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Rear view of college students raising hands to answer teacher's question during a lecture.

*This is an excerpt from The Urban Difference: Report 2020

 College and career readiness programs prepare students for academic and employment success.

Career Countdown: Alabama Youth are College & Career Ready

African American professor communicating with her students at university hallway. They are wearing face masks due to coronavirus pandemic.

Group of people converse.

As indicated in the Alabama College and Career Strategic Plan (2020), the state aspires to make every student college and career ready. College and career-ready means that students graduate from high school prepared to enter college or a career with the knowledge, skills, and the mindset
to succeed. 

Programs like Career Countdown is an effective college and career readiness program. Participants engage in real-life simulations based on career choices and lifestyles and learn how to create an education and a career plan. Educational plans may involve undergoing vocational training or attending a two-year or four-year college or university to ultimately achieve their career goals.

To address inequities in career readiness, Alabama Extension at AAMU provided 77 Career Countdown sessions to 1,670 Alabamians, and 1,019 (61%) were high school students. Post-delayed survey data among 446 respondents denoted that 54 percent of participants completed a career plan. In addition, post-survey data among 1,464 participants revealed the following:

  • 1,362 (93%) participants indicated they conducted research on career interests. 
  • 1,244 (85%) students indicted the need to spend more time studying.
  • 1,083 (74%) participants expressed interest in more programming on career interests.


View other excerpts from The Urban Difference: Report 2020 here. 


Author & Editor, Wendi Williams, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Alabama A&M University. Design/layout, Shannon Schoeneweiss, Technology Media Coordinator, Alabama A&M University.

New November 2021, The Urban Difference: Report 2020, UNP-2184


This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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