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The ASVAB Career Exploration Program

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 18, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


Thank you for your ongoing efforts to prepare California’s students for college and career success. Your students’ ingenuity, creativity, and intellect must be nurtured if we are to develop the critical thinkers, high-level problem solvers, and lifelong learners necessary for a thriving America. For many young people, the future may hold unknown challenges, not the least of which is selecting a career path. For schools, the challenge is guiding and facilitating academic success as students determine their education and vocational pursuits.

As highlighted in the Career Readiness Initiative, a key component in supporting student academic preparation is to incorporate effective career exploration and planning skills, especially during early high school years. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program (CEP) is offered by the United States Department of Defense as a free resource for schools that can assist students interested in military career options or serve as a stand-alone comprehensive career guidance program.

There are no direct costs associated with using the ASVAB CEP. The test materials, test administration, resource personnel, and reference materials are provided at no cost to schools and students. Schools can arrange for the ASVAB testing throughout the school year and in many flexible formats—by grade, combined grades, large session, multiple dates and locations, etc. All testing services are provided by the ASVAB team at no cost to the students or to the school. Services include test administration, scoring, and test data reports. Additionally, a post-test interpretation activity is provided to students in a career seminar setting to review their test results and initiate career exploration activities.

Students who express an interest in the military can use the Armed Forces Qualification Test score on the ASVAB to qualify for enlistment (eleventh and twelfth grade scores only), but there is no obligation to enlist. Schools can select from one of eight available options regarding release of information to the military services, from sending results to the Recruiting Services seven days after test scores are mailed, to not releasing any results to the Recruiting Services. Please note that even if schools choose to share the results with the military, parents can choose to opt out of sharing the results and need to be aware of this option.

Results show that the ASVAB is a valid predictor of successful performance in educational programs, and in various civilian and military occupations. The CEP emphasizes the importance of planning and decision making skills that can benefit students throughout their lives. The core components are designed to support and strengthen vocational aspirations, stimulate exploration of the world of work, and increase self-understanding. The effectiveness of this comprehensive career guidance resource is based on linking verbal, math, and science/technical skills, and personal interests to occupations tracked in the United States Department of Labor O*NET system. Program information is available on the ASVAB CEP Web site at A downloadable Counselor Guide is available under the Educator tab. You can contact the ASVAB CEP by phone at 1-800-323-0513, and you will receive contact information for the nearest Education Services Specialist in your area.

Please share this information with your high school principals and regional occupational center program directors.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact John Merris-Coots, Education Programs Consultant, California Career Resource Network Program, by phone at 916-324-8151 or by e-mail at


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 19, 2017

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