College & Career Readiness Toolkit
The Indiana Afterschool Network’s College and Career Readiness Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to help middle and high school out-of-school-time programs get laser focused on building 21st century skills and supporting young people as they navigate through the complex world of planning for their advanced education and careers.
INTRODUCTION & LETTER FROM IAN
The toolkit provides practical resources, information and activities for out-of-school time programs to move through this continuum, starting with foundational skills, career and college readiness culture building, and awareness. As students move closer to high school graduation, the toolkit offers how-to’s on building partnerships with colleges and industry to make the transition to applied learning that prepares students for the next steps.
Included in each unit:
• Overview of the area of focus
• Relevant research
• Guided activities
• More links to explore
• Accompanying worksheets, activity guides, and student resources
UNIT 1: OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES OF CAREER & COLLEGE READINESS
Unit 1: Overarching Principles of Career and College Readiness
This first unit provides information and resources to support the overarching principles of college and career readiness. Here you will find what you need to get started with creating a culture of college and career readiness, setting and upholding high expectations of youth in your programs, providing mentorship opportunities as a support structure for post-secondary success, and collecting and using data related to college and career readiness throughout your program to inform decisions and program design.
• Creating and College & Career Readiness culture
• Raising the bar on expectations
• Collecting data related to College & Career Readiness
UNIT 2: GUIDING YOUTH THROUGH CAREER & COLLEGE DECISIONS
Unit 2: Guiding Youth Through Career & College Decisions
This unit aims to provide activities and resources for exploring career and education options with students in middle school based on their interests, skills, and strengths. Additionally, this unit includes curated resources for helping youth understand the important economic context surrounding post-secondary education and careers such as salaries, wages, debt to income ratios, and other relevant economic implications.
• Info and activities for middle school career exploration & high school decisions
• Info and activities for high school career exploration and college education decisions
• Economic context for youth
Handouts (Student Resources):
• Middle School – Worksheet – This Is Me
• Middle School – Worksheet – Career Alignment
• High School – Worksheet – Interest Inventory
• High School – Worksheet – Career Alignment Research
• High School – Worksheet – Pathway Profile
UNIT 3: FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS FOR COLLEGE & CAREER READINESS
Unit 3: Foundational Skills for College & Career Readiness
Unit 3 focuses on the foundational skills necessary for post-secondary pursuits by presenting information, engaging activities and simulations, and resources for middle and high school students on building 21st century skills, learning about and practicing skills for success in the workplace, interviewing skills, and financial responsibility.
• Building 21st Century skills
• Preparing youth for the workplace
• Interviewing skills
• Financial responsibility
UNIT 4: CAREER READINESS
Unit 4: Career Readiness
This unit focuses solely on the aspects of career readiness as a starting point for making decisions about post-secondary education options. Beginning with the end in mind, it is important to expose youth to as wide a variety of career options as possible, beginning as early as possible. This toolkit was designed to start with career aspirations in order to make informed decisions about post-secondary education that will lead to successful career attainment. In this section of the toolkit you will find a wide variety of resources, activities, and supporting materials to help youth learn more about the types of careers that are available and the pathways to those careers.
• Career awareness
• Job readiness skills
• Work experience
UNIT 5: ALTERNATIVE POST-SECONDARY OPTIONS
Unit 5: Alternative Post-Secondary Options
In recent years, there has been a focus shift toward four-year colleges and universities as the most recommended path after high school. However, there are many reasons someone may want to consider alternative options for their post-secondary education experiences. This unit looks at many of the alternatives to a traditional four-year college pathway and provides resources and information to help your staff and youth learn more about these options.
• Two-year degrees
Handouts (Student Resources):
• Alternative Post-Secondary Pathway Research
UNIT 6: COLLEGE READINESS
Unit 6: College Readiness
The final unit of the toolkit focuses specifically on more traditional college and university experiences and preparation for these pursuits. There are many activities and resources included in this section to help students explore colleges, become more financially aware, and confidently navigate the planning and application processes. Special sections on considerations for First Generation college students and students with various immigration statuses are included as well. Additionally, there is a family guide included as an introduction to dual credit opportunities to be used to help parents of youth in your programs understand the considerations of dual enrollment for high school students.
• College awareness
• First-generation college students
• Supporting DACA recipients and DREAMers
• The college search
• Financial planning
• Dual enrollment
• Applying to college
• Managing the transition to college
Handouts (Family Resources):
• Family Introduction to Dual Enrollment
DOWNLOAD THE FULL TOOL KIT
Download the Full Toolkit Here
Note: All activities and handouts are linked in the toolkit and can be downloaded from the units above.