Frank Parsons

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Frank Parsons (1854-1908) is known as the Father of Vocational Guidance. Although he was educated as an engineer at Cornell University, he wrote several books on social reform movements and articles related to women's suffrage, taxation, and education for all. Additionally, he taught history, math, and French in public schools, worked as a railroad engineer, and passed the state bar examination for lawyers in Massachusetts in 1881. His university occupations included teaching at Boston University School of Law and at Kansas State Agricultural College (See Kansas State University), and serving as dean of the extension division of Ruskin College in Trenton, Missouri. However, Parsons is best known for his interests in helping individuals make occupational and career choices (Zunker, 2002).


In 1901, Mrs. Quincy Agassiz Shaw, a philanthropist, established the Civic Service House in Boston as an effort to provide educational opportunities for immigrants and young persons seeking work. Later in 1905, Parsons became director of one of the Civic Service House programs called the Breadwinner's Institute (Zunker, 2002). Afterwards, Parsons organized the Bureau of Vocational Guidance. Nine months later, Parsons used the Bureau to train young men to be counselors and managers for YMCA's schools, colleges, and businesses. A few years later, the School Committee of Boston created the first counselor certification program, and eventually the program was adopted by......
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