Professional Development

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New Tool Helps Prioritize College and Career Readiness

With 80% of a young person's life spent outside of school, afterschool programs can play an important role in providing guidance, support and inspiration for students' career and college pathways. Sadly, many students miss out on the valuable resources and opportunities these programs have to offer.

Intentional career and college readiness is often not a priority in middle school, and many high schools simply cannot cover all of the bases alone. With this challenge in mind, the Maryland Out of School Time Network—an NAA State Affiliate—has developed a new free College and Career Readiness (CCR) Toolkit, with funding support from the C.S. Mott Foundation.

The CCR Toolkit is a comprehensive roadmap designed to help students and afterschool programs navigate the complex world of higher education and career readiness. Broken down into six units, the Toolkit offers detailed guides on a wide range of topics, from supporting first-generation college students and DREAMers, to exploring careers and planning for college. How-to sections on facilitating career fairs, managing college visits, and creating credit-bearing opportunities are also included. The toolkit even provides easy implementation resources like detailed virtual learning activities and convenient handouts for both students and families.

Afterschool and summer programs can support students' college and career plans by offering opportunities to develop skills, use teamwork to tackle complex projects, address real world challenges, and connect students directly to work experiences like internships. With greater intentional focus on career and college readiness, out-of-school time programs are a powerful complement to in-school efforts.

To access the free CCR Toolkit online, click here.

Courtesy of NAA.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Out of School Time Network.