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Free postsecondary planning events!

Let VSAC be your guide.

High school students and parents/guardians, whether you’re college-bound, training-bound, or not sure, VSAC's college and career pathways events and resources are for you. 

What is College & Career Pathways?

On Saturday, March 23, 2024, families are invited to join us in-person at the UVM Davis Center or online via Zoom to take part in live workshops, discover free resources, and connect with local experts to help prepare for education or training after high school.

March 23rd Event Schedule:

  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM Registration & Resource Fair (In-person only)
  • 2:00 – 2:15 PM Welcome (In-person & online)
  • 2:25 – 3:10 PM Breakout Workshops #1 (In-person & online)
  • 3:20 – 4:05 PM Breakout Workshops #2 (In-person & online)
  • 4:15 – 5:00 PM Breakout Workshops #3 (In-person & online)

Register Here

Families are also invited to join UVM the morning of the event for an admissions information session, student panel, and student-led tour. Info sessions and tours will be offered at 9:30am and 11am. Interested families must register separately at www.uvm.edu/visit.

High school events:

We will also be offering four events for high schools around the state:

  • Thursday, March 7, 9:00 am–2:00 pm at Landmark College
  • Thursday, March 14, 9:00 am–2:00 pm at Saint Michael's College
  • Monday, April 8, 8:45 am–1:00 pm at the Vermont State University Lyndon Campus (with an early departure option if needed due to eclipse)
  • Wednesday, April 10, 8:45 am–2:00 pm at the Vermont State University Castleton Campus (in partnership with the Rutland Area Guidance Counselors’ College Fair)

High schools register to bring students to these events during the school day. Please connect with your school to find out if they will be participating. 

If you’re a school interested in bringing students to one of these four events, reach out to collegepathways@vsac.org for more details.

Workshop descriptions and resources for the 2024 events are available in the tabbed content below. Find recordings from past events on VSAC's College & Career Pathways Youtube playlist.

Below you can find more details and resources for the resource fair and each of the live workshops that will be offered at the March 23, 2024 event.

Please note that the resource fair will be offered in-person only.

All workshops will be offered both in-person and virtually.

Click on each green bar below for event details and additional resources.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Join VSAC and special guests to kick off the day from 2-2:15pm.

Exhibitors at the In-Person Resource Fair, 1-2pm

Session 1  | 2:25 – 3:10pm

The College Search: Finding the Right Fit  

Know you want to continue your education after high school, but unsure how to choose a school or training program? This interactive workshop will help you consider what you want from your post-high school experience, and provide strategies and tools to start narrowing down the search to institutions that meet your needs.

Audience: Best for 9th–11th grade students alone or with their parents/guardians (less appropriate for parents/guardians alone)
Presenter: Sara Vargo, VSAC GEAR UP Assistant Manager

Resources:

Money After High School

Geared towards those navigating the transition from high school to their next chapter of life, this session will cover the fundamental life skills you need to take control of your finances. Learn practical strategies for creating a budget you can stick to, find out what makes your credit score, and how to manage debt without being overwhelmed. Your upcoming choices can impact you for years- don't miss this opportunity to learn how to make informed financial decisions and set the foundation for your future.

Audience: Best for 11th & 12th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Katy Bensen, Money$ense Financial Education Program Manager, Opportunities Credit Union

Resources:

Strategies for the SAT & ACT 

Want to make yourself a stronger candidate for college admissions and merit-based financial aid by earning a high score? Get “best practice” strategies and free test-prep resources from a professional test prep tutor.

Audience: Best for 10th & 11th grade students
Presenter: Matthew Shagam, Tutor

Resources:

Supporting Your Teen’s Career Search 

How can you help your child figure out what they want to do, without telling them what to do? This workshop will cover what your high schooler needs from you in their career search, and how to help them identify and explore their career interests.

