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College & Career Month 2021

What is College & Career Month?

College Month 2016 logo

October is College & Career Month in the Boston Public Schools! This marks an exciting month of events and activities designed to encourage all students and their families to begin planning for a passion-filled life after high school as early as possible.

Success Boston College & Career Month is an annual campaign each October to create awareness about college affordability, college admissions, and the types of degrees and careers that go along with a college education. The goal of College & Career Month is to showcase all of the city’s varied and helpful resources designed to get students prepared for, enrolled in, and through college. These include resources related to the PSAT and SAT; virtual college tours, including to HBCUs and two- and four year institutions; FAFSA support and college affordability; and exploration of postsecondary options to help students map out their college journey.

Now in its 15th year, College & Career Month is a partnership between the Boston Public Schools and Success Boston. Since College & Career Month began, Success Boston and its partners have worked to increase the numbers of Boston Public Schools students who attend and complete college. Today, the six-year college completion rate stands at 54% for BPS graduates, up from 35% for the class of 2000.

Important Dates

An image of BPS's 2021 College and Career Month calendar with event and resource listings.
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

BPS College and Career Month Calendar

October is packed with events and milestones to help you prepare for college.  Download this calendar to help keep yourself on track, and visit BPS' College & Career Month website for additional event listings and resources.

Screenshot of College Pride Zoom
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

College Pride Day

Friday, October 1st is the kick-off day for College Month! A community of practitioners will represent their college colors and alma mater, and share short written and recorded inspirational posts on their “Why” and their career paths. The road is long and winding, and it is critical - now more than ever - that our students understand there are supports along the way. Follow our social media accounts and share your videos, stories and more: @SuccessBoston on Facebook and Twitter and @Success.Boston on Instagram.

On the right, two students wearing caps and gowns. On the left, three different images of adults who are smiling.
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

Success Boston Coaching: A Report on Coaching Effectiveness on College Persistence and Completion

Join us for the release of a new Success Boston report about the effectiveness of transition coaching on the college success of Boston Public Schools graduates. The latest in a series of reports, this analysis focuses on the BPS Classes of 2013 through 2016, and includes updated findings on persistence and academic performance, along with the first set of findings on the impact of coaching on degree completion. The research—and the accompanying conversation—will also discuss the characteristics of effective programs that move the needle on college completion; what it takes for coaching to work; and what we can do to maintain the citywide gains we have made over the last decade.

Watch the video and read a recap of the event
BPS logo
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

Historically Black Colleges & University (HBCU) Alumni Webinar

Register here
BPS logo
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

BPS Citywide College, Career & STEM Fair 

This fair is a great opportunity for students to speak with representatives from colleges and universities, discover opportunities in different fields of science, technology, engineering and math, access resources to assist with FAFSA completion and get connected to coaching supports, career agencies and internship opportunities.

Register here

Resources for Families

Families play a key role in the college and career journey for students. The BPS College & Career Month website can connect families with the best college access community and school-based resources available to start the planning process early and often.   

Click here to access family resources.


College & Career Month highlights a “college knowledge” theme each week, with students across elementary, middle, and high schools participating in age-appropriate college awareness activities.

October marks the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for students to complete their financial aid eligibility. Because money is given out on a first-come, first-served basis, it is extremely important that students submit their forms as soon as possible. The 2022-2023 FAFSA form will be available starting October 1, 2021. Students must use it to apply for financial aid for the school they will attend from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

BPS’s current completion rate for the 2021 senior cohort is 51% and 63% for graduates. Let’s get it up to 60% completion for the senior class of 2022! 

This Week's To-Do List & Resources:

  1. FAFSA First Day in BPS - Monday, October 4th: Studies have shown that 90% of students who complete a FAFSA by March 15th are more likely to enter college in the fall. We also know that completing the FAFSA is the key to unlocking access to higher education and career opportunities. Without the completion of the FAFSA, students miss out on essential financial aid, which leads to disparate outcomes.
  2. Encourage the class of 2022 to learn more about the FAFSA and complete it early!
  3. Be active on social media to let others know that October is BPS College & Career Month - use the hashtag #BPSCollegeMonth and tag @SuccessBoston wherever you are active.
  4. Check out our 2021 Social Media Toolkit for more ideas.
  5. Visit the BPS College & Career Site for resources and events. Share with students, families, and practitioners.
  6. Start spreading the word about upcoming events. The BPS College & Career Site will be updated frequently so check back!
    1. Historically Black Colleges & University (HBCU) Alumni Webinar (Thursday, October 14th, 6-7:30PM, ONLINE)
    2. BPS Citywide College, Career & STEM Fair (Saturday, October 16th, 10AM-1PM, The English High School Field.) (Flyer attached)
    3. College & Career/BPS Pathways Panel During STEM Week (Wednesday, October 20th)
  7. Due to COVID-19, the MassEdCO walk-in centers are closed, but their Financial Advisors are still available for support. Mass EdCo advisors are available to answer calls at 617.536.0200 for Boston & 508.586.3100 for Brockton. https://www.massedco.org/locations/boston/boston-area-education-and-career-planning-center 
  8. uAspire is hosting a series of financial aid virtual events. Please share this flyer with your network.
  9. See and share the attached flyer and highlights calendar
 
Success Boston is all about ensuring Boston’s young people are prepared to meet the challenges of higher education and achieve a degree that will allow them to thrive in the workplace. To that end, we are working to ensure that Boston students are academically prepared to succeed in college, by expanding the number of AP courses and dual enrollment opportunities available, among other activities. The goal of College & Career Month in Boston is to showcase all of the city’s varied and helpful resources designed to get students prepared for, enrolled in, and through college. 
 

