Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Practicum in Human Services

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student analyzes career paths within the human services industries. The student is expected to:
      • (A) review careers within the human services career cluster
    • (2) The student uses oral and written communication skills and solves problems using critical-thinking skills. The student is expected to:
      • (A) discuss human research findings in everyday language, keeping instruction at an appropriate level
      • (B) practice effective verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic communication skills
    • (6) The student uses leadership and teamwork skills in collaborating with others. The student is expected to:
      • (A) use leadership and teamwork skills in collaborating with others to accomplish goals and objectives
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • research careers, job duties and qualifications for positions in Human Services
    • formulate key questions to ask in assessing a career opportunity
    • understand the Programs of Study for Human Services
    • organize, plan and execute a career fair expo
    • present an informal presentation on a chosen career in the Human Services field
  • Rationale


    Careers in human services vary greatly. They include careers in the healthcare field, retail and consumer services, personal care, government service and many specific areas. Under Human Services in the blue state government pages of your telephone book, you can locate contact information for companies and departments in your community. Many services include special populations, such as aging services, child abuse, mental health, youth corrections, neglect services, crisis centers, service-oriented clubs like the Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis, along with national service organizations such as the Volunteers of America, American Red Cross and many more. Researching a career path now can help you learn about part-time jobs and training needed in a chosen occupation. You may find, after researching a career path, that you want to proceed with it, or you might want to choose a different career!

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

    Teacher note: The students will be organizing a career fair expo. Adequate planning and time need to be taken into consideration for this project.

  • Word Wall

    Career: An occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework

    Career assessment: A test that identifies how one best fits in the workplace

    Career path: A logical sequence of jobs within one or more professions throughout one’s working life

    Contact list: People you know or can get to know to help you in your job search

    Job: A specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation

    Job lead: A tip or an indication of potential opportunity for employment

    Job shadowing: An extended learning experience in which students observe professionals in particular careers as they go through a day on the job

    Networking: A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (Be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)


    • craft sticks
    • handouts
    • markers
    • presentation boards


    • vary depending on the Human Services presentation the students select
    • vary on the planning of the career fair expo

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to class:

    Display as many of the lesson-related supplies (see Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed) as you have available on a table in front of the room.

    Teacher note: As Practicum of Human Services students, students will be practicing communication, critical thinking, problem solving, information technology, leadership and teamwork skills by organizing a career fair expo at school. You will have to speak to the counselors and school administrators to coordinate dates, time, location and accessibility of school resources.

    Become familiar with PowerPoints™, handouts and activities.

    Have craft sticks ready to be distributed to students.


    Before class begins:

    Hand each student a craft stick as they enter the classroom. Instruct them to write their names on one side of the stick and their career choices on the other side.

    Collect all sticks. Randomly draw sticks and ask questions regarding selected careers.

    • What interests you the most about this career?
    • When did you become interested in this career?
    • What type of education and training does this career involve?
    • What do you like to do?
    • Think about experiences you have enjoyed. What kind of school, religious, social or sports activities do you like?

    Distribute Is Human Services the Right Cluster for You? (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will take this ten-question quiz to determine if Human Services may be the right cluster for them. After they have completed the quiz, discuss the results. Ask the students to turn their handouts over and answer the following questions:

    • Make a list of 10 activities you have enjoyed doing in the past four years.
    • How do these 10 activities relate to a career choice?
    • Consider your skills. What skills do you currently possess?
    • Make a list of your school activities (clubs or organizations to which you belong).
    • Make a list of any volunteer work you have done (either through social, civic or religious organizations).
    • Evaluate those interests. Think about what you liked about the activities. What challenges did the activities offer?
    • What skills do you need to develop further to continue in those activities?
    • After you have assessed your interests and skills, determine the relationship between skills and interests and possible careers.

    Allow for questions and discussion.

