Students reflect on their life after high school. In groups they are tasked with finding facts about various Post-Secondary Education options through a virtual scavenger hunt. Acting like a recruiter, students present their key information to the class. They reflect on which school matched best with their goals and, as a group, reflect on what appealed to them.
What is college life like?
What do I need to know about a college before deciding to go there?
Analyze personal goals for life after high school
Share important elements to consider about college life
Reflect on and share what you are looking for in a college
Lesson Slides (attached)
Group Scavenger Hunt (attached; print front/back, one per group)
Campus Tweet Up (attached; one per student)
Blank paper (one per student)
Introduce the lesson using slides 1-4. Move to slide 5 and hand out pieces of blank copy paper. Ask students to draw what their life will be like after high school. Ask them to include as much detail as possible. Give students time to work and then pair them up to share. Come together as a whole group and ask students: "What are you planning on for life after high school?" Have students answer the question and explain their drawings. Ask if anyone saw something in their partner’s picture that they hadn’t thought of themselves.
Place students in groups of 3-4 or allow them to select groups themselves. Either assign a Post-Secondary Education (PSE) campus to each group, or allow groups to pick from the list you generated. Slide 6 includes expectations for completing the scavenger hunt. Give each group a copy of the Group Scavenger Hunt handout. Groups need to use keyword searching to visit their assigned campuses and fill out their scavenger hunt handout. This is a good time to highlight looking for the .edu and .org extensions when gathering information about PSEs. Give students time to gather their information.
Move to slide 7 which includes presentation expectations. Share with students that they are now the classroom experts on their campus. At a campus, the person who knows a lot about the culture of the school and prepares to share that with others is called an admissions recruiter. This person needs to highlight all that is great about the school to make others want to attend.
Explain to students that they are now the admissions recruiter for their PSE and need to create a presentation to share essential information about their PSE with the rest of the class. They need to make their school look as good as they possibly can. Challenge groups to limit their presentations to six slides. They need to give a lot of thought to how to share all of their great information from their scavenger hunt in a short amount of time. Students should include what they consider the key information on the scavenger hunt sheet, as well as key additional information the students find interesting or important about the PSE. Remind the students they are trying to recruit their peers to attend their PSE options. Students will vote at the end of the presentations on which PSE they would like to attend in the Extend phase.
Display slide 8. Hand out a copy of the College Tweet Up handout to students. Tell students to use the Tweet Up strategy to take notes on the PSE presentations to inform their final decisions on which they would most likely attend based on the presentations. Remind students that to remain fair, they should evaluate the schools based on the presentations and not their own outside information.
Groups present their assigned PSE presentation as if they are an admissions recruiter for their PSE. Give each group about 5 minutes each to present, depending on the class size and the number of groups. Remind the student audience to be considering what they might "Tweet out." Have the students who are in the audience record their feedback on the College Tweet Up handout after each presentation using the following format @CollegeName Reflection on the School #PositiveTake-Away.
After all presentations, have students vote on which PSE they would most like to attend as a student. Using the Sticky Bar strategy, give each student three separate colored sticky notes. Each color corresponds with either third, second, or first place. Students should place their individual sticky notes on their top three choices using the appropriate sticky note colors.
Ask students to share out what influenced their choices.
In their presentation small groups, have students reflect on if there were things they should have highlighted about their PSE that they left out from their presentation. Remind students that we may not learn everything about a school in one search or even one in-person visit so it is important to continue learning about a school and making sure it matches with the goals they drew for themselves earlier in the lesson.
To extend to individual interests, have students complete the College Search for students to determine potential PSEs based on their individual interests. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search
Once students see the results based on their interests, they can research those PSEs to see if it would be a location to peruse for after high school.
College can be a life-altering experience for students, and not only academically. Here are just a few of the ways in which college can change students' lives for the better: Earning a bachelor's degree allows students to earn, on average, $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of their careers (Abel & Deitz, 2014). College offers students an opportunity to build relationships with mentors and peers that can benefit them throughout their careers (Campbell, Smith, Dugan, & Komives, 2012). College graduates tend to have more job satisfaction, jobs that offer a greater sense of accomplishment, more independence and opportunities for creativity, and more social interactions in their jobs than noncollege graduates (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013). College graduates increase their chance of employment. Over the last 20 years, the unemployment rate for college graduates has been approximately half that of high school graduates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). College helps students develop skills that prepare them for careers in the tech-driven economy, including nonroutine, abstract skills that aid in problem solving, multitasking, and creativity (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013).
Abel, J. R., & Deitz, R. (2014). Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs? Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 20(3).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2018). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. Retrieved fromhttps://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat07.htm
Campbell, C. M., Smith, M., Dugan, J. P., & Komives, S. R. (2012). Mentors and college student leadership outcomes: The importance of position and process. The Review of Higher Education, 35(4), 595-625.
College Board. (2022). College Search. Big Future. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search
K20 Center. (n.d.) Sticky Bars. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/129
K20 Center. (n.d.) Tweet Up. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/130
Oreopoulos, P. & Petronijevic, U. (2013). Making college worth it: A review of the returns to higher education. The Future of Children, 23(1), 41-65).