Since 1998, Ken Travis has held positions as a high school technology teacher, high and elementary school counselor, principal, and adult educator. Today IU13 celebrates with Ken his most recent accomplishment--earning a doctoral degree from Widener University in March.
In the past 30 years, Ken has worked in education teaching and counseling students of all ages and walks of life. Noting that “learning has helped me personally as well as professionally” Ken has earned three master’s degrees--M.A. in counseling, M.Ed. in school counseling, and an M.Ed. in English as a Second Language.
His most recent accomplishment was spurred by a desire to help others succeed, particularly those learners facing challenges as immigrants and/or experiencing economic disadvantage. Recognizing the importance of career development education to students of all ages, Ken took note that while the state allots funding for this purpose at all levels of school (elementary, middle, and high), research in its success at the elementary level was lacking.
Ken’s work included career development lessons among fifth graders in two local districts in three different schools. It concluded that those students who received the lessons made a significant gain in understanding what he termed METER: Are my career options marketable? Are my career options enjoyable? Do my career options encourage me to think deeply? Are my career options ethical and legal? Are my career options rewarding?
Ken is pleased that his research, started in 2012, proves the importance of career development education. He explains, “Personally, I’ve seen how successful it is, but there is very little research out there. I wanted to share from a research perspective that it does make a difference.”
Ken and his wife live in Landisville and have four children, ages 17-26. He plans to continue working as a school counselor, saying, “I really enjoy providing support for children and families, and teaming with agencies.” Of his recent doctoral achievement, he adds, “I’m very grateful for the constant encouragement and support that I received from my family as well as from my colleagues and administration at the LL IU13 and the Lebanon School District! I’m especially grateful for the help and support provided by the staff who were directly involved in the research of this study!”