    The sticks can be used throughout the school year in other lessons.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Prepare students to take notes on the slide presentation. Students may use their own paper or Double-Entry Journal Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Allow time for discussion and questions.

    Video included in the slide presentation:

    • Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career
      Learn how listening to your inner child can help you find the right career.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • pairing students with designated “mentor” students
    • encouraging participation

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    The students will take an assessment to identify their top three careers or interests. Guide them to:
    TEXASgenuine Assessment
    This is a career guidance tool that allows students to respond to questions and identify their top three Career Clusters™ of interest based on their responses. This is for educational purposes only.

    At the end of the assessment, the students will be required to enter their e-mail addresses to receive the results of their top three careers. Distribute Human Services Careers (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will complete the handout during discussion. After the students receive their results via e-mail, ask the students:

    • Based on your assessment, what are your top three career choices? (Assign a scribe to write the careers on the board.)
    • How many careers fall under the Human Services Career Cluster™? (Have the scribe circle the careers on the board.)
    • Which careers fall under Consumer Services? Counseling and Mental Health Services? Early Childhood Development and Services? Family and Community Services? Personal Care Services?

    Have students complete the handout and discuss the careers in Human Services.

    Teacher note: The number of students you have in your classroom will determine how many different careers in Human Services you will need for the next part of the assignment. Individually, the students will research a career in Human Services. You may assign each student one career listed on the Human Services Careers handout. You may need to add more Human Services careers to the handout (refer to slide presentation for additional careers).

    After the online assessments have been completed, have students go to They will click on the occupation group that aligns with the career choices assigned to them and type the career in the search box.

    Distribute handout and give instructions for What Is the Outlook of Your Future Career? (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Allow the students to complete the handout. Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • reducing the number of online assessments
    • allowing extra time for completion of the assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Career Fair Expo

    Students will organize and execute a career fair expo.

    Allow the students to organize the format of the career fair expo. Encourage the students to involve the school student body in the career fair. For example:

    • Host a contest for developing a theme for the career fair expo. Exploring Careers for the 21st Century is a theme example. This sets a positive tone for participants and stimulates creativity in developing flyers and banners to advertise the career fair expo.
    • Culinary Arts students can provide refreshments (continental breakfast) for the community participants of the career fair expo.
    • The Art Department can host a contest for designing a logo for the career fair expo. The logo can be used on t-shirts, letterhead, brochures, banners and so forth. They can also provide posters depicting different careers in Human Services.
    • Science Club students can showcase Human Services careers which are aligned with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
    • Math students can show salaries earned and projected earnings of careers in Human Services.
    • If offered at your school, encourage the students enrolled in Practicum in Education and Training, Practicum in Hospitality Services and Practicum in Culinary Arts to participate in the career fair expo. They can highlight careers in their fields of interest.
    • Have English teachers hold an essay contest called “My Career Path: Mapping My Future.” The winning essay can be displayed at the career fair expo.

    Distribute Career Investigation in Human Services Presentation (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Each student will be responsible for highlighting one career related to Human Services for the career fair expo. It may be one of the careers they researched during the Guided Practice activity. You may need to check that there are not duplicates of careers. Students will determine the format of their presentations. Some choices you may suggest to the students include:

    • PowerPoint™ presentation
    • Visual display (such as a poster or tri-fold board)
    • Brochure
    • Prezi
    • Glogster
    • Blendspace

    Distribute Prezi, Glogster and Blendspace (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handouts as requested by students to instruct them on how to use each technological presentation tool.

    Distribute Career Investigation in Human Services Presentation Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that the students understand what is required.

    Allow time for students to work on their career fair expo presentation projects and practice their presentations. They will need adequate time to organize and follow through with the career fair expo. Encourage the students to invite professionals in their specific career fields to the career fair expo. Distribute Sample Invitation Letter and Sample Confirmation Phone Call Script (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to assist the students in preparing for the career fair expo.

