4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes
Provide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or career that connects to academic preparation and future aspirations.
- Help students align their college or career and technical school goals
with their program of study and their level of performance in course work and entrance testing. Encourage all students to broaden their social and cultural perspectives by actively considering all of their options, including traditional colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, and career and technical schools.
- Help students access and review applications (paper and online)
and prepare all documentation including recommendations, personal essays, work samples that meet higher education writing standards, and portfolio materials (art, music, etc.). Incorporate updated materials periodically.
- Help students sign up to receive mailings
join listservs and social media groups, and retrieve college, career and technical newsletters and other forms of information from institutions of interest.
- Promote a college-going culture
using consistent messaging about college and career selection. Encourage all students to aim high. Eliminate practices that may perpetuate inequity in students’ goals.
- Work with teachers to incorporate elements of college applications,
such as writing personal statements, into the educational program. Assist teachers in writing effective recommendations that include students’ academic accomplishments and their assets in other areas, such as community leadership, employment skills, and family commitment and responsibility.
- Collaborate with other high school counselors in your district
For example, coordinate on-campus visits for students interested in the same college or career or technical school and hold parent meetings to encourage student participation in district-wide career programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and other areas.
- Collaborate with middle school counselors
to align college and career information in middle and high school so students’ planning is coherent and continuous.
- Create outreach efforts to ensure that parents and families are aware
of their role in assisting their children in college and career selection (see student interventions).
- Help parents and families learn how to locate relevant resources
and to navigate the system so they can be advocates for their students in the exploration and selection process.
- Help parents and families understand the importance of sharing personal information
so their students will have supporting documents for college and career school applications.
- Coordinate college/career visits so all students are able
to meet with representatives. Include representatives and alumni that mirror the student population.
- Conduct visits to colleges and career schools
that include class audits, overnight stays, admission simulations, information sessions with student support service departments, and application review conferences.
- Collaborate with media organizations to develop, deliver and circulate information
to assist parents and students in college and career exploration. Work with media including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, bloggers and other online publications.
- Participation in college and career exploration programs
- College and career/technical school application completion
- College and career/technical school application submission