Implementation Guidance

Exploring Futures: 2023-2024

Exploring Futures offers career exploration and early exposure to career opportunities, including careers in STEM, to middle school students during the school year and summer of 2024! With the support of ExpandED Schools in collaboration with DYCD and Hats and Ladders, all Beacon, SONYC, and Cornerstone sites serving middle school students are required to implement at least five hours of Exploring Futures programming, which can be reached through career exploration curriculum activities, career exposure events, or a combination of the two components.

2023-2024 Model

To meet the five hour requirement, sites can implement one of the following models:

5 hours of Career Exploration Curriculum Activities


5 hours of Career Exposure Events


Combination of Career Exposure Events + Career Exploration Curriculum = 5 hours 

Career Exploration Curriculum consists of classroom activities that engage students in exploring their interests, careers, and careers in STEM. Sites will select one or more of these career-connected extensions: 

  • Hats and Ladders Usage and Curriculum
  • ExpandED Career Exploration Curriculum 
  • CBO-led Career Exploration Curriculum  that meets desired outcomes below

Career Exposure Events consist of external activities  where students are exposed to a variety of careers, including careers in STEM. Sites are  encouraged to implement at least one of following events, or a similar event:

MS Career Exploration Desired Outcomes

  • Students will be able to engage in career exploration activities that connect to existing afterschool programming and support opportunities for self-exploration, career exploration, and goal-setting.
  • Students will be able to grow self-awareness about their interests, passions, and values, and identify how this can inform decision making and build a sense of agency as they explore careers.
  • Students will be able to Investigate jobs in multiple sectors, including careers in STEM and those that rely on leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Exploring Futures activities will serve as a tool for ongoing career exploration and support for high school choice in afterschool programming.