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Late 1970s





June 2010 & 2011

Summer 2011

October 2011

April 2012

June 2012

July 2016

November 2011

December 2018

March 2019

July 2019

Our History

The National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA) was founded.


The National Defense Education Act, NDEA passed by the US Congress to increase K-12 school counselors in the nation and professionalizing work the field.


The National Occupational Information Coordinating Committees (NOICC) were funded by the US Department of Education to appoint SOICCs, committees in each state. The primarily role was to disseminate career information to students in K-12 and some adult services. Computerized career information programs in the late 70s paved the way for this program to become highly successful and be reauthorized by Congress for 24 years.

At the time, the RI Director of SOICC was Mildred Nichols. With a keen interest in the data available on vocation and career development, especially for adults, she became more interested in the work of NVGA. She had also received additional funding from NOICC for her population of adults served by the DLT. She began to network with career professionals in the area, namely Ellen Weaver Paquette, who would continue championing the profession in our state as well as nationally and internationally. RIC maintained a central role in the state’s affiliation with the US Department of Education and notable RI leaders in the field like Sunny Hanson, Murray Finley, and Ronald Esposito.

NVGA was renamed and became the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Thus, NCDA is the first, longest running and preeminent career development association in the world. A major player in this transition was Kenneth B. Hoyt, who had become the most prolific writer, activist and advocate for including career planning and career education in schools. After serving in the US Army, he became a school counselor and a consultant for the US Office of Education and NDEA, then a professor at Kansas State University (not far from Oklahoma, where the NCDA is headquartered).

The first National Career Development Guidelines were released through a collaborative effort of NOICC, the SOICCs, national experts in career development and leading career counseling and development professional organizations. It contained a framework of career development competencies as indicators as well as a recommended strategy for implementing career development programs for youth or adults. The guidelines were released in a series of handbooks that contained the framework in strategies for implementing the guidelines with various populations.


The Rhode Island Career Counselors Consortium (RICC) was formed and still active, with members primarily in higher education.

RI career development professionals solidified the long-lived connection to NCDA by developing a charter for the RICDA. This was inspired by Ellen Weaver Paquette, NCDA Fellow and Past Board Member and initiated by Veronica Mansour, from RICC.


Two RI area high school students win 1st place in their categories in the NCDA annual Poetry & Poster Contest.

First credit-bearing professional development events with nationally renowned presenters:

  • The Great Recession and Career Development, Newport, RI, 5/2011 | Award-winning researcher and author David Blustein Ph.D. 

  • Career Strategies for Students on the Autism Spectrum, Bristol, RI, 8/2011 | Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. and Laura DiGalbo, M.Ed.

RICDA Charter and Bylaws accepted by NCDA.

RICDA advocated successfully for November to be declared by RI Governor to be National Career Development month by proclamation.


First Elected Board of Directors were elected to serve the 2012-2013 term:

  • President / Government Relations / Newsletter Editor | Veronica Mansour, Salve Regina University

  • President-Elect / VP of Leadership / Mentoring Committee Chair | Sheri Ispir, Johnson & Wales University, Experiential Education & Career Services

  • Vice President of Communications (Secretary) | Sandra Sylvestre

  • National Career Development Month Contact | Heidi Carla - Cranston Public Schools, Supported Employment

RICDA Charter announced at the NCDA Annual Conference & RICDA wins NCDA Outstanding State Division award.

Member, Patrick Lennahan receives prestigious NCDA Outstanding Career Practitioner award & RICDA wins NCDA Outstanding State Division award.

RICDA attains nonprofit status as a 501 (c) (3) with Hank Johnson in the role of Treasurer.


The Establishment of the New England Consortium of State CDAs was formally established with Donna Remington, RICDA Past President, as a founding member.

RICDA won its second NCDA award, Outstanding State Division 


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