TGR EDU: Explore

Blog: TGR Digital Lesson Plans | November 2019
Dec 6, 2019 8:35 AM ET

Engaging, free resources to support college access for educators, parents & students

Linda Hixson, Technology Teacher at Shenandoah Valley Junior/Senior High School, Shenandoah, PA

Preparing for college can be equally overwhelming for students, and the families and teachers who aid in this pivotal transition. The complexity of the application process, not knowing what skills are needed and lack of support are all factors that can impact a student’s success in college.

A 2017 investigation by Hechinger Report revealed that the vast majority of public two- and four- year colleges enroll students who aren’t prepared for higher education. This points to a glaring problem: students are graduating without the skills they need to be successful. Thankfully, there are digital resources available that help break down what a student needs to know before graduating high school.

As educators, it’s up to us to ensure that every student has the ability to gain the skills and knowledge to be successful post-graduation, whether that’s college, the workplace or another endeavor.

I’m thankful that TGR EDU: Explore has several (free) college access-specific lesson plans designed for students in grades 6-12. These resources aim to help students develop problem-solving and decision-making skills that are relevant for the real world.

The lesson plans are available at

Covering everything from preparing an academic resume to how to find their passion, here’s a quick overview of TGR EDU: Explore’s college-access resources:

College Blueprint: Students take a virtual campus tour to learn about the college admissions process, from exploration and acceptance to how to pay for tuition.

Financial Pur$uit: Students learn strategies for understanding costs, completing financial aid forms and steps to take before and during senior year to help pay for college.

Rethinking Failure: Students are tasked with rethinking their attitudes and assumptions about failure by examining its meaning and why it’s an important part of the learning process. Students also discover how to develop a growth mindset to turn failure into a catalyst for future success.

Scholarship Case Study: Reducing the Gap: Scholarships are a powerful tool to ease the journey into higher education. This lesson puts students in the shoes of a scholarship selection committee, where they will learn and apply best practices for the scholarship application process.

Academic Resume: Through reflection and sharing, students develop an understanding of the importance of leadership and community service in the college application process.

Personal Statement: Using standards-aligned narrative techniques, students reflect on what makes them unique.

Find Your Passion: Through a series of surveys, interviews and research, this lesson helps students see how their passions and interests can lead to a promising career.

Career Path: Students visualize, organize and illustrate their future pathways, and then translate this information into actionable goals and a written plan for achievement.

Are You Financially Fit for College?: Students are given the information and confidence they need to get into the college they want and pay for it. A TGR Foundation facilitator and high school students demonstrate tools to help students navigate the financial aid process.

College Access: This webinar includes advice from TGR Foundation higher education experts about how high schoolers can prepare for the college admission process. The session focuses on highlighting the importance of self-advocacy in students, and how it translates to the college process.

Available free of charge, TGR EDU: Explore is a program created in partnership by TGR Foundation and Discovery Education that aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in college, career and beyond.

Please visit to learn more.