Audience: Best for the parents/guardians of 9th–12th grade students
Presenter: Kathi Terami, Executive Director, Careers CLiC

Resources:

Session 2  | 3:20pm – 4:05pm

Financial Aid & Managing College Costs

Find out how families cover college costs. We'll explain:

  • the types of financial aid available (grants, scholarships, loans)
  • the basics of financial aid applications
  • ways to compare college costs before you apply

Audience: Best for 10th & 11th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Matt "Beagle" Bourgault, VSAC Talent Search Director

Resources:

I Wish I Knew That! Programs to Pursue Before You Graduate

Participants will learn about the Flexible Pathways opportunities available to students and how participating in one or more of these programs in high school can help you get a jumpstart on your future.

Audience: Best for 9th–11th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Amy Dodge, Post-Secondary Programs Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education (Please note that the presenter will be joining this session virtually)

Resources:

Navigating the Admissions Process

Overwhelmed by the college admissions process? Hear directly from college admissions counselors about the steps involved in applying, what they look for in students, and how they can support you through the process.

Audience: Best for 10th & 11th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenters: Sarah Hobart, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, University of Vermont & Elga Gruner, Assistant Director of Admissions, Vermont State University

Resources:

Navigating the College Search for Students Who Learn Differently

This workshop will give neurodiverse students and their families the tools you need to determine fit and prepare for the transition to education after high school. We will discuss what to consider, the questions to ask, the legal landscape, and the wide range of accommodations, supports, and programs that exist in post-secondary education today. The presenter will also share some details about the specific expertise of Landmark College, which specializes in educating neurodiverse high school and college students.

Audience: Best for 9th–12th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Maribeth Resnick, Director of Online Partnerships, Landmark College

Resource Links:

GENERAL

SPECIFIC

 Session 3  | 4:15pm – 5:00pm

College Options for Students with Developmental Disabilities and Autism

Learn about a number of inclusive college programs in Vermont designed for students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Audience: Best for 10th–12th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Bryan Dague, Ed.D., Director of Think College at the University of Vermont & Chris Kennedy, Regional Director, College Steps

Resources:

Exploring Career and Education Pathways with MyFutureVT

Get the inside scoop on the variety of post-high school education and training options available to students, and learn about MyFutureVT, the free, one-stop online resource you can use to explore Vermont’s most promising careers and the education and training programs to get into these jobs.

Audience: Best for 9th–12th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Tom Cheney, Executive Director, Advance Vermont

Resources:

Scholarships: Free Money!

Learn how to find and apply for local, state, and national scholarships.

Audience: Best for 11th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter: Matt "Beagle" Bourgault, VSAC Talent Search Director

Resources:

Writing the Admissions Essay

The admissions essay brings your unique voice to your college applications – this session will provide you with strategies to approach this important piece of writing and a better understanding of how it will be reviewed.

Audience: Best for 10th & 11th grade students and their parents/guardians
Presenter:  Carrie Pratt, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, University of Vermont

Resources:

 

Below you can find more details and resources for each of the live workshops that will be offered at the four weekday events. Click on each workshop name to find the description and resources for that session.

Click on each green bar below for event details and additional resources. 

Event Schedules

Landmark College on Thursday, March 7
  • 9:15–9:45am: Welcome & opening activity
  • 10:00–10:45am: Breakout workshop 1
  • 10:55–11:40am: Breakout workshop 2
  • 11:50am–12:30pm: Breakout workshop 3
  • 12:40–1:20pm: Lunch
  • 1:30–1:45pm: Closing & door prizes
Saint Michael's College on Thursday, March 14
  • 9:15–9:45am: Welcome & opening activity
  • 10:00–10:45am: Breakout workshop 1
  • 10:55–11:40am: Breakout workshop 2
  • 11:50am–12:30pm: Lunch or breakout workshop 3
  • 12:40–1:20pm: Lunch or breakout workshop 3
  • 1:30–1:45pm: Closing & door prizes
Vermont State University Lyndon Campus on Monday, April 8
  • 8:45–9:15am: Welcome & opening activity
  • 9:25–10:10am: Breakout workshop 1
  • 10:20–11:05am: Breakout workshop 2
  • 11:10–11:25am: Closing & door prizes
  • 11:30am–12:10pm: Optional lunch on campus
  • 12:20–1:00pm: Optional campus tour
Vermont State University Castleton Campus on Wednesday, April 10
  • 9:00–9:30am: Welcome & opening activity
  • 9:45–10:35am: College Fair or breakout workshop 1
  • 10:50–11:40am: College Fair or breakout workshop 1
  • 11:50am–12:35pm: Lunch or breakout workshop 2
  • 12:45–1:30pm: Lunch or breakout workshop 2
  • 1:40–1:50pm: Closing & door prizes

