College & Career Training in Alaska

The future may be uncertain, but a career plan puts you in charge of your future. The best way to predict your future is to plan it, and the AKCIS Career Plan will get you started. In Career Plan, you will look carefully at yourself, explore what interests you, and decide how to achieve your dreams. Take charge of your future.

Step 1 – Access your AKCIS.org portfolio – You can save your research and planning

  • Students can reach out to their teachers and counselors to create their AKCIS portfolio. Each school/district has a site account – elementary through postsecondary.  Portfolios grow with the student and are transferrable as students move from one school to the next.
  • Job Seekers can use the Login with Zip Code button on the AKCIS.org login box.
  • If you already have an AKCIS portfolio, and are unsure how to access it, contact the AKCIS Help Desk for assistance.

Step 2 – Choose and AKCIS Career Plan version – You can go back and forth between versions if you wish.  Navigate to the Career Plan from the My Portfolio tab at the top of the screen.

 Adults can choose between these two:

  • Full Planner - If you want an in-depth career planning experience, go through these 33 activities step-by-step.  If you are thinking about changing careers, this plan is right for you.
  • Quick Planner - A shorter version with 12 activities is for the user who is trying to make some quick changes by using their existing skill set to find occupations and types of employers who may be hiring.

 Students and adults will answer these three levels (questions) to create a career plan.

  • Who Am I?  is a great place to start learning more about yourself and careers matching  your background and interests.
  • Where Am I Going? focuses on exploring occupations and training options and beginning to network or search for jobs.
  • How Do I Get There? puts all of your exploration, research, and existing skills, and experience together to plan your next steps.

 Step 3 – Create your AKCIS Career Plan

  • Compare Occupations using the Compare tab at the top of the Occupations page by selecting the title of two occupations you are interested in.  Explore information from each category side-by-side for both occupations.  As you Save information to your AKCIS portfolio, write notes for later review in the reflection boxes.  Some of the categories include: Working Conditions, Physical Demands, Skills and Abilities, Wages, Employment, and Preparation.
  • Review the AKCIS Paying for School information on the Education tab to get financial aid. There is a lot of aid for those who need it. Scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans all exist to help you achieve your education goals. College counselors and financial aid officers are eager to help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which makes you a candidate for all federal student aid. The earlier you submit your FAFSA application and all of the other information colleges request, the sooner you'll receive your financial aid package.  ACPE provides individual and group resources to help understand financial aid and file your FAFSA. Find out more about Alaska programs at ACPE.alaska.gov or ask the ACPE Success Center team.
  • Write and manage your Goals to stay on track. Setting goals requires effort, and you must believe in yourself — believe you can achieve your goals. You may need to improve yourself or things in your life to achieve your goals.  A well-crafted goal is SMARTER:
    • S – Specific: it’s clearly defined
    • M – Measurable: you can measure if you achieved it
    • A – Achievable: it's reasonable to accomplish this
    • R – Relevant: it’s linked to the rest of your life
    • T – Time-based: it has a specified time frame
    • E – Expandable: it can grow with you
    • R – Rewarding: it’s personally satisfying If you set goals, you are more likely to succeed. Stay positive and flexible as you focus on your goals.

Personal goals focus on you; not your family, friends, or career. If you plan to pursue school or training, then set academic goals. Success requires a big commitment for adults with busy lives. Be sure to list sub-steps for goals, such as getting your GED. Remember to ensure your goals are SMARTER goals.  Career goals should be a specific occupation or self-employment area based on the research and analysis you completed earlier.

Take a few minutes to review your goals. Do they reflect what you know about yourself?  If you see differences between whom you think you are and what your goals are, rethink, and rewrite them or consider changing, improving something in yourself.

As you work on your Career Plan, tell others about your goals and dreams. Tell your family and friends about your plans to go to school, to change jobs, or even to work on improving something about yourself.  Their help and support will help you when you come across barriers or start to stumble. If you are the first in your family to go to college or postsecondary training, that's even more reason to make it happen! Ask others for advice about going. Counselors at colleges and training facilities offer good advice.

Find more detailed information and assistance using AKCIS.org to prepare your Career Plan, or to work with students to help them create theirs, navigate to the AKCIS User Resources page or to the ACPE – AKCIS Blog entries.


About the Author

Julia Renfro

Julia Renfro

AKCIS Partnership Coordinator


A military BRAT turned military spouse, Julia likes traveling and meeting new people. Using Personal Learning & Career Plans (PLCPs), she works with students and families to plan futures that will help them enjoy life and their communities.



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