Career Development Associations Are Off and Running

by Sally Gelardin

State career development associations are moving ahead in leaps and bounds to provide services to their members. With the more common use of such technologies as tele-conferencing and video-conferencing, state CDAs are able to collaborate to provide services. Connecticut CDA leaders are making a special effort to include other North Atlantic states in their activities. In these challenging times, when association work is often put on the back burner because of other priorities, collaboration within and between states to provide professional development services is especially vital.

What we accomplished in 2003...

On December 17, NCDA sent out a request for state career development association leaders for reports of what they have accomplished and what they have planned for 2004. State career development leaders were quite open in expressing their needs, as well as accomplishments and plans for the future. The following state CDAs sent back reports of accomplishments in 2003 and plans for 2004: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Montana (Montana does not have a state association, but reported on several career activities), Oregon, and South Carolina.

What we plan for 2004:


      California is working to create a variety of new benefits that would be of added value to CCDA members to strengthen their resources as career development professionals, increase CCDA membership, and provide current membership with additional services.

      Connecticut is planning a workshop on career development for people with disabilities that will be promoted within the New York and New England region.

      The Idaho CDA had a booth at the state counseling association conference in January 2004. The organization hopes to partner with Tech Prep to have a summer workshop for continuing ed units for counselors and career development specialist.

      Maryland is actively planning for the state counseling conference, which will be held on April 30 - May 2, 2004 in Ocean City, MD at a local hotel/conference center.

      Michigan will hold a "new concept" conference, April 2, 2004. The MCDA Public Relations Chair will be planning a new "Outreach Project," that will include distance technology and will highlight the importance of, and methodology of career development in today's changing world.

      In May, 2004, the Central Montana Tech Prep Consortium will be offering an inservice for consortium-member school and college counselors and advisors who assist students with career and educational planning. The in-service will involve hands-on exposure and guided tours through helpful web sites and reliable internet resources for career planning and development. This is not a state career development association activity.

      Oregon has scheduled a State Professional Development Institute and Awards Banquet, featuring Martha Russell and Patrick Kerwin. The Oregon CDA is partnering with other professional associations who have a career development focus, and will be giving their members "member rates".

      The North Atlantic region is sponsoring a professional leadership institute on "The Passion and Practice of Leadership", to be held May 1, 2004 in collaboration with NCDA and the CT CDA. State CDA leaders will be invited, with stipends given to one rep from each of the North Atlantic Regional states to attend. The LDI will be held the day after Connecticut Counseling Association's annual conference (Counseling in Times of Change, Challenge, and Opportunity).

      South Carolina is promoting the Career Clusters/Career Majors Program to help all students prepare for a satisfying and meaningful career.


NCDA will support state and national collaboration by providing a teleconferencing panel of career experts at the annual conference (to be held July 1-3 in San Francisco) that can be broadcast to state career development associations, promoting sharing of resources among state associations. For information on how to set receive the broadcast, contact Ed Colozzi, email: edcolozzi@verizon.net. The NCDA Professional Development Committee is developing a survey to find out what professional development topics members would like to explore. In 2004, NCDA will issue ten $500 grants for outstanding state professional project proposals.

State CDAs are developing creative ways to offer professional development services to members. I am especially impressed by the energy of small and sparsely populated states to involve their members in professional development activities and reach out to new audiences, as well as by the continued growth of larger organizations. States CDAs are collaborating both within their states with affiliate organizations and between states. With the expediential growth of distant communication systems, we can expect even more collaboration within and among states in the future.

Further Information
If you have questions or creative ideas on how to recruit leadership/members for your state Career Development associations or have exciting events to report, please contact Sally Gelardin at lifeworks@gelardin.net. If you wish to contact state leaders directly, view the NCDA website, State Divisions

Sally Gelardin is the NCDA Professional Development Chair. She can be reached at
Email: lifeworks@gelardin.net