Education & Career Planning

HOW WE REACH
YOUNG PEOPLE

American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. ASA® fulfills this mission by providing tools and resources to students online, in classrooms, and through community-based organizations. We help students, as early as middle school, discover their own interests, passions, and talents, and draw connections between those abilities and potential careers for the future.

Digital Programming

ASA is interacting with teens where they are – on their mobile devices, on YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms – with compelling video content to help them uncover and explore their passions.

We developed videos specifically for 13-18-year-olds to get them thinking about career options and education pathways beyond high school. We are making tools available to students where they’re already spending their time so that they can direct their own journey.

Our original programming includes the following channels:

  • Shadow What does it take to work in your dream job? Teens shadow adults at work – at a custom car shop or a law practice – to experience what a real day in the life can be like.
  • Hustle Following your passion sometimes means creating new or trying unexplored paths. These entrepreneurs found their definition of success on their terms.
  • Pitch Students who want to take a non-traditional path often need to do some “selling” to the adults in their lives. See some teens practice these skills in front of a Shark Tank-like panel.
  • Fail What can seem like a major failure at the time can actually surface incredible opportunities. Hear stories about how an open mind and resilience can change a person’s course.
  • Yum All young people, everywhere in the world, have hopes, dreams and even fears for the future. They share their thoughts while they cook a family recipe for each other.

These videos were viewed more than 10 million times in the first five months of being launched. Stay tuned for new, original content, as well as the next phase of our digital strategy.

Educational Resources

Out-of-School-Time

ASA and the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston have teamed up to create a toolkit for community-based organizations and out-of-school-time providers on strategies to build and enhance career readiness programs for youth. “Preparing Youth for the Future” details lessons learned and insights from BSAGB’s Our Big Futures program, launched in 2020, which aims to provide youth with career exploration, coaching, support, and resources to achieve sustainable financial independence via career development and/or college success. The toolkit outlines strategies for program design and implementation, building strong employer partnerships, tracking and reporting outcomes, and ensuring program funding and sustainability.

Middle School

ASA’s Middle School Exploration Program is a free digital ten-lesson curriculum in which students can discover their skills and interests, learn about career clusters, and explore different educational options. Students will leave this program with a better understanding of how to approach decisions regarding their future plans, their skill development, and their career preferences.

These lessons were designed by ASA’s Programs & Curriculum team, who then piloted the program at school districts across the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Teacher and student feedback were collected to determine program success. All lessons and activities have been adapted for digital use and can be easily utilized by educators in-person, remotely, or in hybrid models of instruction. This program can be delivered in full, or teachers can opt to pull units or lessons out as needed.

If you have questions about the programming, please contact Ashley Hemmy, Senior Programs & Curriculum Specialist at ahemmy@asa.org.

See the below unit descriptions:

Exploring Self

Unit 1 (Lessons 1-4): Through a range of individual and group-based activities, students will explore their own skills, interests, values, and learning styles in relation to others’. By the end of the unit, each student will be able to confidently summarize their own strengths, passions, and attributes.

Understanding Options: Career Exploration

Unit 2 (Lessons 5-7): Now that students understand themselves, they will begin to envision their futures and learn about careers that align with their goals. Games, sorting activities, and presentations fuel the exploration process, helping students gain a clearer picture of the man professional possibilities available to them.

Informing Future Decisions: Education Pathways

Unit 3 (Lessons 8-10): Does every career require a college degree? Students will look at all the post-secondary options available –including college—and discover how to prepare for next steps after high school. Every student will leave understanding their strengths, programs that fit their goals, and growth areas to pursue.

Fill out the form below to access ASA’s Middle School Exploration Program Curriculum

    In-Person Programming

    For in-person college and career planning services in the Greater Boston area, reach out to MassEdCO Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCo) | to find services near you.

    American Student Assistance continues to support the operation of a College Information Center in Washington, D.C. If you live in the D.C. area and need advice on planning for higher education, please contact Reach4Success to make an appointment.

    1020 19th Street NW, Suite 500
    Washington, D.C. 20036
    202.331.8080 ext. 101
    admin@reach4success.org

    admin@reach4success.org

    Resources

    Our Supporting Partners

    ASA Education & Career Planning receives grants and in-kind support from our supporting partners. Additional support comes directly from ASA and individual schools.

    Our partners include: