Looking Ahead: Academic Career Plan

7th Grade Counseling Lesson

Career Investigations Class

As part of the mandated curriculum, all students are required to take the Career Investigations class in 7th grade. It is a semester long class that encourages students to explore career options and opportunities. The class covers several real-world skills that allows students to assess the roles they play in society as well as identify and analyze their personal assets and skills. Students complete a basic exploration of career clusters, select career pathways or occupations for further study, and create an Academic and Career Plan based on their discoveries. This course also helps students identify and demonstrate the workplace skills that employers desire in their future employees and includes instruction on VDOE computer science standards.

Counselors Introduce Academic Career Plans

As mentioned previously, all 7th grade students are required to fill out an Academic Career Plan. The purpose of this plan is to help students prepare for their academic future in high school and beyond. By identifying a career cluster and career path early on, students can go into high school with an idea of their plans for after high school and build their class schedule accordingly. Each semester, the 7th grade counselor(s) comes into the Career Investigations class and helps students identify which career cluster would be best for them based upon their interests and skills. The academic career plan can be changed or altered at any time as students and parents always have access to it.

How to Access Your Student's ACP

To access your student's Academic Career Plan:

1. Go to PWCS.edu

2. Under the 'STUDENTS' tab in the top right hand corner, locate the subcategory 'HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND'

3. Click on 'COLLEGE AND CAREER PLANNING RESOURCES'

4. Click on 'PREPARING TO GRADUATE'

5. Click on 'ACADEMIC CAREER PLAN'

6. Click here to access your Academic Career Plan 'ACP'

7. Enter your student's 6-digit student ID number


See below for an example of an ACP.

Big picture

Career Clusters

Up until now, there has been 16 career clusters. However, recently a 17th has been added which is Energy. Below are the 17 career cluster and examples of jobs that can be found in each.


  1. Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources - zoologist, farm equipment operator, chef, animal trainer
  2. Architecture & Construction - architect, electrician, interior designer, highway maintenance, carpenter
  3. Arts, A/V Technology & Communications - actor, camera operator, photographer, video producer, graphic design, new/tv reporter
  4. Business Management & Administration - statistician, real estate manager, business owner, accountant, shipping receiving clerk
  5. Education & Training - teacher/professor, librarian, speech pathologist, special education
  6. Finance - accounting clerk, bank teller, loan officer, appraiser, insurance agent, financial counselor
  7. Government & Public Administration - city planning aide, license clerk, building inspector, military, legislative aide
  8. Health Science - nurse, athletic trainer, pharmacist, dentist, x-ray technician, doctor
  9. Hospitality & Tourism - hotel manager, travel agent, food service worker, housekeeping/janitorial, tour guide
  10. Human Services - child care worker, counselor, psychologist, cosmetologist, clergy, social worker
  11. Information Technology - computer information systems manager, computer engineer, video game designer, IT mechanic, data communications analyst
  12. Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security - coroner, corrections officer, detective, police officer, firefighter, lawyer, judge
  13. Manufacturing - civil engineer, locksmith, gas/oil plant operator, welder, metal/plastic processing worker, jeweler
  14. Marketing - advertising agent, buyer and purchasing agent, public relations specialist, real estate agent, customer service representative
  15. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) - aerospace engineer, biologist, chemist, physicist, safety engineer, meteorologist, geographer
  16. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics - air traffic controller, flight attendant, motorboat mechanic, traffic technician
  17. Energy - nuclear engineer, chemical engineer, environmental engineer, renewable energy scientist