We work to expand access to exploration opportunities for all students. We believe that middle school is the ideal time to expose students to activities that help them explore their skills and talents, experiment with interests, and start to plan for the future.

However, many structural barriers exist to implementing exploration programming. American Student Assistance supports key legislative priorities to increase college and career exploration in our nation’s schools.

The Problem

Lack of access to career exploration

Students lack access to career exploration activities, and schools face barriers implementing new programs. Lack of funding, inadequate training of teachers and counselors, and limited support from school administration creates structural barriers to expansion of career exploration

Our Solution

Fund career

(1) Increase federal appropriations for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and (2) include middle school career exploration in Perkins V State Plans (3) Commitment from states to expand career exploration to middle schools

Our Solution

Increase career and college exposure

Increase access to and funding for programs like Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Massachusetts Innovation Pathways that give students the opportunity to build understanding of their interests and aptitudes

Our Solution

Increase school personnel training

(1) Increase education, training and support for teachers and counselors on topics of college and career readiness. (2) increase funding to establish dedicated college and career counselors in middle and high schools

Our Work


ASA regularly provides testimony and legislative input to federal and state lawmakers as they debate important legislation around college and career exploration and preparedness

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We're Following

Junior Achievement

ASA loves the work Junior Achievement is doing to expand career exploration through JA Inspire. Learn More

Working Nation

ASA appreciates Working Nation's perspective on the future of work. Learn More

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