Introduction to the NCDA Centennial Special Series
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2013
© 2013 by the National Career Development Association. All rights reserved.
The Career Development Quarterly
Volume 61, Issue 1, pages 74–76, March 2013
How to Cite
Feller, R. and Furbish, D. (2013), Introduction to the NCDA Centennial Special Series. The Career Development Quarterly, 61: 74–76. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-0045.2013.00037.x
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2013
This National Career Development Association (NCDA) Centennial Special Series honors the 100th anniversary of NCDA. The Career Development Quarterly (CDQ) has played a key role in recording the research, promising practices, and theories that have shaped professional career practice. Over the next four issues of CDQ (Volume 61), this series will feature eight invited articles written by individuals who have provided leadership and vision to NCDA over the years. Their articles will highlight significant issues, programs, and accomplishments that have contributed to NCDA's considerable story. There is a New Zealand Maori proverb Kei mua kei muri (One needs to look back to look forward). By celebrating a sample of NCDA's successes and accomplishments, this series will provide what Amundson (2009) called backswing to provide the impetus for future accomplishment as NCDA enters its 2nd century.
Ironically, this introduction is written on Labor Day in the United States. Labor Day was legislated in 1894 by Congress 6 days after U.S. marshals broke a strike, killing workers at a railroad car factory in Illinois. NCDA's history, like that of labor, is shaped by the desire to give voice to those seeking advocacy, access, and choice as they navigate dynamic and increasingly complex occupational structures in an effort to build satisfying and meaningful lives. As we write this, workers worldwide are experiencing tremendous workplace changes. Across the globe, many are becoming educational consumers who have learned that it is less important where they learn than it is what and how they study throughout their careers. Today, some fear that they may be the last to experience the American dream while others imagine Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (Diamandis & Kotler, 2012) or what Clifton (2011) called in his book The Coming Job Wars. Some hope to find immediate help to move from unemployment to a job or to a better opportunity. Others see the dream moving from one of materialism and purchases to one of finding purpose and relationships within an age of Knowledge Nomads and the Nervously Employed (Feller & Whichard, 2005). Career counselors and specialists know they work within a technology-fueled global economy, where cultural contexts are increasingly important and assumptions about how career interventions can be provided, by differently trained career specialists to meet exponential demand, is changing.
NCDA works within a complex field wherein specialists freely interchange the words career guidance, career interventions, career assistance, career counseling, career planning, and career coaching as proposed techniques and models to support the achievement, satisfaction, and freedom of choice in career decision making. Career development is a lifelong strategy for individuals, talent management within organizations, and a human resource issue within national economies critical to a country's prosperity. Career development owes its heritage to Frank Parsons, who helped the poor, underserved, and immigrants a century ago. In terms of a measurable impact on personal, community, economic, and workforce development, NCDA has helped capture the attention of policy makers, supported organizations to best use human resources, and promoted social equity through advocating for educational and occupational access. Most important, NCDA has provided professional development and resources to support state chapters and international affiliates worldwide.
Noting the connections among work, learning, and well-being, NCDA's story includes published and private recollections of inspiring careers that empower others. Returning to Boston in July 2013, NCDA will begin its second 100 years of supporting career counselors and specialists at its conference titled Celebrating 100 Years of Career Development: Creating Hope, Social Justice and Legacy. This experience, along with special activities throughout this centennial year, will pay tribute to the premier professional organization attending to the exploration and clarification of life roles that construct a lifelong career. As noted in What Color Is Your Parachute (Bolles, 2013), the most popular international career book written, “the identification of talents, gifts, or skills is the province of career counseling…. Career counseling knows how to do this better than any other discipline” (p. 289).
We are fortunate to be coeditors of this special series and believe that NCDA is uniquely positioned to lead the career development field for the next 100 years. As the eight special articles of this series will show, NCDA has a proud and strong foundation on which to build its place in helping more people use their labor to design, construct, and transition through their careers. Each of the eight primary authors is a recipient of a major NCDA leadership award and is a person who has played a major part in NCDA's history; each unique lens offers both a historical perspective and a personal analysis of how their contributions fit into the NCDA's legacy. Future articles will speak to topics related to (a) trends in vocational education, vocational guidance, and career development; (b) comprehensive school counseling programs and creating career-ready students; (c) computer-assisted career guidance and its role in NCDA's history; (d) The NOICC/SOICC Network: Policy, Programs, and Partners, 1976–2000; (e) the history of NCDA and its connection to social justice; and (f) the Born Free project and its impact on equity issues and career development practice.
In the first issue of the series, two key topics that have greatly influenced career development and NCDA's goals are included. Past NCDA Presidents Judith M. Hoppin and Howard H. Splete, recognized for their creativity, leadership, and commitment to NCDA's Career Development Facilitator initiatives, offer insights into the history and present status of these initiatives in their article “The Career Development Facilitator Project: Then and Now.” NCDA Eminent Career Award winner Thomas Harrington and coauthor Jennifer Long provide a rich and comprehensive analysis of the role of interest inventories in the career assessment options available within their article “The History of Interest Inventories and Career Assessments in Career Counseling.”
We hope that the Centennial Special Series will celebrate NCDA's accomplishments of the past 100 years and provide the inspiration for career counselors to join us in anticipating the accomplishments of the next 100 years.
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