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Linking After-School Learning to College

After-school programs can play a pivotal role in preparing students—particularly middle-schoolers—for college and careers, a new issue brief says.

The paper "Afterschool: Supporting Career and College Pathways for Middle School Age Youth" is the fourth of four issue briefs on adolescents and after-school learning prepared by the Afterschool Alliance, in collaboration with the MetLife Foundation.

The brief explores how after-school learning can open students' eyes to their college potential, as well as easing them away from more risky paths. The report calls middle school a "critical time" to engage students and says after-school programs can offer crucial supports through apprenticeships, guest speakers, and "project-based activities."

Among other findings, the report notes:

"The middle school years are a vital time to teach the importance of college and career readiness and the linkages to success in life. After-school programs offer a key opportunity to expose middle school students to higher education options and career paths and to teach them skills that can unlock doors to future career prospects."

The brief cites various programs that work with adolescents and offers statistics on youth behavior and college-attendance patterns. It's definitely worth a look.

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