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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
June 10, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to prepare California’s students for career and college 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.

One key component for supporting student career and college readiness is utilizing resources to help them develop effective career exploration and planning skills, especially during the early high school years. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Exploration Program (CEP) is offered by the United States Department of Defense as a free resource for schools that can serve as a stand-alone comprehensive career guidance resource and is required for students interested in military career options. In addition to being a strong resource for supporting career exploration, ASVAB Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) scores are being collected between May 1 and June 30, 2022, to explore their potential as a College/Career Indicator for the California School Dashboard. More information on the ASVAB AFQT can be found on the ASVAB and AFQT FAQs web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/asvabtestfaq.asp.

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 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 their AFQT score on the ASVAB to qualify for enlistment (grades eleven and twelve scores only), but there is no obligation to enlist. Schools can select from one of eight available options regarding the 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. In addition to the stand-alone assessment, the CEP provides additional tools that help students hone in on career options that will best match their skills and interests. These additional tools emphasize 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 website at http://www.asvabprogram.com/. 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 email at jmerris@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

TT:jmc
2022-01147

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 10, 2022

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