Lesson Plan Guide: Getting The Most Out Of Campus Visits

By Matt Andrews

GRADES: 9-12
CONTENT AREAS: Advisory, English, Homeroom, Social Studies, AVID


Students will self-assess their own college knowledge

Students will analyze and evaluate advice given

Student will write preliminary plans for a college visit


PS:B1.12 Develop an action plan to set and achieve realistic goals

PS:B1.5 Demonstrate when, where and how to seek help for solving problems and making decisions

PS:A1.10 Identify personal strengths and assets

PS:A1.2 Identify values, attitudes and beliefs


It is helpful for instructors to be familiar with local college options for students, such as those featured in Student Paths. Instructors tend to be familiar with 4-year colleges while many students today are likely to attend a 2-year college first.

The more familiar instructors become with college options, the better advantage this gives their students in the long term.


Paper, pencils, and the article, “Campus Visits,” found in the Student Paths (related articles).


This lesson contains instructions for approximately one hour of independent work for students to complete under teacher guidance.

The reproducible instructs students how to test their own college knowledge, weigh the advice given in the article, and plan a college visit of their own. The depth of this assignment will vary by age, and students work independently while teachers monitor student progress through the lesson.


This lesson is a self-assessment for students to better understand what they know about their college options. This lesson does not need to be collected, but students are encouraged to talk about their ideas with mentors. Instructors may check back a week later to see if students talked about these ideas with anyone else.


Distribute the reproducible with the article, “Campus Visits.” Explain to students that the questions on the reproducible will guide them through a self-assessment. Students will test their own college knowledge, weigh the advice given in an article, and plan a college visit of their own.

Set time limits for students to progress within the allotted time, and monitor their progress.

  • 10-20 minutes to assess college knowledge
  • 10-20 minutes to read and think critically about advice
  • 10-20 minutes for preliminary planning of a campus visit.

Encourage students to work independently, even though they may feel like sharing some of their ideas.



Assess your college knowledge!

On a blank piece of paper, draw a small symbol to represent you in the middle.

Try to list ALL the choices of colleges and other options that you have after high school. Draw a simple map to list every option that you know. Some students may know more than 50, and you probably know more than you think. This is an opportunity to see what you really know about your college choices.

  • Have you visited any of these college campuses?
  • On a separate piece of paper, describe your experiences.
  • Write your opinion of these colleges.


Read the article, “Campus Visits.”

Think critically about advice:

  • List the advice Kathleen King gives in her article about campus visits.
  • Write short statements about your opinion of her advice to you. Do you agree or disagree with it? Explain why.
  • Will you follow this advice or not? Why?


Determine outside factors that influence our opinion of a college:

  • What outside factors influenced Kathleen King’s college visits?
  • What outside factors influence your perception of college?
  • What outside factors influence what you think about your own education today?
  • Why do you want to go to college?
  • What do you expect to learn at college?
  • What are you doing today with your education to prepare for tomorrow?


Plan a college visit for you and your parent or mentor!

Take a few minutes to describe a mini-vacation and college visit near you. This could be someplace to go on a bus for the day with a mentor, older sibling, or parent.


Determine a specific college that interests you and write down the logistics of:

  • How would you get there?
  • What would you be sure to visit?
  • How much would this mini-vacation cost?

Save your writing, and find someone to share your thoughts with this week.



Campus Visits

About the Author

Matt Andrews