Communications Toolkit: Postsecondary Pathways and The Shifting American Economy

Resources for communicating with families

Navigating pathways through high school, higher education and training, and into the workforce can be overwhelming for students and families. Families need to be engaged early and often to ensure they have the resources and support they need to make informed decisions. But as the economy has shifted—including dramatic changes induced by the pandemic—many school and district leaders report lacking the concrete resources they need to communicate with families about shifts in the labor market and the different pathways students can pursue to find success in today’s economic reality. 

ESG is excited to release a new toolkit to help districts, schools, and other leaders who support a student’s educational journey effectively communicate with families about today’s economy and the different paths to success. These ready-to-use resources include key messages, graphics, printable materials, customizable pieces, and more from which communicators can build and execute their own contextualized communications plan. 

The full suite of materials is available for download below. If you are a leader who would like additional support in using these materials to craft a family communications and engagement strategy, please contact Kelly Van Beveren at kvanbeveren@edstrategy.org.

Key Messages and Strategy Considerations

This document contains key messages for communicators to use, as well as six important strategy considerations (each with relevant additional resources) to ensure robust, successful communications with families. Start here to build the foundation of your communications plan.

 

One-Pagers and Infographics

Pick and choose from these one-pagers to illustrate different factors for families to consider as they support their student in making informed choices. Some files are ready-to-go PDFs, and others are customizable InDesign files that can be tailored to your specific context and needs. These pieces can be used in print or online.

  • Postsecondary Options for Success (PDF): A handy one-pager defining the different types of postsecondary education and training that can lead to economic opportunity for students.
  • Multiple Paths to Success (PDF): A visual illustration of different pathways to long-term economic success, including entry, exit, and convergence points along the way.
  • Sample Career Ladder (PDF): An example of how different levels of education and training can lead up a career ladder in the Information Technology Systems field.
  • Sample Career Lattice (PDF): An example of how different education and training routes can lead to success in the Nursing field.
  • Who You Know Matters (PDF): An infographic showing the importance of building networks for career exploration and success.
  • A Student’s Journey (InDesign): A customizable template to illustrate a student’s journey through high school and postsecondary education and training to enter a particular career.
  • Growing Local Career Opportunities (InDesign): A customizable template to showcase specific career fields with growing opportunity in your area.

 

Social Media

Information about the shifting economy and what that means for students’ postsecondary and career planning should be regularly incorporated into social media that reaches families. Below are five Twitter-optimized graphics—including one that can be customized with information about specific opportunities in your area—that can visually connect to a larger communications effort.

  • Graphic 1 (JPEG): Multiple paths to success
  • Graphic 2 (JPEG): What path will you choose?
  • Graphic 3 (JPEG): Higher education pays off
  • Graphic 4 (JPEG): Average lifetime earnings for bachelor’s degree holders
  • Graphic 5 (InDesign): Top growing local career opportunities (customizable)

 

Postcard Mailer

If you are interested in reaching families through traditional mail, this customizable postcard can be adapted, printed, and mailed using First Class Mail.

 

How To Build Your Toolkit

Start here to learn practical tips and tricks for customizing the pieces of this toolkit to fit your needs