Students are powerful advocates for resources and information to reinforce a college and career mindset for their peers. With an Opportunity Student Ambassador program, you will amplify student voices to increase college and career access in your school or district.
Creating your own Opportunity Student Ambassador program provides students with a unique opportunity to sharpen leadership skills and engage themselves in informing students and staff in your school or district about the College Board Opportunity Scholarships. The new scholarship program guides students through the six most important steps in the college planning process and gives them the chance to earn money for college for each step they complete.
The Opportunity Student Ambassador program provides a framework to empower students to spread the word to their peers about the six steps and about the chance to earn scholarships for taking the steps.
Who should sign up?
Educators: Any interested educator can sign up. District administrators, school leaders, teachers, counselors, and community-based organization (CBO) partners have led successful Student Ambassador programs in their schools and districts.
Students: If you're interested in signing up to be an Opportunity Ambassador, click here to complete the student signup form. Remember to get permission from a teacher before signing up!
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to running an Opportunity Student Ambassador program at your school or district, including:
- Allow students to develop and flex their skills in leadership, public speaking, organization, collaboration (with both peers and adults), and service to others.
- Build and strengthen your college access efforts with direct student input.
- Help more students at your school learn about the chance to earn scholarships for taking important steps in the college planning process.
Why Become a College Board Opportunity Ambassador?
See what our current ambassadors had to say about the College Board Student Ambassador program and the impact it has made for them and their peers.Watch Video
Leadership is something that comes naturally to him, but with the Ambassador program, it's his character that has truly developed. He truly cares about others and I have witnessed him give up his seat to allow [others] to move ahead.
—Damon Rayburn, Advanced Academics Specialist, Pearland Independent School District, Texas
Being an ambassador has really shown her that self-empowerment leads to empowering others. She is really beginning to understand how powerful a single voice can be.
—Jennifer Ertel, College Readiness Department, Houston Independent School District, Texas
Sharing their perspective helped create a more student-centered process in the College and Career Resource Center.
—Malia Kau, College and Career Counselor, Radford High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
We're excited that you’re interested in running an Opportunity Student Ambassador program at your school!
We've created an Educator Toolkit and Ambassador Toolkit that outlines your role and responsibilities, provides a sample timeline, a planning guide, talking points, and resources to shape your program.
We look forward to hearing about your successes and challenges as we expand and develop this program. Contact us at [email protected] with questions or recommendations.
Getting Started Guide at a Glance:
Download the Educator Toolkit for more guidance on each of these steps.
Register as an Educator Leader.
Complete this signup form to officially register for the program.
Decide on a Program Model (District Level, School Level, or by a CBO).
All three program models have worked successfully in the past. Choose the model that’s right for you and your students.
Identify your program point person or team to build and run the program.
This is an important step to ensure that there is strong program ownership by an individual or team.
Modify and finalize your program timeline and activities.
Customize the Program Timeline (.docx/557.7 KB) and corresponding Ambassador activities so that they fit well with your school calendar and overarching goals.
Modify and finalize the Ambassador Responsibilities Document.
Review the Ambassadors Responsibilities document (.docx/551.8 KB) in the Student Toolkit and make any necessary customizations. You'll want to distribute the final version of this document to your ambassadors at the beginning of the program.
Plan Ambassador Recruitment.
Ambassador recruitment can be done through a formal application process or your program leader(s) can identify students who may be a good fit and invite them to participate.
Host a kickoff meeting; get your students signed up with us; set up Ambassador support.
Start your program off strong with a kickoff meeting for all ambassador participants. In the meeting, make sure your Ambassadors have officially signed up for the program using this online form, set clear expectations for their responsibilities and let them know how and when to ask for support from the program leader(s).
Make sure Student Ambassadors attend virtual training sessions and meetups.
We’ll be offering virtual Student Ambassador training sessions in the fall and two Student Ambassador online meetups in the winter. Attending these sessions will help your Ambassadors connect with other participants around the country.
Encourage Student Ambassadors to complete program milestones.
Look out for communication from us about our new Student Ambassador Milestones and Progress Checks. Encourage your Ambassadors to complete as many milestones as possible throughout the year and to submit their fall and spring progress checks.
Plan Ambassador recognition.
Your student ambassadors will be committing a significant amount of time to this program. When possible, recognize these students for their hard work in school newsletters, on the website, in the college counselor office, etc.
In 2018, College Board launched the College Board Opportunity Scholarships, a new scholarship program that guides students through the college planning process and gives them the chance to earn money for college for each step they complete.
With the College Board Opportunity Scholarships, we're laying out the six most important actions in the college planning process. Visit: https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/
Students should identify at least one educator to help them organize events and provide guidance. When students sign up, we ask for the educator's contact information, so students should ask for educator permission first.
Check out (and you can download) the Educator Toolkit here for information and best practices.
Keep it balanced. Start with seniors who have some experience with the Opportunity Scholarships and juniors who are eligible for Opportunity Scholarships this year. We also think it's important to recruit underclassmen to be sure your program sustains itself. Each year, you can have older ambassadors serve as mentors to the younger students.
Take these steps:
- See if there are any preexisting student leadership programs or initiatives in your organization. If not, here are two options:
- If you're partnered with a school, bring one of the two previously listed models to a district or school administrator with the intent of incorporating the program into the students' school day. (See how you and your school partner can work together to engage students.)
- If you're not partnered with a school, determine how the Student Ambassadors program might be integrated into your program—consider leveraging an existing student leadership or service-learning program.
- Leverage your members, staff, volunteers, interns, or clergy interested in working with a group of student leaders. (Be prepared for Ambassadors to come to you to reserve space and time for study sessions, practice tests, and presentations.)
- Organize regular meetings with your Ambassadors.
Once you officially sign up to run an Ambassador program, we'll send information on how to request your free gear. Add [email protected] to your safe-senders list so that you don’t miss out on this important email.
Check out our Introduction, Table of Contents, and Getting Started document (.pdf/223.4 KB) in the Educator Toolkit to structure your program and organize events.
Yes. A sample timeline (.docx/557.7 KB) is in the Educator Toolkit.
About three hours a week on average.
In the spring, we'll kick off the "Gold Leaf" Student Ambassadors selection. Recipients are students who excelled in their Ambassador work and made an impact on their schoolmates and school community.
Students accepted for Gold Leaf Status receive national recognition and additional prizes. More information will be available in the spring. Meanwhile, check out Gold Lead Ambassadors from prior years.