It’s never too early to prepare for college, which is why Arizona GEAR UP created the Discover Guide. Once eighth graders in our targeted schools receive the guide, they will explore college and career plans. Teachers and students also benefit from instructional videos.
Honing in on interests, passions, and abilities, the guide uses step-by-step activities to help students explore how these aptitudes can propel potential career possibilities. Along the way, students discover a postsecondary path and the steps to get there.
The Discover Guide aligns with Achieve60AZ initiatives: by 2030, 60 percent of Arizona adults, ages 25 to 64, will hold a postsecondary credential or degree. As part of the Discover Guide, students will complete an Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP), which will help students set college and career goals before they enter high school.
“NAU has led Arizona GEAR UP for 20 years, and it is one of the many ways NAU contributes to addressing the critical education needs among students in our state,” said NAU President Rita Cheng. “It is crucial for Arizona students to have all the resources they need to be successful in school and preparing for college, and I am pleased at this longtime collaboration between NAU and our partners.”
In collaboration with Achieve60AZ, Arizona GEAR UP identified 41 high schools, and the middle schools that feed into them, to provide services. Arizona GEAR UP will send Discover Guides to all eighth-graders in these targeted schools. In addition, the guide is available for download, free of charge. It will soon be available in Spanish, too.
Discover Guide Highlights:
- Student exploration of how interests, passions, and abilities can inform a career path.
- Exercises to determine a career personality and career cluster.
- Postsecondary paths that align with personalized findings.
- Steps needed to follow the desired path.
“The earlier students begin postsecondary planning, the better,” said Ramona Mellott, Dean of the College of Education and co-principal investigator for Arizona GEAR UP. “The Discover Guide provides middle school students the opportunity to explore how their abilities and passions can lead them toward a career path filled with purpose, and students will discover the postsecondary path to lead them toward success. Every Arizona middle student would benefit from this valuable tool.”