5 Questions For Ensuring Equity and Diversity in Course Selection

October 31, 2022
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Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.

Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.

Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.

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Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.

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Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.

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Middle and high school counselors oversee the course selection of a tremendous number of students. Ensuring students are on track to meet critical graduation requirements is often the top priority in this process. However, decisions about course selection include a vast number of variables and can have major impacts on a student’s postsecondary trajectory well beyond graduation. And, the processes for course selection can sometimes unwittingly create disparities for large swaths of the student body.

When planning and engaging in the course selection process, counselors can pause and consider these 5 questions to help them identify potential disparities and take steps to expand access to different kinds of learning, hands-on experiences, and additional opportunities. The quality and impact of course selection advising is dependent upon a triad of variables: the time and knowledge of the counselor, the knowledge base and input from students and families, and the complexities of options and requirements in a given school or district. Targeting these spheres when disparities or problematic trends are observed allows for schools to work toward a more equitable education for all students.

  • Are all counselors who will be advising students on course selection fully knowledgeable of course requirements, options, and variations in postsecondary tracks?

In many ways, school counselors and their knowledge of course options are the gatekeeper to courses for students. Many students and families are entirely reliant on the guidance they receive from their counselors to guide their decision-making. Before a course selection cycle, make sure that all counselors on a school’s support team are up-to-date on requirements and options and share a common base of understanding. Help counselors new to the profession or new to the school or district learn the nuances of the school’s offerings. This ensures that all students receive robust information and support as they make choices that will impact them now and in the future.

  • Is there gender diversity in the enrollment of courses or programs that are associated with predominantly male or female fields?

All too often, high school student enrollment in specific courses or programs reflects historical stereotypes or trends that limited who traditionally participated in specific fields. Science, technology, engineering, and math programs still lean heavily toward male participants. And, education- or nursing-related coursework or internships often include larger percentages of female students. Take time to look at the enrollment trends in these disciplines and programs. If you notice disparities, take steps to consider what barriers may be getting in the way of more balanced student participation. You might find ways to bring in a gender-diverse set of professionals within related fields to talk with students about their career to give them real-world models or mentors. You might create groups within programs for students of an under-represented group to support one another and share experiences.

  • Does the student population in advanced or honors courses reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender diversity of your school?

In order for schools to provide an equitable education for their students, it is vital that all students who are interested in and capable of doing advanced coursework have the opportunity to do so. Too frequently, students from under-served communities are under-represented in advanced course work. Take the time to track trends in enrollment in these advanced programs or courses. Try to find ways, either through communication with teachers or using additional school metrics, to identify students who would be successful in these programs. Consider partnering with feeder middle schools to ensure that all students recognize the options that will be available to them upon high school matriculation and support families in understanding the value of these opportunities.

  • Are all students and families fully aware of the full breadth of course options, including prerequisite requirements for certain courses, programs, and dual-enrollment coursework opportunities? And, do families and students understand how these decisions about course selection can impact future trajectories?

During freshman year, many students have ideas about exciting courses they want to take or hands-on programs they want to participate in during junior or senior year . Many times, though, these upper level courses or programs require prerequisite courses or qualifications in order for students to be eligible. If a student misses the opportunity to take a prerequisite during freshman or sophomore year, it means they are blocked from participating. As part of these advanced offerings, many schools and districts offer students the opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses where they are able to earn college credit while in high school. These opportunities are usually offered at no cost to the student. However, if students wait to take the same courses in college, they will be responsible for the tuition. Because of this, missing out on dual enrollment opportunities can have major financial implications for students in addition to access to the course material.

Through each course selection cycle, ask students if they are interested in any of these upper level programs, and remind them of the requirements needed to be eligible. This information should also be part of freshman orientation so that all students and families are aware of what is available, what is required, and what is possible throughout high school, and are able to make decisions accordingly.

  • Do all students have access to internships and work-based learning opportunities?

Having access to real-world career experiences in high school is incredibly valuable for both skill development and postsecondary decision making. Many high school students who are able to access these types of opportunities rely on family or friend relationships and referrals to secure a position. These kinds of learning experiences, however, should not be constrained by a student’s background or family connections. Consider finding ways to partner with local businesses or seek out district resources to expand access for students. And, make sure to support students who will need to apply for positions with interview preparation, resume-building, and even clothing drives.

A college and career platform like SchooLinks helps to streamline this process and expand access for students. Through SchooLinks, schools and districts are able to connect with local industry partners to find internship and work-based learning opportunities for students and make these positions available for all interested and qualified students.