Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core


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TAG: Chapter 2

Professional Development Workshops

EPIC staff can lead workshops for your organization on the topics identified in the book chapters. Please visit the EPIC Workshop and Professional Development Page) to learn more about the services offered and to contact an EPIC representative for further information or scheduling.

Identify Student Interests and Aspirations

Do teachers in your school know about student interests and aspirations? If so, how do they know? What systematic data are collected on student aspirations, particularly as they move across grade levels in high school?

Identify Your School’s Percentage of Students without Postsecondary Education Aspirations

What percentage of students in your school do not aspire to a postsecondary education? Are any data collected on why they don’t?

Consider Student Aspirations Surveys

Consider informal or self-made surveys or more formal means, such as CampusReady in the appendix, to gather more information on student aspirations.

Develop Student Assignments around Their Interests and Postsecondary Programs

Develop assignments that require students to do research on their interests and on postsecondary programs. For example, students could be required to do a research paper each year on college options and the cost of pursuing an option of interest to them. Online sites such as Naviance ( and Big Future ( provide many free resources to help students complete such assignments.

Construct a Research Project Using O*net Data

Construct a research project where students collect information on three different jobs to report on the necessary qualifications (e.g., training, education, skills), job market outlook and salary predictions, and the day-to-day experience using O*net data on

Use Venn Diagrams to Explore Student Interests and Skills

Create an activity for students using Venn diagrams to explore how student interests and skills overlap with different career types. Brainstorm in small groups the types of jobs that would be fitting for team members.

Host a “Career Jumping” Event

Host a “career jumping” event, where students conduct two- to five-minute interviews with professionals from a variety of fields. Have the professionals talk about challenge and how they overcame obstacles.

Develop Student Interventions using the Readiness Continuum

Informally rate the readiness of graduating seniors. Approximately what percentage are at each level of readiness? Develop three interventions to move more students from job and work ready to career pathway and postsecondary ready.

Discuss Dr. Conley’s Definition of College and Career Ready

Discuss Dr. Conley’s definition of college and career ready. What are the implications of thinking about readiness as sufficient knowledge and skills for students to pursue their aspirations? What are the drawbacks of this definition?

Have Students Present on Their Interests and Career or Educational Pathways

Have students orally present on their interests in relation to different career or educational pathways (

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