Career Assessment for Sierra High & Cold Stream

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Grant Applicant
Karen Honeywell
Grant Co-applicants
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Grant Date

"Finding a purpose in the work we do or the way we spend our time, which resonates deeply with who we think we are, is an essential part of knowing who we are. If you don’t know what you can do, you don’t know what you might be. Human ability is often buried deep. So many people don’t know their talents, because they haven’t come upon them yet.” -Sir Ken Robinson

The goal of this grant proposal is to obtain funding for a comprehensive, data driven career assessment tool that can be administered in one session. The current career assessments available to Sierra High are within Naviance. Naviance has eight individual subjective assessments (strengths, personality, learning style, career interest...) and each one has different result formats. To fully utilize Naviance I would need consistent meetings with each student throughout the year. Sierra High does not have an advisory/homeroom/student success/pathways in which to implement an ongoing college and career exploration program. In addition, I (career technician) am only at Sierra High two days per week. When I have the opportunity to meet with students I want to have the most impact possible. YouScience single assessment tool that evaluates the students’ aptitudes , interests and personalities and provides a positive profile report with suitable career path suggestions and information. In addition it supplies the student with affirming language to better highlight their assets in interviews and resumes.

Every student has the ability to be successful. A high quality assessment can provide students with the data and insights necessary to leverage their natural strengths and interests for a brighter future. 


Benefits of Program

TTUSD Pathways 2020 Strategic Goal #1:...utilizing data to actively engage each scholar to learn at the highest levels, gain 21st century skills and develop personal educational plans in order to be prepared for college, career and life.                                                                                      Strategic Action Step #16 : Explore programs and course offerings to increase college and career readiness for underrepresented students

Naviance assessments and most every other career assessment relies completely on subjective self-knowledge. It is often difficult for even the most self aware adult to discern who we are from who we want to be.  What makes YouScience different is their algorithm that combines aptitudes, interests, and personality to show  where individual's abilities are best aligned with over 500  21st-century career and educational recommendations. They use 5-to-8 minute performance based exercises (brain games) for each aptitude to capture true areas of highest potential and also include career interest survey and a personality profile. YouScience uses performance measures of aptitudes to uncover students’ natural talent and align them with the in-demand programs and careers for which they have a competitive advantage. Results are presented affirmatively and designed to  position all options.

In a study by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), YouScience showed statistically significant impact on students in five areas directly related to career guidance: Self-Awareness, Career Decision-Making, Self-Empowerment, Career Exploration, and Intent to Persist. The study concluded that YouScience was highly impactful in helping females, minorities and persons of low socioeconomic status improve their outcomes and career decisions. YouScience cuts through social noise and gender biases to create more equity and access – matching users to their best-fit careers and giving them the confidence and data to make informed decisions about their futures.

A private college counselor (costing thousands of dollars) used by Tahoe Truckee families says “I require all of my new students to take YouScience before our first meeting. The pride and self-confidence that emerges after students take YouScience is remarkable. There are no negative results, so students walk away feeling better about themselves and having a better understanding of their abilities and attributes. They begin to think more carefully about the activities they engage in, and the types of schools and careers they might enjoy. ”

When students know their aptitudes, they can select skills to learn that leverage their strengths, allowing learning and mastery to come more easily.  This also broadens awareness of career opportunities, and  informs decisions about their individual pathway from school to career.  YouScience  helps young adults understand they have abilities, talents, and gifts that are meaningful. When they understand how their gifts and passions fit with real-world careers this inspires them and broadens their vision of what they can truly accomplish to be successful and independent doing something they love.



Success of Program

Success is when I (Karen Honeywell, career tech) am able to give all Sierra High seniors a comprehensive one-session career  assessment that quantifies and analyzes aptitudes, interests and personality. When our students have this information they are better able to engage in their education and find confidence and purpose in the choices they make moving into adulthood.  The YouScience assessment is used by many private career/college admissions counselors who are paid thousands of dollars by parents. Success is when Sierra High students have the opportunity and access to the same tools.  

It is well known that career exploration can improves graduation rates by providing the missing link between students’ courses and their careers. Having a goal, a purpose, a reason, is a motivator for students to work toward that high school diploma. Our data set at Sierra High is so small that I will not claim to measure success by graduation rate increase, but rather on individual stories of students finding their way to graduation with the help of informed career guidance.


All Sierra High students will benefit from having  access to the YouScience assessment tool. It will be administered to all seniors at the beginning of the year and as they matriculate during the school year. Underclassmen will use YouScience as deemed appropriate by the Career Tech. YouScience would also be used with any full-time ColdStream student.

The assessment would be administered by Sierra High Career Technician, Karen Honeywell who has recently completed an entire UCLA Extension course "Testing and Assessments". It is possible that within the first couple weeks of school, this assessment could be completed by seniors as a group at one time. It is also possible for students to complete the assessment at home online, should circumstances require remote learning. Anyone who misses the initial testing would take it individually. Any senior who enrolls later in the year would meet with the Career Tech and take the assessment.  Students will receive a comprehensive and substantive online experience and printable report in addition to one on one career guidance to interpret the information.

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?


Unfortunately, this is not sustainable. This licence is for one year. Sierra High will need additional funding to continue the grant in the future. The hope is that the benefits of a one session aptitude career assessment will warrant future funding from other sources. Other school districts within PCOE and Lake Tahoe use YouScience and the accompanying Precision Skills certification exams. I am optimistic that the use of YouScience at Sierra High will serve to demonstrate its' worth to warrant continued funding.
Amount Funded
Individual Budget Items(s)
$1500 - YouScience 1 year Site license
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