Why do we focus on college and career readiness in Middle School?

Between 2008 and 2018, 63 percent of job openings will require some ostsecondary education. But only 42 percent of Americans currently earn an associate degree or higher by the age of 25.1

What percentage of the students you advise will earn a degree or certification?

Effective school counselors convey the expectation that all students, regardless of their background and economic status, can become college and career ready.

The Six Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling are the road map for leading your school in developing a college-going culture that includes all students.

Effective college and career readiness counseling begins in kindergarten and continues through high school. Middle school counselors build on the work of counselors in elementary schools and pave the way for the work of high school counselors. Middle school counselors create opportunities to explore and deepen college and career knowledge and skills necessary for academic planning and goal setting.

Components 1–6

1. College Aspirations 

Why It Matters: School communities that intentionally encourage high aspirations for all students are more likely to help them gain the academic preparation necessary to graduate college and be career ready.

2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness

Why It Matters: An academic plan is a road map to success. When students

develop and academic plan that specifies the courses they need and in what order, they can focus on college and career planning and goal setting.

3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement

Why It Matters: Enrichment and extracurricular activities increase students’

engagement and academic performance and assist them in gaining confidence and achieving goals. These experiences give students the opportunity to explore and experiment in activities that can lead to their future college and career options.

4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes

Why It Matters: Deepening students’ self-awareness and the connection between who they are and their ability to fulfill their future educational goals is a critical part of college and career exploration and selection.

5. College and Career Assessments

Why It Matters: Testing, such as ReadiStep ™ , EXPLORE, PSAT, and career assessments, is one critical element of college and career readiness. Teaching students how testing and academics will help them attain their aspirations is a critical part of helping them set and reach their goals.

6. College Affordability Planning

Why It Matters: Understanding financial planning and the use and management of money is critical for students and families. These skills will assist them in making sound financial plans and decisions related to students’ future educational goals.