Northern Arizona University is outfitting Arizona’s middle and high school students with a new tool to build up to postsecondary education success.

The Arizona College and Career Planning Guide developed by NAU, Expect More Arizona and Arizona GEAR UP is available to every eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grader in the state, and online to all students.

Former Arizona Cardinal and two-time NFL MVP quarterback Kurt Warner is helping to champion the partners’ “dream big and go for it” message to all Arizona students. In the guide’s introduction letter, he tells students that postsecondary education is critical to their future success.

“Every kid in Arizona has the potential to go on to succeed in postsecondary education,” Warner said. “Like an athlete, they just need encouragement, a willingness to work hard and the right playbook to help them get there.”

The guide, or “playbook,” includes an overview of postsecondary pathways such as career and technical training, community college and university study.

Checklists outline the required coursework from eighth grade through 12th grade, steps for applying to college or post-high school programs and financial assistance. The guide features careers that are in demand, how to choose industries to match the interests of students and a chart demonstrating the financial benefit for continuing education. The Arizona Department of Education, students, counselors and educators contributed to its development.

“Higher education is essential for this state to move forward in a global economy,” NAU President John Haeger said. “Children are our future scientists, entrepreneurs, public safety officers and teachers. By learning about postsecondary paths beginning in middle school, they can look beyond high school graduation with a clearer view of the road ahead.”