Career Exploration

Not every student must know exactly what he/she intends to major in on their first day on the college campus. However, students need continued exposure to career exploration, interest inventories, internships and job shadowing. This area may not be the central focus or responsibility of the access program or advisor, but collaboration and support of what may be already available at the school is strongly encouraged. Scholarship opportunities for colleges often are aligned with particular majors. Students entering college completely undecided about career options may be limiting their potential funding sources for college.

The following are some career exploration resources. Some may be available on an individual student basis and others may need to be purchased for an entire school.

College Research & Search

Students and parents need to be encouraged to start the college research and search process as soon as possible. The key is to get them to start the process prior to the fall of the student’s senior year. Access programs often collaborate or coordinate college fairs, college field trips, campus visits, and college tours. While many of these activities occur during the senior year, early awareness of college options will help students make and refine their college “list” in a much more timely fashion.

The following resources will help students explore and plan their college and career options. To learn more about college planning, download this Advisor Training Module – Chapter 6.

MytonomyMytonomy is a near-peer social network designed to bring advice to high school students while supporting the overburdened high school counselor. Students can watch videos and get their college questions answered.

College Readiness InventoryThe CRI is an example intake form from the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, meant to be the initial point of contact when meeting with a student for the first time at a high school.

Senior Interest Survey: Example form of college basic information about seniors and their college interests. (members only)

Access Seniors Handbook: Access College Foundation publishes this useful guide to help students and their families with every aspect of the college admissions and financial aid process. (members only)

Parental Consent: Example parental consent and release form. This example was utilized to take students off-site for a campus visit and includes a photo release statement.

My Educational Options: A one-page overview outlining school types, degree programs and admission requirements.

Accredited Schools Online:College Accreditation Guidebook: Fraudulent schools are commonly known as diploma mills. One of the best ways for students to avoid being taken in by a diploma mill is to check a school’s accreditation status. College accreditation is a process during which independent agencies evaluate a school’s ability to provide a quality education. It’s a higher education stamp of approval. Yet even the accreditation agencies are not all authentic. Schools should be accredited by an agency that’s recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This Guidebook helps counselors and students understand what college accreditation is, importance of choosing an accredited school and how schools are accredited.