Dream big and take small steps

Welcome back to school! A new school year means a fresh start in your academic journey and new goals for yourself (and not just academic-focused ones). Before the school slips away from you, spend some time thinking about where you would like to be at the end of June. Consider your academic, co-curricular, and personal aspirations for the school year and what you will need to do to reach them. Dream big! But remember big dreams are usually multifaceted and are best accomplished by dividing your goals into many small steps.  Work toward your big goals by checking off the small steps that you must take to accomplish your dreams over time. As you check each completed step off of your to-do list; reflect on where you are now, where you are heading, and where you started. In June you will be amazed at your progress and proud of a year well spent. Photo by Dana Lookadoo on Flickr Creative Commons License Photo used as is.  No changes...
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This assignment will not be graded

Exploring career fields helps students understand the many types of jobs within one industry and the many academic pathways to those professional opportunities.


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High school juniors–no rest for the weary!

Admissions1 offer eight easy tips for meeting your college exploration goals during junior year of high school


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The long and winding road toward college admissions

Think about taking the SAT II Subject tests this May or June. Plan early so you don’t miss the registration deadlines.


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Invest in your future this summer.

Summer is just around the corner. For many of you that means sand, surf and snoozing.  While we are all for enjoying time off and relaxing in the sun—summer also provides high school students with great opportunities for a few “mind changing” experiences. For those of you old enough to work, finding a great summer job is invaluable.  It not only gives you insight into the world of work, but also helps develop essential skills for success outside of the classroom.  Paid or unpaid work will provide you with a more clear understanding of  the value of responsibility, reliability and a strong work ethic.  Never discount any job–even if the only thing you learn from working at a fast food joint or as a day camp counselor is that you never want to do these jobs again.  That is valuable information.  Store these tidbits away for when you consider possible career fields.  If you didn’t like working with children or at Mickey D’s when you were a teenager, what has changed that may interest you in these career fields now?  A job can give you a glimpse into a particular career, nudge you in a direction or help you steer clear of certain vocations.  Another thing to remember is that college admission officers take your work experiences into consideration regardless of whether it is flipping burgers or filing law reports. Other ways to make the most of your summer vacation is to “test drive” careers you find interesting by working or volunteering in that particular career. A first stop should be your high school guidance office to learn more about available internship opportunities. Remember, college for many is a short four year “gig” but you will be working for decades. So discovering a career that is both interesting and challenging to you will help create a more satisfying, rewarding and happier life. Combining work with academic pursuits may help you discover new and interesting parts of yourself.  Many colleges and universities have programs for high school students in a variety of academic areas such as engineering, writing, science or the fine arts. It is a great way for a student to discover if a school is a good fit by attending a summer program and living on campus.  Living in a dorm inBoston,New YorkCity orWashington,DCcan help you decide whether spending four years at an urban university is the right...
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Juniors: Five Items for your ‘to-do’ list

If you are a Junior in high school you don’t need us to tell you that with the end of spring break and the opening of your final marking period–the college exploration process is in full swing.   Here is a short list of ‘to-do’ items that you should take care of before the end of the year.  1) Teacher Recommendations Teachers with a reputation for writing great recommendations get booked early.  Think about who you would like to write a letter supporting your application (remember some schools ask for two teacher recommendations) and ASK that teacher before the end of the school year.  As you consider the best person for the job, remember that the best teacher to ask is not always the one who gave you the easy ‘A’.  You should select a teacher that knows your best work and who has challenged you intellectually.  If you are applying to a math or science program, you might be required to have a recommendation from a math or science teacher.  Additionally, if you plan to apply to schools that ask for more than one teacher recommendation, ask teachers from different subject areas so that your recommendations represent assessments of different skill sets.  2) Standardized Tests Devise a test taking strategy.  If you have already taken the SAT and are not ‘in love’ with your scores, take the ACT –the same is true if you have already taken the ACT.  You do not have to take an expensive prep class to do your best.  There are some low cost and free options which can help you.  Check out the College Board and ACT websites and www.number2.com  for some free and low cost options.  Becoming more familiar with these tests, will help you perform at your best.  You should plan on taking each of these exams no more than two times each.  If you are considering a test prep company you should be know all the facts.  Take a look at this article for some more information  3) Academic and Professional Goal Setting Spend some time exploring the majors and career paths that you might consider for your own future.  There are many avenues you should follow as you research your interests.  We have listed some ideas below: Speak with adults you know who are in a particular field or studied an academic area in which you are interested. Look...
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