This Week's To-Do List & Resources:

  1. Keep spreading the word about upcoming events and encourage students to sign up via the  BPS College & Career Site - register for upcoming events here. The BPS College & Career Site will be updated frequently so check back! 
    1. Historically Black Colleges & University (HBCU) Alumni Webinar (Thursday, October 14th, 6-7:30PM, ONLINE)
    2. BPS Citywide College, Career & STEM Fair (Saturday, October 16th, 10AM-1PM, The English High School Field.)
    3. College & Career/BPS Pathways Panel During STEM Week (Wednesday, October 20th) 
  2. Encourage students to link their Khan Academy and CollegeBoard accounts. Students can receive customized test prep based on their scores. 
  3. Be active on social media to let others know that October is BPS College & Career Month - use the hashtag #BPSCollegeMonth and tag @SuccessBoston wherever you are active. 
  4. Check out our 2021 Social Media Toolkit for more ideas.
  5. Visit the BPS College & Career Site for resources and events. Share with students, families, and practitioners.
  6. Due to COVID-19, the MassEdCO walk-in centers are closed, but their Financial Advisors are still available for support. Mass EdCo advisors are available to answer calls at 617.536.0200 for Boston & 508.586.3100 for Brockton. https://www.massedco.org/locations/boston/boston-area-education-and-career-planning-center
  7. MassEdCo will also host a series titled "Decoding the FAFSA" (click here for flyer). Sessions are available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. 10/9 and 10/28 in Mandarin - register here; 10/20 in English - register here; 10/27 in Spanish - register here.
  8. uAspire is hosting a series of financial aid virtual events. Please share this flyer with your network.
  9. 826 Boston will be hosting Virtual College Essay Boot Camps on Saturdays October 30, November 20, and December 11, 2021. Space is limited, so encourage students to sign up now to be paired 1-on-1 with a trained writing tutor to work on your college essay.
  10. See and share the attached flyer and highlights calendar

Massachusetts STEM Week is another cross-sector initiative that we will support and promote. BPS is planning activities to highlight the biotechnology field in Massachusetts and is considering a series of experiences delivered throughout the neighborhoods of Boston. There is also specific engagement planned for families around STEM and the possibility of a joint College & Career Month/STEM Fair, depending upon CDC regulations.

This Week's To-Do List & Resources:

  1. Spread the word about upcoming events and encourage students to visit the BPS College & Career Site. The BPS College & Career Site will be updated frequently so check back!
    1. STEM Week Career Panels: Join Boston Public Schools and United Way's BoSTEM every day of STEM week (October 18-22) for virtual career panels from 1-2pm, with a theme for each day! All are welcome. Click here to register.
    2. Saturday, 10/23: STEM Week Student Showcase at Franklin Park Zoo: Throughout STEM week, students will address the question "How do we improve the health of our city using STEAM?" by creating solutions to community problems. On Saturday, October 23 from 10 am-12 pm we invite the community to learn from the students about their projects at the Franklin Park Zoo. If you are a BPS family or a teacher, sign up here for free admission to the zoo for the day to support our students, and celebrate STEM learning!
  2. Visit the BPS STEM Week Site for resources and activities.
  3. Be active on social media to let others know that October is BPS College & Career Month - use the hashtag #BPSCollegeMonth and tag @SuccessBoston wherever you are active.
  4. Check out our 2021 Social Media Toolkit for more ideas.
  5. Visit the BPS College & Career Site for resources and events. Share with students, families, and practitioners.
  6. Spread the word! MassRobotics offers a fellowship program for Black and Latinx girls in grades 10-12. In the Jumpstart Program, girls earn a stipend to learn the basics of coding and robotics and have the opportunity to apply for paid summer internships at various Boston area robotics companies. The application for Cohort II is open through November 1. See the flyer here. Application is available here. Upcoming information session on 10/19 at 5 PM.
  7. Due to COVID-19, the MassEdCO walk-in centers are closed, but their Financial Advisors are still available for support. Mass EdCo advisors are available to answer calls at 617.536.0200 for Boston & 508.586.3100 for Brockton.
  8. MassEdCo will also host a series titled "Decoding the FAFSA". Sessions are available in English (10/20), Spanish (10/27), and Mandarin (10/28). Click on the appropriate date within the flyer to register.
  9. uAspire is hosting a series of financial aid virtual events. Please share this flyer with your network.
  10. 826 Boston will be hosting Virtual College Essay Boot Camps on Saturdays October 30, November 20, and December 11, 2021. Space is limited, so encourage students to sign up now to be paired 1-on-1 with a trained writing tutor to work on your college essay. Flyer here.
  11. See and share the attached highlights calendar
Our district's goal is for every high school student to engage in a post-high school planning process using a comprehensive college and career readiness platform Naviance. Naviance helps students achieve critical milestones to prepare for college or careers. Once students use the platform to identify their strengths and interests, Naviance helps them connect those interests to potential careers and plan a course of study to reach their goals, whether they are heading directly to college, entering the workforce, joining the military, or pursuing another path after high school.


What Can YOU Do to Support College & Career Month?

  1. Find, share, tag, and like us on social media (Instagram: @success.boston / Twitter: @SuccessBoston)! Use the hashtag #CollegeMonth to help us share and spread the important College Month resources far and wide.
  2. KICK OFF! Wear your college apparel, college colors, or a school that you are interested in on College Pride Day (Friday, October 1st) - and encourage others to do the same. Share photos on social media showing your college pride! Be sure to tag us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and use the hashtag #SuccessBoston! 
  3. Encourage the class of 2022 to learn more about the FAFSA and complete it early, especially on FAFSA Day in BPS (Monday, October 4)
  4. Bookmark our website for suggested activities each week.