    Distribute Sample Thank You Letter (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will be required to write a thank-you note to all the community participants of the career fair expo.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allowing students to work with a partner with a similar career choice
    • allowing extra time for completion of the assignment

  • Lesson Closure

    Ask students to compare their original career choices (on the craft stick) to their online assessments. Most of the time, the students’ assessments will match their original interests. If they do not, ask students to choose a career in the Human Service field that is similar to their career choices.

    Students will identify career paths, high school classes and part-time jobs they could pursue now that would provide training and experience for chosen careers.

    Provide time at the end of class for a question/answer session.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will provide presentations at the career fair expo using their presentation tool. Presentations will be assessed using Career Investigation in Human Services Presentation Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Distribute Evaluation of Career Fair Expo (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Allow students an opportunity to evaluate the career fair expo.

    Reflection: Using the information gathered in Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry slide presentation, students will write a one-page summary analyzing their information on careers, their interests, their skills and their top career choices. Students will reflect on how they plan to use this activity and information now and in the future. The reflection and handouts will be submitted for assessment.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • reducing oral presentation time to one minute
    • allowing students to co-present with their “mentor” partner

  • References/Resources


    Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.


    • Kimbrell. , & Vineyard, (2003). Succeeding in the world of work. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Littrell. (2006). From school to work. (6th ed.). Tinley Park: Goodheart-Willcox Company.


    • America’s Career Research Network
      America’s Career Resource Network (ACRN) consists of state and federal organizations that provide information, resources and training on career and education exploration. The network is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and operates in every state and territory.
    • Mapping Your Future
      Here you can explore careers, prepare for college (help with selecting a school and applying for admission), pay for college (financial aid) and manage your money (student loans and more).


    • Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career
      Learn how listening to your inner child can help you find the right career.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • allow students to illustrate their interpretation of terms to assist in learning definitions
    • continuously check for understanding
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Have students find out which colleges, technical or trade schools or apprenticeships offer degrees or training needed for their career choices. Research three different institutions and compare costs, locations and placements.
    • Conducting company research using Company Contact Log (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout will help students find a good match for employment. Students can research ten companies (or more) in their areas of interest and gather data to put in a table including columns titled: Company name and contact information, Structure of the organization, Products or services available, Job opportunities and Job requirements. This list can be used to send résumés for job openings or internships.
    • Students have to explore their interests and develop goals as a part of career planning. Have students develop two mission statements. The first statement should include specific goals to accomplish in the next three years. The second statement should focus on the internship and desired goals and accomplishments. Use handout Company Mission Statement (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to write your mission statement.

    Human Services Practicum in Human Services Writing Prompt

    • (1) The student analyzes career paths within the human services industries. The student is expected to:
      • (A) analyze the effects of the human services industry on local, state, national and global economies

    Think about the effects of the human services industry on local, state, national and global economies. Write an essay in which you state your position on the effects the human services industry has on the various levels of economies. (10th and 11th grade persuasive)

  • Family/Community Connection

    • Invite parents and/or other individuals from your community to speak to the class about their careers.
    • Volunteering can be an excellent way to determine career interests. Have students identify companies and organizations in their areas of career interest and list a variety of related volunteer opportunities.
    • Visit career centers on a campus or in the community to participate in career pre-assessment and practice interviews. Career counselors can also visit the class and discuss the job market and desirable job skills.
    • Students can select an employer in their fields of interest in Human Services and interview him or her. Ask the employer what qualities and skills he or she looks for in an employee. Get advice on how to fill out a job application, and ask about the current job market in the field.
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    • Career Connection through FCCLA – demonstrates how Family and Consumer Sciences education and FCCLA prepare students for careers. The program focuses on the relationship among careers, families and communities; provides an ongoing process that students can use to explore and prepare for career success now and in the future; and pulls together students’ career-related experiences through fun, hands-on projects.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to the lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Students can showcase their careers on display boards at a community event. People may be invited to browse and listen to presentations about various careers.

  • All Attachments