Planning Your Early College Awareness Event


How it works

Volunteers from the local Harvard Club will start by contacting a school’s superintendent, principal, and/or guidance counselor for approval before developing the program’s content. Venue logistics are handled by Club volunteers, and the event is presented free of charge to the 7th and 8th students and parents.


Six Steps to Implement an ECA Program

An Early College Awareness program can take many forms as long as it accomplishes the dual mission of alumni engagement and delivering a ‘college-possible’ message to students in 7th through 11th grades who may not think it is possible or worthwhile. This Toolkit outlines the six steps and four basic models to consider:

  1. Decide which ECA model or combination you wish to implement

  2. Establish an ECA Committee and Chair

  3. Identify any contacts/relationships with specific school or school district administrators that your alumni may have.

  4. Reach out to the school administrators, discuss options, and schedule a date.

  5. Reach out to potential partner organizations.

  6. Develop communication strategy and presentation format.



  1. Half-day/One-day Community-Wide Program

  2. In School Assembly

  3. In Classroom Speakers that “Make The Curriculum Real”

  4. Partner w/ local school outreach (“Teach-In Day”)


Examples of Past Speakers & Programs:

  • Len Elmore, who played for the University of Maryland basketball team, and then played professionally for the New York Knicks. After retiring from professional basketball, he further continued his formal education, earning a law degree from Harvard Law School.

  • Jean Fugett, a college graduate who played for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, and went on to manage Beatrice International, an international company headquartered in Paris.

  • At the conclusion of the ECA program, many Harvard Clubs raffle off college-items such as tee shirts, hats, lanyards or sweat shirts for the students.

  • The Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Westchester's 12th annual ECA Program on April 14, 2018.