The Issue

THE ISSUE Career & College Clubs is helping to solve is the high dropout rate and the lack of life and leadership skills among youth, which results in many youth not pursuing personally rewarding futures. We believe there aren’t enough programs for Middle School students that instill a desire to stay in school, inspire students to achieve academic and personal success, and develop critical leadership skills. Career & College Clubs is a great answer to these issues hindering our middle school students nationwide.



Our Rationale

IF we engage at-risk middle school students in a peer-to-peer learning environment where they lead fun activities on career, college, and life skills;

THEN these students will feel a greater sense of empowerment, as well as an intrinsic drive to plan for, and achieve, success in high school, college, and life.

Career & College Clubs uses a peer-to-peer mentoring model to encourage responsibility and leadership skills from an early age. By encouraging these professional life skills at a middle school level we can create youth who are excited about becoming leaders in high school, college, and their careers.


Early Engagement

Middle school is a pivotal time for defining the future of a student’s life and establishing ambition and leadership skills

Student Driven

Peer-to-peer learning empowers students to inspire each other to take ownership of knowledge gained

Club Space

Students want to participate because they’re excited to do fun activities in a supportive atmosphere

This Results in

  • Increased Average Daily Attendance of middle school students.
  • Increased positive classroom behavior and student interactions.
  • Higher student aspirations for high school, college, and life.

This Results in

  • Explore

    Future Possibilities

    Learning about the pathways to future possibilities should be fun and meaningful for middle school students to create the most conducive experience for learning and empowerment. Career & College Clubs is full of fun, hands-on activities and projects, providing an immersive and exploratory learning experience.

  • Engage

    Peers in the Journey

    In order to strengthen knowledge and leadership skills for middle school students, it's essential for students to "pass on" what they've gained to their peers through peer mentoring and encouragement. Each Career & College Clubs meeting and event maximizes opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement.

  • Elevate

    Knowledge & Motivation Schoolwide

    Middle school students having a future plan and sharing their enthusiasm with peers in a peer- to- peer mentoring situation are powerful strategies for elevating a school’s success culture. Career & College Clubs provides the right blend of hands-on activities and peer engagement to achieve this success.

Club Roles

Career & College Clubs puts students in charge of exploring and engaging in their own pathways, as well as building a schoolwide culture of success. This gives them a sense of responsibility and empowerment that encourages leadership skills at a young age.


The coach is an adult (usually a teacher or counselor) that guides students through the Career & College Clubs experience. The Coach does not ‘teach’ the curriculum, but rather helps the mentors teach each other.

The mentors are the students in the club. They lead club meetings, build a success culture on campus, and pass on knowledge and motivation to their peers. In this way, they mentor each other and their peers. The peers are all the other students not in the club. They benefit from the program by gaining knowledge and motivation through campus activities produced by the Career & College Clubs mentors.


The cornerstone of Career & College Clubs is the curriculum, which is typically implemented over two years during the middle grades. The Exploration curriculum consists of 16 student-led sessions, each designed as a starting point for an area of exploration. The Engagement curriculum includes 8 student-led projects designed to build on the knowledge gained from the Exploration curriculum. Throughout both years of the curriculum, students actively engage with their peers to ensure every student in the school is prepared for high school and postsecondary success.

The curriculum is aligned with grades 6-8 Common Core State Standards and the American School Counselor Association National Standards for Students. In addition, the curriculum was developed to support student proficiency in 21st Century Skills.

Expanded viewExploration: SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
Session 1 Career & College Clubs: Starting Your Club
Session 2 College 101: Why Higher Education?
Session 3 Leadership 101: Who, Me?
Session 4 Careers 101: Dream a Little Dream
Session 5 Careers 102: Exploring Career Options
Session 6 College 102: Researching Colleges
Session 7 College 201: Preparing for College
Session 8 Leadership 102: Leader Bootcamp
Session 9 Leadership 103: Community Leadership
Session 10 Finance 101: Financial Literacy
Session 11 College 202: Campus Visit
Session 12 Finance 102: Personal Finances
Session 13 Careers 103: World of Work
Session 14 Leadership 104: Network of Knowledge
Session 15 Leadership 105: Capstone Career & College Clubs Presentation
Session 16 Career & College Clubs: Exploration Club Wrap-Up
Expanded viewEngagement: SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
Project 1 Career & College Clubs: Starting Your Engagement Club
Project 2 Finance 201: Financial Future Game
Project 3 Careers 201: Career Exploration & Visit
Project 4 College 301: College Admission Process
Project 5 College 302: College Life
Project 6 Leadership 304: Community Entrepreneurs
Project 7 Leadership 305: Mentor Choice - Capstone Presentation
Project 8 Career & College Clubs: Engagement Club Wrap-Up