MOTIVATION/ESPECIALLY AROUND COLLEGE/CAREER
Post your questions or leave your comments here regarding motivation, especially around college and career for high school programs.
It can be challenging to get high school students motivated in general. However, I have found a couple of strategies that work well. First, I would offer drivers education class to students who participated in certain activities for 30 days or more. I also offered SAT prep classes under the same guidelines. Students were motivated more by the drivers education and parents more by the SAT prep. Either way, students attended activities.
Young people can be very motivated, but maybe not by what we offer. Negotiating 4 bus transfers to get to the Mall of America for an event takes motivation! Yet I probably wouldn’t be motivated to walk across the street for the same event. So I know I’m not the right person to plan.
For example, I was talking to a student about why she didn’t want to participate afterschool. She was near the program waiting for a ride, playing the role of youth very well, ie: bored, unmotivated, apathetic, etc… I asked what she did on the weekend. She said went to the mall. I asked if it was to hang out with friends and she said, “no”. She said she actually liked to go alone because she liked looking at the newest fashions. I told her one of my staff was friends with a designer and if we invited the designer to visit, would she recruit some other students for the meeting. She was so excited! Ended up with a cool fashion design program which included learning about career paths and post secondary options.
Building relationships and connections. Thanks Eric. Great story.
Thanks. I find stories are much more interesting than quoting some academic research article.
Having the right staff to run/operate your activities can be very beneficial in this area.
I have a Fashion program run by a man who happens to be a Footwear Designer (Coach/Fubu/Kenneth Cole, etc), and is also a professor at the F.I.T as well as Pratt Institute here in New York. Needless to say, our students get the benefit of hearing from someone in the field as well as the college information from a two-college professor.
I also encourage my team to bring in guest speakers… could be students or professionals (they must be approved first). Sometimes, our kids need the benefit of hearing from professionals and current students in the field they want to pursue.
You may also consider hosting a college/technical school fair. We have partnered with our school to host ours.
Another idea to consider is contacting local agencies/businesses who may be able to offer internships for your students or a “spend-a-day”/job-shadow opportunity for your kids.