Too often we think of high school as the time for post-secondary education and career preparation, when in fact middle school students are at a crucial time in development – cognitively and socially – to explore opportunities and find their purpose.
When former ASA student loan borrowers told us they wished they had known more about their options before pursuing higher education, we expanded our mission to improve career exploration opportunities at earlier ages.
The case for starting career exploration and self-discovery well before high school is well-documented, albeit not widely practiced within educational systems. ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy was pleased to be joined by Nancy Deutsch, Director of Youth-Nex at the University of Virginia Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, at ASU GSV to discuss the importance – and implementation – of career exploration in the middle school grades.
In the virtual session, Jean and Nancy discuss how mentor program development, comprehensive experiences to address the whole child, and experimentations with the curriculum are essential to integrating career exploration in middle school. Additionally, they discuss the importance of providing accessible resources, like ASA’s digital platform Futurescape, which gives students control to explore their interests right from their phones.
Check out the ASU GSV session HERE.