University of Scranton school counseling program director, Dr. Julie Cerrito, worked with international career development and technology experts, including Drs. JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey and Spencer Niles, in developing an online career awareness system for elementary students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5. Dr. Cerrito also involved several University of Scranton school counseling alumni/practicing school counselors (Amanda Nitowski, Renee Berry, Jerika Brown, and Zachary Watters) for their advice on creating a system that would be practical and useful to children, parents, and educators.
The system, called Kuder Galaxy, is produced by Kuder, Inc. and is designed to help elementary school students learn more about themselves and the world of work through uncovering their skills, abilities, and interests through a series of games, activities, and videos. Children engage in “planetary play” as they explore various planets that correspond with the well-known and well researched Holland Theory of Vocational Choice. Students encounter astronauts and aliens while learning about what work is, why people work, what people do at work, the tools people use while working, the education and training needed for work, and various types of work. Schools in Pennsylvania and around the world may choose to adopt the system in order to meet national and state career standards. Such standards, including those mandated in the state of Pennsylvania, require educators to provide evidence of career development and exploration for young learners, recognizing the importance of these early years on later career decision making.