Session 4: College Readiness and Paying for College

Cost is the number one reason why students from low-income households choose not to attend college and also the top reason they drop out of college. We need to help students see college as an investment and an opportunity to climb out of poverty, rather than a place to accrue debt. This means helping students understand how to meet deadlines and become paying-for-college experts who are informed and able to make smart financial decisions. This session focuses on helping students build a support system of friends and mentors to find answers and resources, tap into federal aid and scholarship opportunities, get to know people at the financial aid office, and learn the paying-for-college lexicon. When students own the paying-for-college process, they truly become college ready. Format: On- demand webinar (45 minutes).


  • • Your College Journey
  • • Building a Knowledge Pathway
  • • Building a Network of Support in College
  • • Paying for College


  • • Creating a College-Going Culture
  • • Evaluation Tool: College-Readiness Rubric
  • • Engaging Families
  • • Financial Aid Primer
  • • Available Scholarships

Session 5: Career Readiness

The United States job market is evolving at its fastest pace in history. Emerging technologies are creating new career opportunities that only a few years ago seemed unimaginable. One thing hasn't changed, however: the need

Box 4.5 Case Study

Here is one of the case studies used in the CCR advisor trainings. CCR advisor candidates read this case study and then work together to answer the questions at the end of the study.

Westminster Consolidated Case Study

Westminster Consolidated, а К—12 school in the rural Chenango Valley of central New York, is located in a town of 3,200 residents. The school is the largest employer in the community, followed by a convenience store chain and a half dozen stores and businesses. Here are some pertinent facts about the school:

  • • There are 410 students currently enrolled.
  • • Ten years ago, enrollment peaked at 786 students.
  • • The class of 2019 had 31 students. Four enrolled in SUNY schools and eight in community colleges; four planned to enter the service; and the remainder are pursuing jobs, almost all of which pay minimum wage.
  • • A decade ago, 62% of Westminster's students enrolled in two- or four-year colleges.

In May 2019, a team from BettaTech, a digital design and manufacturing corporation with plants and offices in 320 sites around the world, visited Westminster to explore the possibility of setting up a small plant there. Sharon Ruether, the Head of the BettaTech search team, graduated from college 40 miles from Westminster and thought the bucolic Chenango Valley would provide an ideal lifestyle for future BettaTech employees. "I saw the location as a perfect place for one of our plants. It offered wonderful recreation opportunities. It supported heartland values," said Ruether.

But six weeks after the team visited Westminster, in June, Ruether met with State Senator Robert Lambert, who represents the Central New York district in Albany, to explain BettaTech's decision to establ ish a plant elsewhere. "It was a tough choice. I wanted BettaTech to create jobs in the Chenango Valley, but we were concerned about meeting workforce goals. Where would we find future employees? Frankly, we looked at Westminster Consolidated postsecondary placement trends, and we didn't see a viable future for the corporation."

In September, Senator Lambert appointed a commission of two individuals to visit Westminster Consolidated to explore workforce development concerns. Over two days, the commission conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Here are some of their findings:

  • • Principal Kay McDonald believes that it's better to have fewer graduates going to college: "In the past, our grads who went off to college, especially four-year places, never came back once they left Westminster. More of our kids are now staying and settling in town. College is for families who are better off."
  • • Only three 12th grade students knew what the FAFSA was, and only two 11th graders had ever been on a college campus.
  • • Westminster has one part-time counselor, Grant Judge, who works with all students. "I deal with a crisis or two every day," he said. "I don't have time to talk with every one of our kids about postsecondary opportunities." Following the commission's visit, Grant Judge took an early retirement.

You are hired as Westminster's first full-time CCR advisor. What's your short-term (three months) and longer-term (18 months) plan?

for a college education to land a high-paying job in STEM and other growth industries. A person with a high school diploma makes an average salary of $35,580, while associate degree holders earn $58,240 and bachelor's degree recipients make $68,190.

A CCR advisor plays a critical role in helping students shape their future by exposing them to a broad range of career possibilities. In this session, participants learn how to help students identify strengths and weaknesses that will play a key role in narrowing their job focus to lead them down a successful career path. Participants acquire necessary tools to help students identify, pursue, and secure jobs using CFES resources, partners, an alumni network, National Advisory Board members, and other supports. Format: On-demand webinar (45 Minutes).


  • • The Difference CCR Advisors Make
  • • Helping Students Identify Potential Career Paths
  • • CFES Tools
  • • Current and Future Jobs and the Credentials They Require
  • • Activity: Helping Students Find Jobs


  • • Career Exploration Video
  • • STEM Readiness
  • • Brilliant Career Lab
  • • Heads Up Activity
  • • Tips for Landing a Job
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