The assessment process can be formal or informal. Informal assessment methods may include conducting an interview, checklists, observation summaries, and/or a review of records. A formal assessment process involves utilizing commercially prepared assessment tools in addition to the informal assessment strategies. Whatever process---formal or informal—is chosen, the career guidance process should incorporate: self-awareness, including learning, personality, and skill assessments; and career awareness and preparation based on individual interests, skills, and strengths.
The following tools are ones that many teachers use and like:
Interviews-Ask the student and his/her family about their dreams, goals, strengths, needs, interests, and preferences.
Questionnaires- Typically checklists, rating scales, or rubrics of transition skills by areas of employment, education, daily living, community participation, and recreation/leisure.
Self-awareness inventories and surveys- Explore strengths, learning styles, personality, aptitude, interests, values, disability awareness, and accommodations.
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB, U.S. Department of Defense)- ASVAB Practice tests at the LearningExpress Library; website requires a library card from the
- What does the student enjoy doing at home or for a hobby?
- Classroom lessons on career units
- Visiting work sites: job shadow, field trips, informational interviews
Situational assessments- Observe and record skills and behavior in real-life settings, including the classroom, campus, community, and work sites.
Portfolio- Collection of assessment data, sample applications, resumes, and letters of reference.
College Entrance Exams- The two most common entrance exams are the ACT or SAT. In helping prepare a student for these exams, you may want to work with the high school counselor given their working knowledge or regional colleges and related expertise. In addition, several publications and websites, most offering free services, provide access to sample test questions or further training.