10/01/2008

Introducing Vocopher:
The Career Collaboratory

By Kevin Glavin

Vocopher (pronounced vo-ko-fur) is a website that contains a collection of free career inventories and educational materials. This website was established to provide quality career development and guidance resources for counselor educators, career practitioners, and researchers. Counselor educators will find theoretically-based teaching materials suitable for use in Career Counseling and Counseling Assessment classes. Career practitioners have access to several career inventories which can be administered online. Researchers benefit by having access to several web-based instruments, which can be used to gather data in an efficient and effective manner. Vocopher also provides educational resources to help counseling professionals interpret inventory results, while improving their knowledge of vocational counseling and guidance.

 

While aiming to address the needs of vocational educators, practitioners, and researchers, Vocopher also seeks to bring together like-minded professionals in an effort to share and advance their knowledge. This current effort traces its roots back to the 19th century where, in 1881, Lysander Richards published the first American textbook on vocational counseling, naming it Vocophy. Richard's witnessed individuals facing an increasing number of occupational choices, and suggested a new profession be created to assist individuals in making these important decisions. He coined the term vocopher, which simply means vocational counselor. Hence the name Mark Savickas chose for the first Career Collaboratory, Vocopher, which you can now access by going to http://www.vocopher.com/.

Vocopher combines some of the best vocational theories of our time with cutting edge technology in an attempt to advance career counseling and guidance. With the passing of prominent vocational theorists, such as Donald Super, John Crites, and David Tiedeman, there is always the chance that there work may be forgotten. We can advance the profession of vocational counseling by standing upon the shoulders of these academic giants, and reaching out to explore and update their work. Although their theories live on in book chapters and published manuscripts, the instruments that they developed to operationalize their constructs are not afforded the same luxury. As time passes, these instruments require updating and re-norming to reflect changes in people and in the world of work. Without the original developers to maintain and promote their work, their instruments run the risk of becoming sidelined. Realizing this, the developers of Vocopher (Savickas and Glavin) assembled a team of vocational specialists, and software programmers to create new web-based versions of these valuable career inventories. Vocopher currently provides free online access to the following instruments:

  • Adult Career Concerns Inventory (ACCI)
  • Career Development Inventory: High School Form (CDI)
  • Career Development Inventory: College Form (CDI)
  • Career Mastery Inventory (CMAS)
  • Career Maturity Inventory: Screening Form (CMI-A2)
  • Career Style Inventory (CSI)
  • Salience Inventory (SI)
  • Work Adjustment Inventory (WAI)

Professionals can rest assured that these instruments measure theoretical constructs developed by thorough research conducted by the original authors. The ACCI operationally defines Super's model of career adaptability in adulthood, and identifies the overall career issue that most concerns an individual. The CDI can be used with high school and college students to measure their overall degree of vocational development. Most importantly, the CDI measures an individual's progress in mastering the developmental tasks in Super's exploration stage of career adaptability in adolescence. The CMAS measures an individual's progress in mastering the developmental tasks in the career establishment stage. Similar to the CMAS, the WAI measures an individual's mastery of developmental tasks within the establishment stage, but focuses on adjustment to job demands rather than career development. The CMI-A2 measures an individual's readiness to make educational or occupational decisions, and is most appropriate for high school students. The SI measures the activities an individual values most by rating the relative importance of the following areas: Studying, Working, Community Service, Home and Family, and Leisure Activities. The CSI helps to elicit responses that describe an individual's personal story. Life themes emerge which can be used to describe an individual's vocational personality, career adaptability and preoccupation. Further details about each of these instruments can be found on Vocopher.

Vocopher also plays host to a multimedia library of educational resources, with contributions from the likes of Edward Bordin, Rene Dawis, John Holland, John Krumboltz and Mark Savickas. This library includes video footage of conference presentations, career inventory user manuals, PowerPoint presentations, and audio clips. All of these resources are free and available for online viewing or download. Vocopher will inevitably expand over time as others join the collaboratory and add to the current pool of resources. It is important to remember that the instruments on Vocopher have been kindly donated by the original authors, to whom the developers are sincerely thankful. For more information, visit us online at http://www.vocopher.com/, or, contact Kevin Glavin at kevinglavin@gmail.com.
 

Kevin Glavin is a Doctoral Candidate at Kent State University in the Counselor Education and Supervision program. He works as a research assistant at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), where he conducts research on career development and guidance, and teaches interviewing skills to medical students. To advance the profession of career counseling and development, Kevin currently serves as the NCDA membership chair, and member on the NCDA/ACES commission. In addition to these positions, Kevin participated in NCDA's inaugural leadership academy, and provides leadership at the state level by serving as Past-President of the Ohio Career Development Association. He can be reached at kevinglavin@gmail.com


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