Junior Year of High School Curriculum
Setting Goals for College Applications
There are many steps that need to be taken before your mentee begins submitting their college applications. Support your mentee by helping them to set manageable goals and by creating periodic check-ins to review your mentee’s progress. As a mentor, it’s your job to walk your mentee through the goal-setting process. This will promote your mentee’s ability to organize and manage their time effectively.
College Search: Finding Your Fit
There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, and not all of them will be a good “fit” for your mentee. When we talk about a college “fit”, we mean a college where your mentee’s social, academic, and financial needs are met—somewhere that your mentee can thrive. There are lots of factors of “fit,” and during this activity, we are going to focus on the basics: type of degree, type of institution, size, location, and diversity.
Senior Year of High School Curriculum
College Search: Finding Your Financial Fit
A college that is a good ‘fit’ is one where your mentee’s social, academic, and financial needs are met—
somewhere that your mentee can thrive. Your mentee should consider factors like size, distance from home, religious affiliation, type of degree, diversity, and more. Throughout this activity, you and your mentee will start thinking about another incredibly important factor of fit: financial fit.
Completing the FAFSA
FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form needs to be completed by your student and their parent or guardian if they are filing as a dependent to get any financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college.
Analyzing Award Letters
This activity will help you and your mentee analyze their financial aid award letters. Connect with your mentee and ask them if they have received any letters—if your mentee hasn’t received any letters yet, then it makes sense to wait to complete this assignment until they have some award letters to compare.
Summer Transition to College Curriculum
Intro to Campus Life: Getting Involved, Finding Your Crowd, and Belonging
A sense of belonging is essential to any student going off to college for the first time, and essential to them persisting through college to graduation. On a college campus, or in a virtual college campus environment, a sense of belonging is often found in the clubs and organizations a student joins. There are a plethora of clubs/organizations that exist within their personal interests, values, and identities.
Financial Literacy: Budgeting Basics
Financial Literacy is often not taught in high schools nor in colleges and universities, yet is one of the most important skills to begin learning, and sets students up for long term success. A basic component of being financially literate is knowing how to budget, and in this module, we will do our best to guide you there.
First Year of College Curriculum
Coping with Stress and Time Management
Coping skills help a person tolerate, minimize, and deal with stressful situations in life. Managing stress well can help a person feel better physically and psychologically and it can positively impact their ability to perform their best.
Career Skills: Personal Advocacy and Elevator Pitches
An elevator pitch is a short introduction to your experience, interests, and goals. It should last just 30-60 seconds—about as long as an elevator takes to get to the top floor of a building! The idea is to pitch yourself concisely and persuasively to a “gatekeeper”: someone who controls access to opportunities like internships, jobs, or a college acceptance. Your mentee can use an elevator pitch in a variety of networking contexts, including college fairs, job shadowing days, and speed networking events.
Career Skills: Resumes and LinkedIn
Job, internship, and fellowship applications are among the most common applications that college students submit. All typically require a resume and cover letter, but a less spoken and equally important part is the student’s social media presence – specifically, the LinkedIn profile. Over the past few years, LinkedIn has become a major player in building professional relationships, exploring the job market, and creating dialogue throughout a range of industries. Many employers refer to LinkedIn in the initial stages of reviewing an applicant’s materials, so it has become a somewhat expected feature in the career development landscape. The LinkedIn profile itself is a quick and professional snapshot of the student’s professional accomplishments and connections and impacts how an application reader or potential employer responds to them.
Career Skills: Mock Interview Practice
Interviewing is a skill that never stops developing, which unfortunately means that many students are scared to begin that journey. It is important to acknowledge to your mentee that it can be
uncomfortable for many people to interview, and that it is totally normal to feel this way! However, interviewing is inevitably part of a student’s application process, and by getting a head start on those skills, they will be vastly more prepared and at ease when under pressure of a true job interview..
Career Skills: Networking on Campus
Throughout your mentee’s college career, they will meet and build relationships with people who can lead them to new resources, internships or jobs, or other opportunities. That group of people is called a network. Networking has always been an important tool in a college student’s professional development journey and in securing employment during or after college. Eventually, your mentee will need to reach out to some of these people for advice, recommendations, or connections.
For recent college graduates who are entering the workforce, a major factor that determines their competitiveness is previous work experience, as you might expect. This implies that students should be
seeking out opportunities during college that directly relate to their future career interests, so when graduation comes, they have that experience on their resume. Knowing this, most college career services push students to land jobs or internships during the summer after their junior year of college – but of course, those opportunities also inherently require students to enter with some degree of relevant experience already. The chain reaction results in college students needing to think about career-oriented internships as early as the first semester of freshman year!