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Business & Career Development Connections

At some point in the implementation and maintenance of the NC Graduation Project (NCGP), all Graduation Project Coordinators will have to secure and prepare mentors and evaluators, as well as, coordinate a working relationship between school advisor, student, parents, community, evaluators, and mentors. While this may seem to be a daunting task at the beginning, much of the business community across the state is ready and willing to assist you. Knowledge about the graduation project and the involvement it will take from them to make the graduation project a success is spreading among business and career development groups. More and more these groups are becoming knowledgeable about the project and want to assist schools and students maximize the NCGP experience. They are eager to share their expertise and work environments with students in order to build better understanding of what the real world of work is really like and to perhaps encourage students to pursue a career in their profession. The mentor experience is a collaborative aspect of the graduation project and, when administered appropriately, mutually benefits schools, students, businesses, community and education in general. To that end, the Business and Career Development Connections portion of this website will be devoted to sharing insight into how business and career development groups are responding to the NCGP high school requirement and providing information and resources to assist you in networking with state and local businesses.

Potential Resources From Which To Seek Mentors Across North Carolina
The following list of public websites has been assembled to help teachers more quickly locate business, industry, local and statewide government agencies, associations and organizations in counties across the state who may be willing to provide or operate as mentors for the North Carolina Graduation Project. The NC Department of Public Instruction in no way assumes responsibility for the information located at each site nor have any of the groups or individuals listed agreed to be mentors. These sites are public access sites that we have merely located according to county or, in some cases they are statewide, to help facilitate finding mentors. Users will have to employ discretion and go through appropriate processes to contact, establish and work with any potential mentors. Because we do not control these sites, they are subject to change, however, most of these were found by doing a search for business, industry, chambers of commerce, associations, organizations, etc. You may wish to do similar online searches to locate other resources or to find resources that pertain to a specific job or career not represented here.

Kimberly, a 2008 summer intern with NCDPI, spent many hours locating these sites across the state and assembling the resulting list. We would like to express our many thanks to Kimberly for her dedication to the task and for providing this valuable and timely resource.
(xls, 128kb)

21st Century Graduates – A Closer Look at the North Carolina Graduation Project
This "Findings from the North Carolina Business Committee for Education 2006 Partner Survey", identifies skills and qualities important for students to succeed in 21st century workplaces, the mounting evidence of inadequate preparation and how students can be better prepared. In addition, the Findings discuss the role the NCGP in connection with business and community leaders can play in helping students' achievement and preparation for living and working in the global economy of the 21st century.
(pdf, 149kb)

North Carolina Business Committee for Education
The NCBCE is committed to partnering with schools and LEAs to assist with various aspects of the NC Graduation Project such as being a project mentor, providing expertise knowledge in a specialized field, or advising students on their Graduation Projects. Business leaders recognize that the skills required to complete the Graduation Project, such as research, writing, and presenting, are important attributes that future employees will need. Visit for more information.

Job Shadowing and the North Carolina Graduation Project
Job shadowing can be a first step for students to discover interests, make connections and develop ideas for the NC Graduation Project. This North Carolina Business Committee for Education document discusses the benefits of job shadowing to businesses, educators and students, as well as, describes an action plan for businesses to use in implementing job shadowing with schools. There is also a link for companies who may not be able to physically host students or educators that allows connections to be made through an on-line environment.
(pdf, 75kb)

Futures for Kids (F4K) is a fun and easy way for your students to explore different careers and understand the relevance of school as a means to future success. Through F4K, students can match their interests to almost 500 different careers and learn about the classes they need to take as well as the career outlook for North Carolina. Most important, students can connect with NC companies and get advice from 500+ F4K Career Coaches, through monitored discussion boards where they will connect with someone who can share first-hand what it takes to make it in that career.

The best part is, you can explore F4K with your students and have their 4-year graduation plans and career interests right at your computer! F4K is currently being delivered to 22 school systems across NC and working to expand statewide in 2008-2009. For more information, contact F4K at

Website in Support of the Graduation Project – A Model for Business and Industry
The North Carolina Office of Environmental Education, a state government office, has created a NC Graduation Project Support site to assist students and individuals in an environmental profession to connect in order to facilitate the mentoring aspect of the Project. They have both a Students Seeking Mentors and a Mentors Seeking Students section. There is also a process to enable mentors to express an interest in mentoring and be added to the website.

This example of support for the Graduation Project in our public schools is definitely a beneficial and practical means to support the Project, and serves as a model that business and industry might follow. For additional information, check out the site at

College Fund of North Carolina (CFNC)
College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is a free service of the State of North Carolina that helps students plan, apply, and pay for college. CFNC is a partnership of Pathways, the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, and College Foundation, Inc. CFNC has many tools for students, families, and educators to assist with high school, college, and career planning. CFNC has many tools which support the NC Graduation Project.

Once you log in and open an account with CFNC, you can find tools and resources appropriate to your grade or stage of life, store your work, applications, account and other information to pick up or review any time, and keep a lifelong portfolio to help with future career transitions. Below is a powerpoint which provides an overview of CFNC 2.0 and ways it can assist you!

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) 2.0:
More than meets the eye