Career Information System for At-Risk Youth

Period of Performance: 09/13/2002 - 09/12/2003

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose developing a specialized career guidance program for at-risk youth. The target populations for this program include disadvantaged teens in foster care, Job Corps, runaway and homeless services, the juvenile justice system, alternative high schools, and teens with learning disabilities. Existing programs are not adapted to the learning needs or life circumstances of at-risk youth. Social service agencies and schools are in urgent need of programs that inform, guide, and engage these teens in the career development process at the most fundamental levels of preparation. The proposed program will offer an attractive and interactive audio-visual environment that gives teens exquisite guided support, simplifies language and concepts, and uses animated "virtual" teens to model the career development process. The program will be browser-based and can be delivered via the Web or CD-ROM. The instructional model for the proposed program is based on Career Information Systems, a nationally recognized resource. In Phase 1, we will develop a component on self-knowledge. In Phase II, we will develop components on occupation exploration, education and training exploration, and decision-making. Product evaluations in both phases will be conducted with at-risk youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA), nationwide.