Benefits for Schools
Increased Academic Aspirations
ACT, Inc. analyzed 1,200 students who participated in Career & College Clubs. From that analysis, we know that middle school students who complete Career & College Clubs have the following characteristics, as compared to their peers:
• They are more likely to plan on taking a core curriculum in high school that consists of four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of social science, and three years of natural science. ACT research has shown that students who take the core curriculum are more likely to enter college, be successful in the first year, and graduate in a timely way than students who do not.
• They are more likely to aspire to a four year postsecondary degree, or higher.
• They are more likely to desire careers in science and technology.
Increase Average Daily Attendance
Career & College Clubs helps students envision themselves as successful adults, set goals based on that vision, and develop plans to achieve those goals. This process results in students who have a sense of purpose and enthusiasm for their education – in other words, students who intrinsically WANT to stay in school.
Career & College Clubs results in students with leadership skills who are passionate about empowering other students to also achieve more and aim higher.
Most of the funding that school districts receive is based on Average Daily Attendance (“ADA”), so increasing Average Daily Attendance results in more financial resources for the district to devote to key activities. In this way, Career & College Clubs is an incredibly cost effective intervention – in most cases, the additional revenue from just one student not dropping out more than covers the cost of the program.
Reduce Classroom Disruption and Bullying
Career & College Clubs is a peer-to-peer learning program, where students themselves have the responsibility of leading their peers through the activities and school-wide events. Peer-to-peer learning, combined with leadership skills – communication, listening, conflict resolution, etc. – explicitly practiced in the curriculum, results in students who exhibit positive behaviors in and out of the classroom. In addition, Career & College Clubs students impact the broader school culture by modeling positive behavior and leading their peers down the same path. This is helping to create an environment or more ambitious and thoughtful minded middle school students. There are countless benefits to instilling these leadership skills in students at such a young age.
Simple, Flexible, and Affordable Implementation
Career & College Clubs is a turnkey solution, so school staff isn’t burdened with myriad add-ons to their existing workloads. We provide the curriculum, professional development, and ongoing support to ensure the program’s success. In most cases, a single staff person can guide a successful club in just 2-3 hours per week.
Career & College Clubs can be implemented during a regular class session, lunch, or before/after school, with the ability to scale up or down depending on student population. The curriculum and activities are designed to allow for multiple meetings, if necessary, to complete each session. Successful Career & College Clubs have included as few as 15 students meeting during lunch, to an entire grade level meeting during English classes.
To ensure Career & College Clubs is accessible to a broad range of students, the program model is inexpensive to implement. The minimal costs are more than offset by increased ADA revenue potentially realized as a result of the program. Importantly, Career & College Clubs is aligned with many potential funding sources – including Categorical Program Funds, GEAR-UP, ESEA/NCLB, Race to the Top, i3, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers – and appropriate language is already prepared for inclusion in funding proposals.