Posts from — March 2011
Students attend college for many reasons; and students gain many things from their college education. One of the primary goals for most students, however, is to find a job after graduation and to begin to build a career. Students today are graduating at one of the most difficult times in recent history for finding that beginning job. Some students will find themselves better prepared than others for the road to their ideal career.
We’d like to suggest eight factors that can help your student take charge and survive the difficult early career building stages. As your student nears graduation, or perhaps well before that, you might share some of these ideas with him. Help him begin to think about his attitude and approach and begin to see the proactive steps that he can take to move toward his ultimate goal.
March 24, 2011 No Comments
The long admission process is over. The SAT or ACT test is done, the college visits are over, the admission essay is written, the applications are sent. Even the long wait is over. Your student has his acceptance letter in hand and can finally breathe a sigh of relief and let senioritis set in. But wait! That might not be a very good idea. Although colleges never like to do it, and thankfully don’t have to do it very often, it is possible for a college to revoke or rescind its offer of admission after the letter of acceptance has been sent.
If your student reads her acceptance letter carefully, it probably says that admission is “contingent on the successful completion of the final year of high school” or language to that effect. Your student has been accepted with the assumption that she will maintain something close to the level of accomplishment that got her into the college in the first place. The college will want to receive her diploma and her final senior grades to confirm acceptance. Unfortunately, some students stop reading their acceptance letter after the “Congratulations” part, and fail to notice or remember the “successful completion” part.
March 21, 2011 2 Comments
From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students. There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years. We’ve created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Please check out our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.
The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College is a must-read for any parent whose son or daughter is in the process of applying to college. It is not a how-to book with secrets to getting admitted, but it is a book which tells the real stories of students and admissions officers as they take the journey of putting together a college freshman class.
The Gatekeepers grew out of a newspaper series. Specifically, it tells the story of one admissions officer and the high school seniors whose cases he and his colleagues considered that year. The story begins in the homes and classrooms of the applicants as they work with their guidance counselors and parents in their junior year. The narrative then travels behind the closed doors of the admissions office, as well as the officers’ homes as the applications are debated. It continues to follow the story as the applicants receive their responses and make their decisions.
March 18, 2011 No Comments
There is a lot of work that happens, for both you and your college student, as he transitions into college during the first year. Both you and your student have a lot to learn about the school, and you need to work on new ways of relating to each other as well. When your student is a senior, there is a lot of work that happens as your student gets ready for the transition out of college into the world of work or graduate school. There may be work for you as well, if your student may be moving back home again.
Sometimes lost in all of the transitional work as students enter or prepare to leave college may be the sophomore and junior years when so much of the middlework of college happens. The major transition to college is over and the stress of senior year has not yet begun. Although at times this period may seem somewhat awkward, these years represent half of your college student’s career, and they represent much of the foundation of your student’s education. It is during these years that your student continues her exploration of herself, chooses or confirms a major, and begins to solidify her experiences. As college parents, it is important that we remember that although these may sometimes feel like “quiet” years compared to the turmoil of beginnings and endings, important things are happening during this time.
March 14, 2011 No Comments
Many, if not most, students headed to college will be required to take one or more placement exams at their school. For many students, this may come as a surprise. As a college parent, you can help your student anticipate, understand, and cope with these important tests.
What are placement exams?
Placement exams or tests are given to students, usually after they have been accepted to the college, to determine how ready students are for college level work in basic core courses. They are most often given in subjects such as English and math. Students cannot “pass” or “fail” placement tests since they simply measure a level or readiness in a subject. They are used for placing the student in the appropriate level class.
March 11, 2011 No Comments
College and university orientations for new students take many forms. Sometimes orientation may take place early in the summer and may be a day long or may involve an overnight. Orientation may take place just before the fall semester begins, with new students arriving on campus a few days before returning students. Orientation usually takes place on campus, but may involve an off-campus trip or outing. Orientation provides an important opportunity for new students to meet each other, make connections, and get to know the school and its expectations.
Whatever form Orientation may take, most schools use student Orientation Leaders to help conduct the program. If your student is a new student and will be attending Orientation, he may be wondering who this Orientation Leader is. If your student is a returning student, he may be considering becoming an Orientation Leader and you may wonder what that involves.
March 7, 2011 No Comments
March truly marks a turning point in the college year. Not only is it the time for midterm exams and for the legendary spring break, it is also the point at which the end of the school year seems almost within reach. Students know they are coming into the “home stretch” of their academic year. This provides both relief and its own stress. There’s still so much to be done. Some students may realize that they are not going to turn around a difficult academic start and need to make plans. Students may be worrying about summer jobs or summer school. Students need to be thinking and making plans for the next year – housing choices, roommates, fall schedules, majors, internships. Seniors face the ultimate stress of finding a job or getting into graduate school.
March 3, 2011 No Comments