September is traditionally back to school time, so get ready because it’s coming soon.  With some teens in their senior year of high school many may be thinking about what they will be doing when they finish with things like; jobs, vocational/technical/college.  How can you in your libraries help teens get ready?  Here are some links that provide resources and some possible program ideas you may incorporate to help your teens to make some decisions.

College/technical/vocational School Resources:

Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges

Campus Pride Campus Pride represents the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.

Casey Family Services – Information on financial aid and scholarships and much more for youth in foster care

College Board and Khan Academy free practice tests and other resources to help prepare for college.

Developing the Next Generation of Latino Leaders  internships, fellowships, scholarships, financial aid information and more for Latino students.

Federal Student Aid information through the U. S. Department of Education  lays out all of the steps in order to think about colleges, identifying colleges and applying to colleges.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) through the U.S. Department of Education a grant program to increase the number of low-income students to succeed in postsecondary education.

Homework Help Programs (webinar) learn how you can offer free or fee based homework help programs in your library.

List of Community Colleges in the United States 

NAACP Youth and College Division

Orphan Foundation of America – Scholarship opportunities and Educational and Training Vouchers for foster youth.

Real Work Matters vocational school database

Trade Schools Guide 

U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecordary Institutions and Programs

U.S. Department of Education Career Colleges and Technical Schools

YALSA College and Career Readiness site

Career Readiness Resources

City of Boston Teen Resume Guide 

National Career  Development Association includes a number of links to many resources, services and tools which assist users in exploring careers, planning for the future and searching for employment. The U.S. Department of Labor, (DOL) is the sole federal agency that monitors youth labor and enforces youth labor laws. The DOL web site contains a comprehensive section that you should visit on Youth & Labor.

Teen Ink list of career resources  the premiere resource written for teens and by teens.

Ideas for Caeer Readiness Programs

Start with a needs assessment.  Talk to your teen councils, TABS and of course your teens that use the library and ask them what their questions and their needs are about beyond high school as well as job/workforce readiness.

The YALSA Teen Programming Guidelines can help you identify and organize areas you would focus on for programming with and for teens.

Plan a series of career readiness workshops.

Start with a career information workshop-reach out to library staff, community organizations/partners, barbers, physical therapists, teachers, musicians, farmers, lawyers, mechanics, and more (think about your own network) and have some of them talk about what their careers consist of, what schooling went into their degree, what things they are working on and do in their positions.

Mock interviews-reach out to some of the staff in your library, community organizations and partners and ask them to serve as mock interviewers with teens.  They can “interview” the teens for a “job” and provide feedback for the teens on things they may need to work on.

Resume workshop-provide a resume workshop for teens to learn how to put together a professional resume.  If they haven’t had jobs, have the teens talk about volunteer jobs, babysitting, working in their church, what classes have they taken that could be helpful in a job.

End the series with a job and internship fair-reach out grocery stores, retail stores, coffee shops, museums, schools, guidance counselors, libraries, does your city/town have a Mayor’s job program, nonprofits.  Vet the organizations to ensure they want to hire teens and have potential  positions.

Ideas for College/Technical school/Vocational school Readiness Programs-

Start with a needs assessment, talk with your teens and ask them what their questions and needs are in relation to school readiness. This can help guide the type of organizations and programs you offer with and for your teens.

Work with Princeton Review or Kaplan and see if they can offer free SAT, ACT prep programs.

Work with an outside organization to provide a college essay workshop to talk about the common application or you lead one.

Identify an organization to provide a FAFSA workshop, identify organizations in your city/town that provides community college waiver forms and invite them to your library to meet and talk with teens about the process or have that information available in your library.

Are there organizations or you that can offer a common application workshop to help your teens with this process?

Based on the input and questions your teens have provided, could you then put together lists of resources (like the above links) on your library’s website/blog or on paper to have available for your teens?

Reach out to some colleges, universities, community colleges, vocational and technical schools in your city/town and ask if they would provide an information session in your library.

Best Practices

City of Seattle website illustrates the number of resources for teens for career information

Oakland Public Library resources for teens looking for career planning, jobs and school help
Take a look at the San Francisco Public Library list of career resources for teens

For even more resources, visit YALSA’s wiki.

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