Own the Turf is the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) advocacy campaign to galvanize and mobilize school counselors to provide every student with the inspiration, planning, academic preparation and social capital to graduate from high school ready for college and careers. NOSCA’s Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling are the road map for this work. They outline an effective path toward creating a college-going culture in schools, districts and communities. Download your free guide to the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling at http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/advocacy/nosca/11b-4383_ES_Counselor_Guide_WEB_120213.pdf
In our counseling program this year we are doing several things to promote college and career awareness. We organize a large Career Fair every other year for our upper elementary students and last year we asked each presenter to highlight their college experience in addition to sharing about their career. We also arrange a few career visitors for the early childhood grades every year during November, National Career Development Month. Our principal had banners made for our cafeteria with the year the current students will graduate from college. This year we are piloting a Career Café program in fifth grade where once a month we bring in a career visitor to share about their college and career over lunch. We have every third grade student interview someone about their occupation, summarize the interview, and present it to the class. To get staff to recognize the importance of a college ready environment we all wore our school college wears the first day of preservice week. It served as part of the “icebreaker.” Our staff was all asked to highlight their college on the posters we display in the hall to share with students and parents. The entire school will wear “College Spirit Wear” the first Friday of every month. We are collecting college banners and will unveil them on a bulletin board later this fall.
Do you have any good suggestions for building a college-going culture based on early college awareness by nurturing in students the confidence to aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges along the way?