Workshop Details

Career Search: Finding the Right Fit

What career fields and skill sets will be in demand as you enter the workforce? Come explore how your unique skills and interests match up with promising careers in Vermont.

Presenter: Careers CLiC & Vermont Department of Labor

Resources:

Career Services for Vermont Students (offered at Castleton event)

Learn about how the Vermont Department of Labor can help you with career exploration, career counseling, and connecting with local employers. This session will also share some information about the current labor market and what to expect when searching for a job or long-term career.

Presenter: Vermont Department of Labor

Resources:

The College Search: Finding the Right Fit

Know you want to continue your education after high school, but unsure how to choose a school or training program? This interactive workshop will help you consider what you want from your post-high school experience, and provide strategies and tools to start narrowing down the search to institutions that meet your needs.

Presenter: VSAC Career & Education Outreach

Resources:

Friends & Family Challenge: Credentialing Up Together in Vermont (offered at Lyndon event for adult attendees)

A workshop for adults to explore career and educational opportunities. Join VSAC EOC Counselor, Marti Kingsley, and learn about options for adults seeking further education and training. This workshop will cover career information, educational options, and how to access funding. The “challenge” is to enroll in further education or training.

Presenter: VSAC Educational Opportunity Center (EOC)

Resources:

Money After High School (offered at Saint Michael's event)

Geared towards those navigating the transition from high school to their next chapter of life, this session will cover the fundamental life skills you need to take control of your finances. Learn practical strategies for creating a budget you can stick to, find out what makes your credit score, and how to manage debt without being overwhelmed. Your upcoming choices can impact you for years- don't miss this opportunity to learn how to make informed financial decisions and set the foundation for your future.

Presenter: Opportunities Credit Union Money$ense Financial Education Programs

Resources:

Navigating the Admissions Process

Overwhelmed by the college admissions process? Hear directly from a college admissions counselor about the steps involved in applying, what they look for in students, and how they can support you through the process.

Presenter: Host Campus Admissions Department

Resources:

Navigating the College Search for Students Who Learn Differently (offered at Landmark event)

This workshop will give neurodiverse students the tools you need to determine fit and prepare for the transition to education after high school. We will discuss what to consider, the questions to ask, the legal landscape, and the wide range of accommodations, supports, and programs that exist in post-secondary education today. The presenter will also share some details about the specific expertise of Landmark College, which specializes in educating neurodiverse high school and college students.

Presenter: Landmark College Admissions Department

Resources:

Non-Degree Pathways to a Great Career: Short-Term Training & Apprenticeships

Short-term training can be a great way to increase skills or jump-start your career. With a wide variety of options available both in-person and online throughout Vermont, it can be challenging to find the right fit. This workshop will help you understand the range of options available.

Presenter: VSAC Educational Opportunity Center joined by the Vermont Adult Career & Technical Education Association at the Landmark, Saint Michael’s, and Lyndon events

Career Exploration Resources:

Vermont Career Training & Industry Recognized Credential Programs:

Resources to find and pay for career training:

Paying for Education After High School

Nervous about how you’ll afford to pay for college or career training? Learn about how others make it work, the types of financial aid available and how to apply for them, and what you should be doing now to set yourself up for success.

Presenter: VSAC Career & Education Outreach

Resources:

Real World, Real Money (offered at Castleton event)

Learn to manage your money and achieve your goals as you enter the “Real World.” You are going to be facing more responsibilities, now. Learn to manage your money effectively and learn how to avoid any potential financial pitfalls. This workshop will cover budgeting, credit and more!

