College and Career Readiness
MOST'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.
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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 student worksheets, activity guides, and supplemental student resources
- Where applicable, information and resources have been provided about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closures and delays on existing processes, data, and overall approaches.
Ready to get started?
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 a College and Career Readiness Culture
- Raising the Bar on Expectations
- Collecting Data Related to College and Career Readiness
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.
- Information and Activities for Middle School Career Exploration and High School Decisions
- Information and Activities for High School Career Exploration and College / Post-Secondary Education Decisions
- Economic Context for Youth
- Middle School This is Me Web Worksheet
- Middle School Career Alignment Worksheet
- High School Interest Inventory Worksheet
- High School Career Alignment Research Worksheet
- High School Pathway Profile Worksheet
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
- Cup Stacking
- Time Management
- Compliment Yarn
- Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues
- Body Sculpting
- Town Hall Circle
- Dress and Groom Checklist
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
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
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
- College Visit Guide
- College Visit Checklist
- College Fair Questions
- Financial Planning for College
- Making a College Transition
- Virtual Campus Tour Survey
Note - All activities and handouts and linked in the toolkit and can be downloaded from the units above.
|Sarah (Saz) Ross has spent 10 years working and thriving in the field of art education. After winning the 2016 Maryland Art Education Association Elementary Teacher of the Year Award, she started thinking about how to keep achieving more as a young, hungry, and passionate artist and educator. Saz decided to quit her tenured job in art education a few years later to pursue her own illustration/art workshop business. The leap into this new career pursuit came around the same time her mother was dying of Multiple Myeloma. At the most crippling moment of her life and feeling more lost than ever, she was able to use her creative outlet in illustration to build a thriving business in freelance illustration. The love of art education led her to facilitating professional development workshops for the Maryland State Department of Education as one of the youngest Roster Artists ever hired while working as an Educational Director of an art education non-profit called Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center. Saz is a young creative leader and she believes it is time for young professionals to view themselves as the same in order to make positive changes in our world.
|Sam Little is an environmental education and youth development nonprofit professional at the Parks & People Foundation (PPF) in Baltimore City, MD. He facilitates meaningful outdoor experiences, in local parks and other green spaces, for people of all ages. He leads PPF's Branches program, an afterschool internship and summer job for high school students, as well as the park enrichment component of SuperKids Camp for elementary school youth. He has a Master of Science from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability with a focus on environmental justice and conservation psychology. Sam believes environmental education can bring out the best in people, form positive relationships between people and the natural world, improve mental and physical health, and enhance ecological integrity.
|Dana Carr is the Executive Director of Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, Inc, whose mission is to empower youth through the arts, academics, and social development. She has served as an administrator, mentor, teacher, curriculum writer and instructional coach, giving her a diverse background of experiences to share with those teachers and students she works with. Dana holds her master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Maryland with certifications in arts integration, teaching artistry and organizational development. She is passionate about differentiating instruction and ensuring that all students have equitable access to a quality education that is inclusive of the arts; one that is engaging, creative and student-centered. She is committed to empowering educators to implement best practices including culturally responsive teaching, social emotional learning and technology integration. A Baltimore native, Dana has done extensive work and most enjoys working in inner city school systems and urban environments, helping teachers to tap into their students’ full potential. She has presented at the Arts Integration, Maryland Arts Summit, MOST, and Culturally Responsive Teaching Conferences Dana was recently selected to serve on the Maryland Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel and the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Family Engagement Committee at Center Stage.
|Tiana Massaquoi is a Prince George’s County native who fell in love with the community and charm of Frederick County (Western Maryland). As a youth development consultant, Tiana is passionate about using strengths, character, and economic empowerment to positively impact youth. In addition to her consulting work, Tiana loves to serve her community, whether as PTA President or Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at Frederick High School. Her greatest joy is loving on her husband, children, family, and friends!|
This toolkit was created with support from a Career and College Readiness Opportunity Grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.