Lesson 4: Action Plan

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: Develop an action plan that emphasizes work experience.

Materials needed: Note taking device, Internet search engine


“We have been exploring your five chosen careers. Today we will develop an action plan for one of those careers, identifying the steps you need to take to meet the requirements for entry to your preferred career.”


Explain that an action plan details the steps a student would need to take to pursue a given career successfully. Facilitate the lesson with a discussion question: “Just for fun, imagine I am a high school student who adores animals and hopes to become a veterinarian. What might my plan of action be for achieving this goal?” Contribute and prompt responses: volunteer at an animal shelter on weekends, work at an animal hospital in the summer, interview a veterinarian or veterinarians to find out more about the realities of the job, enroll in a high school biology course, graduate high school with high GPA, get a bachelor of science degree in biology or pre-vet preparation, go to veterinary school, etc.

Ask your students to identify careers they would like to pursue further on their lists. Ideally, each student will choose one career as his or her primary interest. If a student is interested in several careers, create an action plan for each. If a student is indifferent to all his five careers, have the student select one to work on for practice.

Ask the students to consider the following questions as the basis for the next exercise: What skills need to be acquired before your career can begin? What classes can be taken in high school to prepare for further education or gain appropriate skills? What level of education is required? What are the industry standards? Is it possible to volunteer or intern in the field to gain work experience? How might you find people in the field to arrange an informational interview?

Exercise: Research Requirement

Have students use an Internet search engine such as Google.com to conduct research. Begin with queries such as: “how to be a(n) _________ (veterinarian, professional model, archaeologist, etc.).” Students should record any preparatory steps or requirements their research uncovers. This step can be particularly helpful if a student is researching what might be an unrealistic career goal.

As their research progresses, ask students to consider whether or not they can meet the requirements they have identified. If a student concludes that he or she will be unable to meet the requirements for a given occupation but would still like to work in the field, suggest that there may be a related occupation that is a better match. Example: A student may find that he is not suited to becoming a runway model as he does not meet the minimum height standard. However, he might be interested in model management or an editorial position at a fashion magazine. Have the student return to the Career Connect Career Clusters to see if he or she can find a different, equally exciting occupation in the same field.

Exercise: Create an Action Plan

Have the students combine the requirements and qualifications they’ve uncovered in the above exercise with their previous research. Each necessary step should be considered an action. Assign each action a completion date, then order the actions chronologically, creating a simple timeline. This is the action plan.

Discussion: How to Use the Action Plan

Discuss the action plan. Ask the students: Is having a plan helpful? Motivating? Do you feel like the required career preparation is within your capabilities? Attainable? Do you feel that you are on track to meeting your career goals? If not, how can you get on track?
Have the students reflect on what can be undertaken now to work towards their career goals.
Convey the importance of conversing with an individual currently working in the profession, particularly one with blind or low vision.

Discussion: Work Experience

Articulate the significance of having work experience in the field of interest, not only as a way to prepare for a formal career but also so the students can get a sense of whether or not the work is actually enjoyable. Even if the work experience does not relate directly to a student’s identified future career, she will gain knowledge, a deeper understanding of employment, and self-confidence from a successful work experience.


“Today, we devised an action plan, mapping steps toward your future career. We discussed the value of what can be accomplished even this year, such as speaking with an individual working in your desired career field and gaining work experience. Next time we meet, we will use CareerConnect to introduce you to a professional who is blind or low vision.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, modifications:

Next steps/lesson: Mentorship