Presenter: Heritage Family Credit Union

Resources:

Scholarships: Free Money!

Learn how to find and apply for local, state, and national scholarships.

Presenter: VSAC Career & Education Outreach

Resources:

Taking a Gap Year: A Presentation for Students (offered at Saint Michael’s event)

Taking a gap year after high school is becoming an increasingly popular option for students, but how do you know if it's the right choice for you? Join gap year expert Julia Rogers for a presentation that will help you understand why you should consider gap time and what kinds of activities - close to home or around the world - are available to you. You'll also get tips on how to plan for college deferment or reapplication, how to finance gap time and how to design a meaningful and fun gap year.

Presenter: Julia Rogers, President Emeritus, Gap Year Association

Resources:

Writing the Admissions Essay

Find out what colleges look for in the admissions essay and discover how to craft an essay that sets you apart.

Presenter: Host Campus Admissions Department

Resources:

Your Journey Ahead: Recent Grads Discuss Their Paths After High School (offered at Saint Michael’s event)

It can sometimes feel overwhelming to figure out what you’re going to do after graduating high school - many don’t know what to expect. You are not alone! Join recent high school graduates as they walk us through their journey, what they learned along the way, and begin talking about what you can do to prepare for your path ahead - it’s coming up fast!

Presenter: Student Panel

 

Click on the titles below for the videos and guided questions on this topic. You can also save a copy of the overview sheet with descriptions and links for each topic.

Learn how to navigate videos & guided questions

Short-Term Training & Apprenticeships: Short-term training can be a great way to increase skills or jump-start your career, and apprenticeships enable you to earn while you learn. Discover the wide variety of training options available both in-person and online throughout Vermont.

Intro to Résumé Writing: Find out what employers look for in a résumé and walk away with a checklist for creating a job application that will improve your odds of getting an interview.

Interviewing Success Strategies: Find out how to prepare for a job interview and show off your best self to potential employers. While structured around applying for a job, these tips can also be applied to a college admissions interview.

The College Search—Finding the Right Fit: Learn what to consider and then reflect on what you want from your postsecondary experience so that you can narrow the search to institutions that meet your values and preferences. While structured around the college search, these questions can also be helpful in thinking about what you might want in a future employer or non-degree training program.

Strategies for the SAT & ACT: Want to make yourself a stronger candidate for college admissions and merit-based financial aid by earning a high score on the SAT or ACT? Get “best practice” strategies and free test-prep resources from a professional test prep tutor.

Navigating the Admissions Process: Overwhelmed by the college admissions process? Hear directly from college admissions counselors about the steps involved in applying, what they look for in students, and ways they can support you through the process. 

Writing the Admissions Essay: Find out what colleges look for in the admissions essay and discover how to craft an essay that sets you apart.

Financial Aid & Managing College Costs: Nervous about how you’ll afford to pay for college or career training? Learn about how others make it work, the types of financial aid available, how to apply for them, and what you should be doing now to set yourself up for success.

Scholarships—Free Money: Learn how to find and apply for local, state, and national scholarships.

The Postsecondary Experience—Student Voices: Find out what current college and non-degree training students think you should know about education after high school.

Going to College—How to Stick with It and Graduate: Going to college and dropping out before receiving your degree can be expensive and disheartening. Find out the most common reasons why college students leave school, and what steps you can start taking now to help you make it to graduation. 

Gap Year 101: Learn about the benefits, challenges, and opportunities surrounding the gap year option.

Identifying Your Career Interests: Discover how your interests relate to clusters of nearly 900 occupations.

Showcasing Essential Skills: Learn which skills are critical to success after high school, how to highlight the skills you already have, and how to build new ones.

Navigating Your Own Career Path: Connect your interests and skills with promising careers in Vermont and explore a broad range of career and education pathways.

Questions?

Call 877-961-4369 or e-mail us at collegepathways@vsac.org.

College & Career Pathways is funded by VSAC; Vermont State GEAR UP, a federally funded program; and the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation.