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Getting Real
Updated Edition of Bestseller

Getting Real
Helping Teens Find Their Future

Second Edition

September 2008 | 216 pages | Corwin

"Gray provides a systematic method for working with students to look at opportunities after high school in a realistic way."
—Mary Reeve, Director
Services for Exceptional Students

Help teens achieve success after high school through meaningful career development!

Without a realistic postsecondary strategy, more than half of students fail to graduate college or land rewarding jobs. Educators and parents can improve students' odds by encouraging them to develop the long-term initiative and commitment of a solid career plan.

This updated edition of Getting Real examines real-world occupational trends and projections to help teens gain "career maturity" and a sense of direction. The second edition has been expanded to address students with special needs and those at risk of dropping out, and includes a new chapter on understanding today's teens and parents. Offering a systematic, six-step plan for helping adolescents integrate youthful aspirations with economic realities, the author examines:

  • The fundamentals of the labor market
  • Myths and misconceptions that can limit students' choices
  • Alternative options to a four-year degree
  • Career exploration strategies and activities, such as job shadowing and work-study

Develop confident, clear-thinking teens who can make well-informed academic and career decisions about their future!

Preface to the Second Edition
About the Author
1. Getting Real: New Realities for Postsecondary Success
A New Goal: Postsecondary Success  
Career Direction and the "Fourth" R  
Career Maturity and Career Direction  
Career Exploration Activities and Career Maturity  
Career Development Programs: Are They Effective?  
Society's Ambivalence About Career Choice  
The Role of Public Schools  
Making the Case for Career Development Programs  
Promoting Success  
Part I. Understanding Those We Try to Help “Get Real”
2. Today’s Teens and Their Parents
Today’s Teens  
Today’s Parents  
Promoting Success  
3. Dropouts, Teens With Disabilities, and Graduates Seeking Full Time Employment
Getting Real and High School Dropouts  
Getting Real and Special Populations  
High School Graduates Who Seek Full Time Employment  
Promoting Success  
4. Creating Opportunities by Countering Stereotypes
Occupational Stereotypes  
Gender Stereotypes and Earnings: Education or Occupation?  
Occupational Stereotyping: Minorities and the Economically Disadvantaged  
Promoting Success  
Part II. Understanding Labor Market Fundamentals
5. Labor Market Misunderstandings and Bad Advice
Misunderstanding 1: A University Degree Guarantees Access to High Wages  
Misunderstanding 2: A University Degree Guarantees Access to Professional Careers  
Misunderstanding 3: High Tech Careers Require a University Degree  
Misunderstanding 4: Career Planning Is Worthless Because People Change Jobs All the Time Anyway  
Misunderstanding 5: University Graduates Will Take All the Good Jobs  
Labor Market Advantage: The Secret to Getting High-Skill / High-Wage Employment  
Bad Advice Given to Teens  
Will Tentative Career Decisions Close the Door to Future Opportunity?  
Promoting Success  
6. Occupational Projections, Technical and Middle Skill Employment
I: Using Labor Market Information  
II: Occupational Projections  
III: The Other Way to Win: Technical and Middle-Skill Occupations  
A Selective List of Technical and Middle Skilled Occupations: This Is Rocket Science  
Promoting Success  
Part III. Strategies to Promote Career Direction
7. Career Success, Decision Making, and Teens
The Path to Career Success?  
Characteristics of a Career Mature Teenager  
Career Decision Making Anxiety of Teens  
Reducing Teen Anxiety Over Making Career Decisions  
Promoting Success  
8. Strategies to Promote Adolescent Career Maturity and Direction
Student Outcome Goals for Career Development Program  
Outcome Goal 1: Promoting a Tentative Career Direction While in the 10th Grade  
Outcome Goal 2: Verifying Tentative Career Directions  
Outcome Goal 3: Develop a Postsecondary Plan  
Providing Career Counseling  
Promoting Success  
9. Considering “All” the Alternatives
Traditional Formal Education Alternatives  
Alternatives to College  
The “Bridge” or “Prep” Year  
Promoting Success  
10. Six-Step Plan for Postsecondary Success
Talking to Parents  
Parents and Career Choice  
Six-Step Plan for Postsecondary Success  
Helping Parents With Difficult Choices  
Promoting Success  
11. Getting Real and the Role of the Business Community
Community Organizations  
Promoting Success  
12. How Are Teenagers Best Served, Nutritional Lies or Reality?
Nutritional Lies  
Creating Opportunity  
Five Premises for Success  
Well-Intended but Bad Advice Given to Teens  
Understanding Our Role  
Fighting the Good Fight  

"I applaud the author’s efforts in promoting a shift from the 'one way to win' stance toward that of helping students face reality and develop career goals that will help them be successful."

Shawn Grime, School Counselor
Bryan High School, OH

"Stresses the need for career maturity. This is one of the few books that addresses this topic so well."

Diane Smith, School Counselor
Smethport Area High School, PA

"This book is a must-read for those involved in developing futures planning for students in ninth grade through their exit from high school into adult life."

Kelli S. Kercher, Transition Specialist
Murray School District, UT

“Gray provides a systematic method for working with students to look at opportunities after high school in a realistic way.”

Mary Reeve, Director
Services for Exceptional Students

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412963657
ISBN: 9781412963640