The Action-Oriented Hope Model of Career Development

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Spenser G. Niles began his appointment as Dean for the School of Education at The College of William & Mary in July of 2013.  Prior to being named Dean for the SOE, he was Distinguished Professor and Department Head for Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at the Pennsylvania State University.  He also served as Director of the Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy at Penn State.  Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, he was a Professor at the University of Virginia for 13 years and also served as Assistant Dean for the Curry School of Education at UVA.

Dean Niles is the recipient of the National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Eminent Career Award, a NCDA Fellow, an American Counseling Association (ACA) Fellow, the recipient of ACA’s Thomas Sweeney Visionary Leadership and Advocacy Award, President’s Award, David Brooks Distinguished Mentor Award, Extended Research Award, and the University of British Columbia Noted Scholar Award.  He served as President for the National Career Development Association and Editor for The Career Development Quarterly and the Journal of Counseling & Development and currently serves on numerous journal editorial boards.  He has authored or co-authored approximately 130 publications and delivered over 125 presentations on career development theory and practice.

Dean Niles received his undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University and his teaching career began in the Rochester, New York public schools. In addition to his work in education, Dean Niles has worked in a variety of community social service agencies and other university settings. His master’s degree is from Lehigh University, and his doctoral degree is from Penn State University.

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION:  Most of us would agree that having a sense of hope is critical to positive career and educational planning.  Without it, there is no reason to expect anyone to become actively engaged in the planning process.  In fact, many young people who leave school early do so because they have no hope that their school experiences will lead to meaningful future opportunities.  Hope, however, is necessary but insufficient for focused planning.  There are macro-steps related to the career self-management process that drive effective planning.  We identify those macro-steps as: engaging in self-reflection, developing self-clarity, creating a meaningful vision of one’s future possibilities, making goals and identifying plans, taking action, and adapting to new information as a result of the actions one has taken.  This lifelong process grounded in action-oriented hope constitutes the core of the action-oriented hope model of career development.

This webinar introduces participants to this model, provides interventions connected to each step, and offers a case study for applying the model with a career counseling client.


  • Understand ways in which hope is core to career development.
  • Learn the theoretical foundations for the action-oriented hope-centered model.
  • Be able to apply this model with their clients.
  • Integrate the Hope-Centered Career Inventory into career counseling interventions.