Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

GEAR UP Student Kickoff (Assembly Version)

Lindsay Hawkins, Susan McHale, Lacy Pennington | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center

Essential Questions

  • What are benefits to earning a postsecondary degree?

Learning Goals

  • Students will gain an understanding of how post-secondary opportunities increase career options.

  • Students will determine which of the top 10 benefits matter most to them and pose with those props.

  • Students will create a dream poster applying what they understand from the top 10 list.

Materials List

  • Career Cards (two sets of each)

  • Student signs for Career Choice activity (two)

  • Student Handout- Top Ten benefits of a post-secondary degree and activity checklist

  • Photo Booth Props

  • Camera and SD Card

  • Banner

  • Markers

  • GEAR UP Buttons

  • A Note to Your future self stationary/half sheet

Engage

Presenter or presenters welcome students to the assembly. Presenter says that today we are here to talk about the future--your future. The presenter begins the first activity.

Career Independence/Career Choice Activity:Two students are randomly chosen from the assembly -- preferably a boy and girl. Each student is given the same set of career cards. The cards are over sized enough so that the audience can see the words on the cards. They are also in the same order.

The presenter says, “Today we are going to talk about careers that someday you may want to have or achieve. We are going to pretend that both of you have graduated from high school. One of you has continued on and completed post secondary education; like a career technical school, a community college or a four year university. The other has completed high school and wants to work. Let’s look at the following careers and see which careers are available to these students. (See attachment of career cards)

Both students show the first card, the “Pharmacy Technician.”

The presenter says, "We are going to look at some careers. I’m going to ask the audience if any of these careers need more than a high school diploma?" If the career needs MORE education than a high school diploma, the audience needs to raise their hand. “Can the high school graduate be a pharmacy technician (Yes)? Can the college graduate become a pharmacy technician (Yes)?

Career Cards:

  1. Pharmacy Technician (both can achieve this career) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) If not, both students can keep their cards.

  2. Dental Hygienist (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  3. Architect (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  4. Oilfield Worker (both can achieve this career) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) If not, both students can keep their cards.

  5. Website Developer (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  6. Nurse (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  7. Veterinarian (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  8. Bank Teller (both). Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause-- no hands) If not, both students can keep their cards.

  9. Electrical Engineer (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

  10. Pharmacist (college degree only) Presenter: Does this career require more than a high school diploma? Raise your hand if you think it does. (Pause) Good, I see a lot of hands. This career does need more education so I will take the high school student’s card.

Once 10 career cards are completed in this manner, both students count their cards.

The presenter asks how many cards each student has. The post secondary degree representative will have all 10 cards. The high school graduate representative will have only three.

The presenter asks the audience, “What does this tell us about career choices?”

The presenter states, "As you can see, the college graduate has career independence; the ability to rely on their college degree to make career choices."

Explore

Students will use the strategy, Think, Pair, Share to talk more about possible benefits of earning a post secondary degree. Think, Pair, Share is a K20 instructional strategy.

At the conclusion of the benefits of completing college activity, ask students to think first of another benefit of college, then ask students to turn to their neighbor and share with each other another college benefit. Allow 3 minutes for the partners to discuss their ideas. Ask for volunteers to share out their ideas about the benefits of going to college.

Explain

Countdown to TOP 10 benefits for continuing your education:The presenter says that we will compare what you just shared with what the researchers suggests are the TOP 10 Benefits for continuing your education after high school. Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to have these things . We will count them down from ten to one.

"First, I need 11 volunteers."

Presenter chooses 11 students at the assembly to hold a poster. As they are chosen, the presenter passes out a poster to each one but tells them NOT to reveal the poster to the audience. Students should be lined up as a countdown 10 to 0 with their backs to the audience so that the audience does not see the poster information. (NOTE: Numbers are on the backs of posters.)

The presenter says, "We will announce the top ten benefits of continuing your education and compare them with what you discussed earlier in the Think, Pair, Share."

As the presenter calls out number 10, he or she asks the audience to call out 10. The volunteer with the number 10 poster then turns around. The presenter says:

  • Number 10 ( Audience calls out '10') "Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to have a more satisfying family life.

  • Number 9 (Audience calls out '9') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to live longer and healthier.

  • Number 8 (Audience calls out '8') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to be prepared for success in a technology-driven world.

  • Number 7 (Audience calls out '7') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to have no limit to your career choices.

  • Number 6 (Audience calls out ''6") Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment.

  • Number 5 (Audience calls out '5') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to develop your creativity and problem-solving skills.

  • Number 4 (Audience calls out '4') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to make a difference in your community

  • Number 3 (Audience calls out '3') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to connect with peers and mentors.

  • Number 2 (Audience calls out '2') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to be happier in your job.

  • Number 1 (Audience calls out '1') Research suggests if you have a post secondary degree you are more likely to earn $1 million more over your lifetime.

One last poster remains that has been turned around by the volunteer.

The presenter says: "All students today CAN have all 10 benefits of continuing their education because THIS school has been awarded a GEAR UP GRANT!"

The presenter asks the last student to turn around and discusses the GEAR UP GRANT benefits.

The presenter says: "This 7-year grant supports your post secondary goals, increases families’ college and career awareness, provides campus visits, and prepares you for success after high school."

Extend

The presenter says: "The GEAR UP Grant is committed to giving all students the opportunity to attend a post secondary school of their choice. As students, you need to be committed too!"

"We have several opportunities today to commit to continuing your education as an active participant in our GEAR UP Grant. We will number you one through five. Each number will first go to an assigned student station. When I (the presenter) asks you to change stations, please go with your group to the next station. We will rotate clockwise." Student stations are:

  • Ones, Get "Buttoned Up" for GEAR UP - Pick up your 1st GEAR UP button to show your support of the GEAR UP Grant. This button is to remind you that this 7-year grant will support your post secondary goals, increase your families’ college and career awareness, provide you with campus visits, and prepare you for success after high school (Buttons should be at this station).

  • Twos, Sign the GEAR UP Banner - Your signature says that you are “IN” with us on a path after high school to continue your education! You can add your graduating class to your signature (Banner and markers at this station).

  • Threes, Strike a Pose - Stop by the Photo booth with your friends or class members to take a photo with one of the posters about the benefits of going to college most significant to you. There are lots of props there to “ham it up” (Photo props, camera with SD card).

  • Fours, A Note to Your Future Self - Write yourself a note about how you will work this year to be college and career ready. The sentence at the top of stationary: Write a note to yourself of what you will do THIS YEAR to be more college and career ready for your future. Place your letter in an envelope and put your name on it. Place in the folder provided (Stationary, envelopes, folder, and pencils at this station).

  • Fives, Evaluation of This Assembly - Using the pens provided, select an answer for each question by completely filling in the bubble as an evaluation of this assembly (Pens or pencils and Rapid Feedback Evaluation forms provided).

Evaluate

The evaluation will be the Rapid Feedback form completed by all students who attended the assembly.

Research Rationale

There are various advantages to higher education and gaining a college degree that can bring benefit to students throughout their lives. Some of the benefits are financial, while others are social or personal. One way to categorize the benefits is to use a four-quadrant framework for measuring college outcomes proposed by researchers at the University of California (Sutton, 2017). The four quadrants are personal economic good, Public economic good, Personal social capital, and Public social capital. The literature identifies numerous benefits of college that we can classify using these four quadrants.

Resources