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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Thursday, September 6, 2007

IU School of Education Web site features Career Information System

September 6, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The newly-revamped Web site for a center in the Indiana University School of Education can help students get on a path toward a career at an early age.

The new site for the Center for Research and P-16 Collaboration (at includes the "Career Information System," or CIS, an information delivery system that allows users to enter information about themselves to learn what careers might interest them. Additionally, it points users towards college programs and financial aid while providing up-to-date salary information about each career. Many of the occupations listed -- ranging from animal trainer to lens grinders to x-ray technicians -- include short video presentations highlighting the careers.

"It's really a tool to get students engaged in thinking about careers that match their interests," according to Cathy Brown, director of the P-16 Center and associate dean for research and development in the School of Education. "They start a portfolio of the kinds of careers they might be interested in. Then it also provides programs of study that would lead to those careers, what institutions have those programs of study."

IU's P-16 Center is currently reaching out to school counselors to offer training in how to use CIS, which is free to anyone who has an Indiana zip code or area code.

Fifteen states now offer the CIS as their official career information delivery system, but in most cases, users must pay a small fee for the service. The CIS -- created by "intoCareers," a center at the University of Oregon -- uses a software program which was developed by an IU professor in the School of Education. IU has waived the license fee in exchange for the use of the CIS, an agreement which allows Indiana residents free access.

The program is aimed at students in middle school and up and is designed to give a good overview of many career possibilities and what goes into preparing for those careers. Users who register can create a portfolio, saving information about areas of interest. Students can share their login information with a school guidance counselor and parents.

"It's a whole-picture kind of experience," Matt Dever, information specialist at the P-16 Center said. "We can get kids early, starting to think about what it is they're going to need to do."

Brown added that such early thought about career interests can make a huge difference in student outcomes.

"There are lots and lots of data that show that the earlier kids start thinking about careers and planning for a career that they're passionate about, the less they smoke, the less they do drugs, the less they get pregnant before they graduate, the longer they stay in high school, the more likely they are to go to college. All the kind of things we want to promote through the P-16 Center," she said.

Brown also said offering such a valuable service for free is a great asset for developing the state workforce.

"Whether we get them to come to IU, or Ivy Tech, or to Vincennes, or do some kind of technical education that leads to a career," she said, "the more we're improving the economy of the state and the lives of the citizens of Indiana."

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For more information, contact Chuck Carney, IU School of Education, at 812-856-8027 and