness, Preparing Students for Careers, the Shifting Workforce Landscape, and the Challenges and Solutions;
  4. Use LMI from your state in your implementation plan;
  5. Explain how your plan will incorporate LMI into education processes by demonstrating the connection in instructional disciplines;
  6. Create and demonstrate the connection between education, workforce development, economic prosperity, and developing a talent pipeline; and
  7. Understand and apply the connection between education, workforce development, economic prosperity and developing a talent pipeline.” (p. 15)


The training program for the Career Advising Specialists program will have the following:

  1. “Attend five days of the TBR designated professional training and development;
  2. Attain the required score on a NREA assessment that will focus on the use of LMI;
  3. Submit a district implementation plan with technical assistance from NREA;
  4. Engage with digital networking platform school with other CAS and NREA support staff; and
  5. Work with district and school leadership to support Career Advisor Leads (CAL) at the building level.” (p. 15)


The grant is also helping schools and students complete dual enrollment and gain college credits. There will be resources given to the teachers, counselors and students that will help them find the right career for them and the right college pathway.

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