Case Studies

Career Design Foundation is hosting a Teen Career Readiness Workshop on two consecutive weekends – Saturday July 29 and Saturday, August 5.

Helen-teach-An2-cropThe two-day workshop is designed for students to prepare for educational opportunities within a college prep or vocational path, and to understand their choices in terms of their interest and aptitudes. The goal is for students to make better educational choices prior to later college or vocational training and education.

Students will attend the first and second Saturdays. Parents will attend with their children on the second Saturday ONLY.


        Time: 1:00-4:00pm, both Saturdays
        Location: Career Design Associates, Inc.
        2818 S. Country Club Road, Garland, TX, 75043
        Call 972-278-4701 for more information, or email

Students attend both sessions. Parent(s) attend only the second session with their students.

Day 1

Students will complete various exercises and assessments to help them learn their strengths and aptitude for a variety of subjects. Each student will receive a binder to hold all of their assessment materials.

Carpooling options may be available – call for details. Parents who choose to wait in the area may want to visit Firewheel Mall while their children are working on the first day. From Career Design, you would return to Centerville Road, turn right onto E Centerville Rd. Follow E. Centerville about 3.5 miles to Firewheel Parkway, where you turn left. Proceed about 1.5 miles to Town Center Blvd., where you turn left. The mall is all around you.

Day 2

Students will go over the results of their assessments and learn how to apply that information. They will also learn possible career options that best match their results.

Email us at if you have any questions or would like to attend!

January 22 & 29, 2017 – Career Maturity Workshop

Dr. Harkness and staff are providing a two-session Career Maturity Workshop to help teenagers determine their future career direction based on their interests, skills, and current and future workplace needs.

CDF2-5-600These seminars – for teenagers and their parents (the final session) – are designed to teach teenagers and their parents about the critical importance of mapping student education/interests to future jobs. The seminar, which is underwritten by the Career Design Foundation, introduces students and their parents to the concepts of Career Design Associates, a leader in re-careering for adult workers. For the Career Design Foundation classes, Dr. Harkness and her associates are soliciting students and their parents to participate in the career workshop series at the Career Design offices in Garland.

Cost: FREE, provided by Career Design Foundation
When: Sunday, January 22nd and January 29th from 2:00-5:00pm

We are requesting parents, or interested adults, to attend the January 29th meeting to gain insight into the teenagers’ career information.

Email us at if you have any questions or would like to attend!

Career Design Foundation Update

If we could look 20 years into the future, we might make better choices for today. Our education system is outdated, and is trying to fit “cookie-cutter” students into jobs and systems that no longer exist.

In Texas, research as recently as 2014 by the office of the former Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs, showed that nearly 80% of the jobs in the immediate future require training, but not a traditional college education.

Why are we focused on sending students to college for jobs that no longer exist?


Mapping Your Future Workshop discussions with students and parents – June 22 and June 23, 2015

Mapping Your Future Workshop 2 – June 21 & 28, 2014

Dr. Harkness contacted the parents of recent graduates and rising seniors from the Classes of 2014 and 2015 to participate in a Mapping Your Future career workshop series at the Career Design offices in Garland. They met on two consecutive Saturdays in June, not long after graduation.

While Dr. Harkness has taught students from 7th through PhD’s in the past, a major goal for her was to orient parents of students within this age group about the critical needs these students have to understand and appreciate their choices in light of current opportunities. Parent or role model involvement in the Mapping Your Future process is a key component for students at this age, and may be even more critical for students in the middle school years.

Based on research of trends in the middle school age groups (especially among at-risk and ESL households) there is a significant chance that students without obvious educational choices and future goals may opt out of the education system. The purpose of this program near-term is to identify this problem and begin to address it.

Initial Case Study: An Introduction

Mapping Your Future is a career program designed to provide students with valid tools to begin the process of successfully thinking and marketing themselves to the world of work.

These are Thank You Cards from students who recently completed the
Mapping Your Future
career workshop series.

To begin this process—
Dr. Harkness, in cooperation with the Youth Achievement Foundation, taught  Mapping Your Future, a career workshop series at two middle schools in Garland. They met one evening per week. Though Dr. Harkness has taught students from 7th through PhD’s in the past, a major goal for her was to orient herself to this age group, since her last professional teaching experience with this age group was in 1954. Her current clients in her Career Design Associates, Inc. business for three decades have been the age of today’s teens parents and grandparents.

First, each student began the process to understand and consciously explore and consider their future career based on their current interests, strengths, values and talents.

Second, they then connected or matched these to possible careers. Specific talents and interests were identified and connected with the work world and their future.

Third, they were taught to search out adults who were in the career field that interested them and asked specific questions about their work life.

CASE STUDY – To begin, Dr. Harkness:

  1. Gave each student a 3×4 spiral “AHA” notepad with a green side for positive thinking and a red side for the negative. She asked them to record their positive and negative thoughts or actions and then pick those they wish to share in the class.
  2. Provided skills handouts and discussion on functional, self-management and specific learned skills. Each rank themselves on 50 different skills for their perceived ability and their preference for doing it.
  3. Each student took the SDS Career Explorer: Self-Assessment Booklet by John Holland, Ph.D. & Amy B. Powell, Ph.D. This matches interests, skills and career choices to obtain a two-letter Holland Code which is matched with careers.For future use, CDF is currently researching:
  4. The results as listed and explained by The Self-Directed Search Interpretive Report by Robert C. Reardon, Ph.D. & Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. This is a computer report explanation based on Holland’s Code matching 1,309 careers with the Dictionary of Titles (DOT) which has brief descriptions of more than 12,000 occupations. This SDS Interpretive Report also provides information on:
    1. Training for matching occupations based on the students results.
    2. Education and training required for each career listed, and the time to gain this.
    3. Suggested fields of study matching the interests indicated by the student, followed up with three environments where the education or training is likely to begin including:
      • A community college, business or technical school resulting in an Associate’s degree.
      • A 4-year college or university, resulting in a Bachelor’s degree
      • Post-bachelor’s level, resulting in a Master’s degree, Doctorate or other professional degrees.
    4. Provided each student’s code letters with all matching fields of study and education required.
    5. Areas of leisure which best match their SDS Code.
    6. Six basic ways to get information for career planning are listed as:
      • observing people at work
      • visiting workers on the job
      • search (Google, etc.), contact, listen and talk with people about their careers
      • write or e-mail professional associations and schools
      • read material on fields of study
      • try out various activities to determine if positive or negative
  5. Students were instructed to pick three careers from The Self-Directed Search Interpretive Report to research and go to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles website, from there, click “Crosswalk Search.”
  6. Students were specificaly taught how to ask for and conduct Information Interviews from adults in the workplace. Questions were provided.
  7. An additional activity was used to connect the students with online technology resources that provided additional assessments and then used Dr. Holland’s Hexagon Theory for additional information.

Before the last career session, the students and their school sponsor met privately and created beautiful Thank You cards as a special gift to Dr. Harkness. They were amazingly creative, colorful and kind. The images shown above are the Thank You cards Dr. Harkness received.