OCTAE is pleased to share a newly released brief on career navigators in adult education. This brief was developed and published by a team at Mathematica that collaborated with subject matter experts to identify: the key activities navigators perform, the competencies they need to work with adult learners on career planning, and considerations for hiring and supporting them. Providers in states may find this guidance helpful in developing job descriptions for navigators and making decisions about how to support those in this role.
This brief describes how career navigators are expected to provide a wide variety of services, including career planning, exploration, and counseling; educational planning; support to navigate systems; learner skill building; and job search readiness and placement. To carry out these roles successfully, career navigators need four key competencies:
- Knowledge of the adult learner population and skills for working with learners
- Knowledge of available career pathways and skills to help learners make informed decisions
- Knowledge of learner skills that can lead to success and skills to support learners’ skill-building
- Knowledge of resources available to learners and skills to build and maintain strong partnerships
An ongoing OCTAE-funded study, Connecting Adults to Success (CATS) (see https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/pathways_evidence.asp), complements the expert guidance outlined in this brief. The CATS study will determine whether providing navigators with training aligned with the key activities and competencies leads to improvements in learners’ education, employment, and earnings outcomes.
Read and/or download the brief here: (https://www.mathematica.org/news/understanding-career-navigators-and-how-to-support-their-success)