S193: Career Dev. Plans/Study Indiv. Grad. Plans. Latest Version

Session: 2023 - 2024

Passed 1st Reading
Passed 3rd Reading
Passed 1st Reading

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR ALL MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS and to study the creation of individual graduation plans for students to ensure postsecondary success.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.(a)  Article 10 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Part to read:

Part 1A. Career Development Plans.

§ 115C‑158.10.  Career development plans.

(a)        All middle and high school students enrolled in a local school administrative unit shall complete a career development plan that meets the requirements of this section. The local board of education shall ensure that students are provided assistance in completion of the plan as well as instruction on how to access that plan throughout the student's enrollment. A student shall not be promoted from seventh grade until a career development plan is created and shall not be promoted from tenth grade until the career development plan is revised. Local boards of education are encouraged to require more frequent revisions as appropriate. Charter schools are encouraged to require participation in career development plans for students in accordance with this section.

(b)        Local boards of education shall ensure that career development plans are easily accessible to students and parents and shall provide parents written notice of the initial creation of a career development plan and information on how to access the plan.

(c)        The State Board of Education shall adopt rules establishing minimum requirements for career development plans and shall require local boards of education to provide access to all career development plans through a designated electronic application. Career development plans shall include at least the following:

(1)        Self‑assessment of the student's aptitudes, skills, values, personality, and career interests.

(2)        Exploration and identification of pathways for careers aligned with the student's self‑assessment that include the following for each career:

a.         Identification of needed education, training, and certifications.

b.         Information on the most cost‑efficient path to entry.

c.         Opportunities within the school setting to explore and prepare for the career.

(3)        Alignment of academic courses and extracurricular activities with the student's identified career interests, including the following:

a.         Inventory of aligned courses in middle and high school in grades six through 10, and development of best strategies for course selection in grades 11 and 12 to achieve identified career interests.

b.         Available record of the following:

1.         Completed Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), and dual‑enrollment courses that may lead to college credit in high school.

2.         Extracurricular activities.

3.         Awards and recognitions.

(4)        Creation of a career portfolio, which may include items such as the following:

a.         Documentation of postsecondary plans.

b.         Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid with parental consent.

c.         Resume.

d.         Occupational outlook for identified career interests.

SECTION 1.(b)  G.S. 115C‑218.75 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(k)      Career Development Plans. – A charter school is encouraged to adopt a policy to require all middle and high school students to complete a career development plan in accordance with G.S. 115C‑158.10.

SECTION 1.(c)  This section applies beginning with the 2024‑2025 school year.

SECTION 2.  The State Board of Education shall establish a pilot of at least 20 local school administrative units during the 2023‑2024 school year to develop the plan requirements and professional development necessary for successful statewide implementation of career development plans in the 2024‑2025 school year. The State Board of Education shall direct the Department of Public Instruction to develop and provide a career development plan electronic application to local boards of education and participating charter schools no later than the 2024‑2025 school year that will provide access for all students and parents to the student's career development plan and will integrate with career information available through other State agencies.

SECTION 3.(a)  The Department of Public Instruction, in coordination with the State Board of Education, shall study and recommend how to develop individual graduation plans for all students beginning in eighth grade to achieve the goal of success for all students in graduating career and college ready with the support and involvement of both the student's parents and school personnel. The Department may examine and consider other successful models of individual graduation plans that have been implemented in other states, such as Louisiana. As a minimum, the Department shall consider the following elements:

(1)        Resources needed for guidance counselors or other qualified school personnel to assist students in creating and updating individual graduation plans on an annual basis that ensure students are selecting courses needed to fulfill graduation requirements and electives that align with postsecondary goals.

(2)        Means of effectively engaging and involving all parents in developing of individual graduation plans.

(3)        Technology needed to ensure that a student's individual graduation plan is readily and easily accessible to both the student and that student's parent.

(4)        Means of integration of career development planning as a fundamental component of the individual graduation plan.

(5)        Means of assistance for postsecondary educational planning, including completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

(6)        Means of identification of students entering ninth grade and annually thereafter who need remedial assistance in English and mathematics, and inclusion of appropriate and timely remediation as a part of the student's individual graduation plan.

(7)        Consideration of application of individual graduation plans to only local school administrative units or to all public school units.

SECTION 3.(b)  The Department of Public Instruction shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee no later than January 15, 2024, on the results of the study, recommended legislation to implement individual graduation plans and high school remediation programs, and parameters for a pilot program to implement individual graduation plans and high school remediation programs in at least 15 public school units beginning with the 2024‑2025 school year.

SECTION 4.  This act is effective when it becomes law.