Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The College Application Process Begins Freshman Year

When I met each one of you, I let you know how fast high school will go by and that everything you do/did from Freshman year on counted in your quest for college.  Last week I discussed the college application process here, in this blog, and felt that I needed to continue with more information this week.

The process of discerning and applying to college will last from your Junior year through your Senior year of high school.  To be successful in this process, you must spend a couple hours each week searching out information, scheduling visits to campuses, contacting College Admissions Representatives, and finally filling out applications.  

The Senior class did a great job last year and this year to visit schools, listen to the College Representatives as they came to visit our school, scheduled college visits, and made final decisions as to where they would like to apply.  The information was given to them each year, just as it is to the rest of you, and they acted.

The Junior class is starting to come aboard the post-secondary train now as well.  Although many of you have just started to express interest in the College Representatives that have come to visit, some of you consistently have listened in hopes of finding that next institution where you will be spending the next few years of your life, your next home.  Visit with the College Representatives, attend college fairs, and research the institutions you find interesting.  SIUe will be hosting a College Fair in October, click on the link to the right to find information regarding that College Fair as well as others in the area.  Check the College Representative Visits link to the right as well.  Click on that to see when institutions you might be interested in will be on our campus and come visit.  I encourage this class to start scheduling visits at campuses, come to the remaining College Representative visits, start the discerning process of where you will find yourself 18 months from now.  

Sophomores and Freshman, it is not too early to start deciding what the next steps will be in your quest for education.  Come listen to the College Representatives, come to my office to get literature, ask the Seniors what they are doing to prepare and search out the right fit for them.

Time does not stand still, it continues to slip by and waiting until you are 'ready' to start this process may not always provide for the best choices or options when it comes to the next step in your education.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The College Process and What You Should Be Doing.

I take all parts of my job duties seriously, but I have to admit that I get the most enjoyment out of helping you determine your next steps in life.  Although we have met and have gone over your plans in detail, there are still some things you need to be doing.

1.  Share your planning document on Drive with me.  This is the way I can see where you are in the college discerning process and help you with needed documents and such.  I can also see what offers you have received from the schools which you are interested.

2.  Attend the college rep visits.  ALL of you, not just Seniors need to be attending these.  This process will be here before you know it and by attending the visits you are able to gain a great deal of information on institutions you may not even have considered.

4.  Successfully complete any remaining graduation requirements.  Keep up the momentum and drive that has gotten you to this point.  Don't give up on classes second semester because failure to pass a required class will result in you not graduating.

5.   Work on polishing your resume.  Although you may think that some of the institutions don't need this, it always looks good as supporting and additional documentation.  You may also need it for some of the private scholarships from the guide I shared with you in May.  In addition, this resume can help you when applying for any paid and volunteer positions on campus next year.

6.  Start to 'adult'.  Make some of your orthodontist, dentist, and doctor appointments on your own.  Call to schedule test preparation workshops yourselves, schedule SAT and ACT tests, start to do some of the things you will need to do on your own next year.

7.  Remember, this is the next step in your life.  Whether military, career, or university, this is YOUR next step.  This is not about me, not about your parents, but all about you.  Figure out where you fit best, what you are looking for in one of the service branches, in a career, or in a university and seek that.

I did go in to some of the Junior classes last week and speak as I am not sure many of you realize that this is the time to figure out which institutions you would like to visit or if you need assistance in determining what your future plans may be.

  • Visit, Visit, Visit as it is the best way to determine where you want to be.  
  • Come and talk with all the College Representatives who are visiting in the next few weeks.  
  • Juniors and Seniors, the College Visit Paperwork is linked now on this blog. 
  • Share your planning sheets with me so that I can assist in this process.
  • Apply for any outside scholarships for which you qualify.
  • Remember, I am here to help every step of the way!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Struggle is Real; Adjusting to High School

This past week has been one that I have become accustomed to over the years.  Although I am used to the trials of the incoming freshman, they are not.  Knowing this, I ensure that I treat each and every freshman student the same each year.  

At registration, I let every family know that there is a transitional period for the freshman.  Many will come in and will not believe in their abilities to take on the rigor of high school coursework.  Many will believe they will not make it through this year.  Many honestly believe they will not be successful ---- but they will.

Eventually, they will begin to see their freshman year as an opportunity to learn more about themselves and their study skills.  They will learn perseverance and will be able to face up to challenges, both key skills needed for college.

So, what do they need to learn in order to be successful?  They need to know that being a good student means they need to evaluate the way they study and how they process material.  This in itself is more important than just a good grade, it is giving that student the skills needed to be successful when and if they have to work for a grade.  They need to ask questions like how does this relate to what I already know, how does this apply to my life, do I agree or disagree to the concept?  This helps dive into deeper thinking and develops those skills of a lifelong learner.

It will come, I promise.  The freshman will be successful once again and I will start with a new group next year.  In the meantime, help them develop different ways to study, ask meaningful questions, give them study tips, encourage them to get peer tutoring, and support them in their struggle.

We do offer peer tutoring through the National Honor Society.  NHS Tutoring will begin on 9/26.  It will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:35 - 4:15.