College & Career Lab

CCL is guided by education equity research which highlights best practices to support students most impacted by systemic inequities to ensure future economic mobility and success. Through our model, students learn to capitalize on their interests and lived experiences while developing essential skills to explore careers they never considered in order to effectively navigate barriers to college and post-secondary opportunities.

Mission

Nurture the high aspirations of underserved students by showcasing the diversity of post-secondary education and career pathways.

We provide students the tools to navigate systemic barriers by facilitating access, awareness, and support to translate goals into meaningful and concrete pathways for educational and career advancement.

Goals

CCL operates towards the goal that all underserved youth will have unfettered access to post-secondary opportunities to pursue their passions and goals.

Awareness

Revealing the entire academic and career landscape

Supporting Research

Preparing underserved youth for successful careers must begin as early as possible, as “restricted patterns of career aspirations” often begin as early as middle school. (Turner & Lapan, 2003)

Historically excluded youth have high academic aspirations, they are often unaware of the breadth of careers available to them and, as a result, often aspire to a limited array of occupations. (Austin, 2010; Gushue & Whiston, 2006)

Access

Navigating Post Secondary Pathways and Gaining Social Capital

Supporting Research

Students note, they often do not ‘see’ themselves in certain careers due to lack of access to professionals from similar background, and closely adhere to the notion of ‘career myths,’ thus internalizing the belief that certain careers are only meant for people from specific racial and SES groups. (Seyan, 2004)

By helping low income youth navigate career trajectories, their academic achievement increases, as many youth do not see the value or purpose of applying themselves educationally if they do not see a career at the end of it. (Kenny, Blustein, Haase, Jackson, & Perry, 2006 and Daniels, 2017)

Support

Providing Sustained Support through Advisors, Mentors and Role Models

Supporting Research

Research shows the importance of mentors and role models in the development and success of youth, as they often have very limited access to working role model. (Austin, 2010; Fouad, Kantamneni, Smothers, Chen, Fitspatrick, & Terry, 2008; Gushue & Whiston, 2006)

Having access to role models increases students’ sense of career self-efficacy. (Bounds, 2013)

Curriculum

A unique approach to post-secondary pathways and career readiness

Each component of the curriculum has been intentionally designed to help students effectively develop concrete pathways to educational and career success. To uniquely support every student in the program, the curriculum is deeply rooted in notions of individualized development to help students not only contextualize their own personal identities, experiences, and backgrounds, but also to understand how those elements may inform and influence their passions and interests that ultimately help shape their academic and professional trajectories.

Impact

Self-reported aspirations and gains in knowledge measure early impact

College and Career Lab has served 425 students since 2018 with a current cohort size of 204 students:

Preparedness for applying to and going to college
90%
Preparedness to pursue a career that matches their interests and abilities
70%
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See Our Students