It is never too early to begin taking steps to ensure your student has a long-term strategic educational plan fostering a love of learning, building solid time management skills and establishing a directed path towards the undergraduate experience. I personally guide students to discover their individual academic strengths and develop an intrinsically motivated passion for learning, ensuring a seamless transition to the undergraduate experience.😊
It’s Time for Reflections:
YEAR-END EDUCATIONAL & COLLEGE PLANNING ASSESSMENT
As the end of the school year is within sight, AP/IB/AICE exam prep should be a priority. I also invite all students to reflect upon goals set in August. Which of your goals were easily attainable? Why? What have you learned about yourself and how you approach learning and your time that works well and what will you change for the next academic year?
Parents, how have you changed as your student continues to develop their strengths further preparing each young adult for a smooth transition to the undergraduate experience? How can you assist your student to continue to be self-motivated and directed?
At your end-of-year conference, we’ll review your accomplishments both within and outside the classroom as well as identify opportunities for growth to realize personalized educational goals.
INCREASING YOUR CHANCES
First and foremost- be yourself because everyone else is taken! That’s not cliché-it is truly the most important piece of advice I can provide.
Discover an area that you are truly passionate about and dive in!
Applicants must clearly demonstrate “informed interest”!
Your application must leave no shadow of a doubt that you are prepared to succeed in your demanding academic major.
Demonstrating you understand the challenges ahead is essential.
“Informed interest” can be demonstrated through:
- In addition to completion of AP/IB/AICE coursework, engage in sustained formal or informal extracurricular activities and independent projects (we have plenty of ideas for an independent project)
- Research: participation in local, regional and national competitions working with our competition educator. An AP class often includes a project or paper that can be the springboard for a larger project and a competitive venue.
- Thoughtful college specific supplemental essays showcasing maturity and self-directed exploration of a potential narrow area of interest (i.e. stochastic processes in Financial Modeling, Genomics, Artificial Intelligence applications to bio-diversity modelling, pharmaceutical development or language processing and interpretation.)
NEED AN IDEA???
STEM students, let me introduce you to some opportunities to learn to code or take hold of some of the DIY projects in Popular Science magazine (2-3 of these every month). Build a drone?.Food Scientists: Lots of weird new things to learn. Engineers-no shortage of ideas! Aspiring physician– ? Ideally, work on a project with potential entry into science fair this fall .
Business students-are you aware of the latest developments and controversies in your field? Most of us are imagining why there aren’t available real-time COVID-19 tests or why our front line health care professionals still don’t always have access to PPE– these are both BUSINESS LOGISTICS ISSUES!
Consider volunteering for an organization /family/small business to implement a social media campaign. Learn how to organize data for analysis. All of this can be done from home.
SHOW ME THE MONEY?! NOT REALLY…
I think all students in any major should learn more about the amazing initiative started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet:
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are encouraging the wealthiest individuals in the world to give back to society through donations that can make a difference in our society and on our planet.
Learn about how billionaires earned their wealth and how they are changing the world. Who do you admire most? Why? Where will you leave your mark on society?
Humanities: Writers, Pre-law, psychologists, diplomats! There are many interesting essay contests throughout the school year. Use the summer to do your research in anticipation of participating in an essay competition in a field of interest. Reading current events and being aware of how public policy makers and industry work hand-in-hand can be eye-opening.
Artists, Actors and Musicians-Continue to create original work expanding your craft, building your portfolio and ultimately finding your unique passion. Is your social media current including videos of your performances?
Bottom line- start to explore areas you haven’t yet considered or enrich an existing interest. I have an extensive list of possibilities and hope all students to do something productive and enjoyable this summer.
READ READ READ-books are only one part of reading. I encourage all 8th, 9th and 10th grade student develop a list of 2-3 internet periodicals, newsletters or industry bulletins that develop and increase your awareness of a potential area of interest.
For example, business students can read the NYTimes Business section or Wall Street Journal. STEM students should be reading one science magazine on a regular basis. Need suggestions? Pre-med students are you aware of the cutting edge research in your area of interest? Have you considered ethical discussions underway?
10th and 11th NEXT STEPS: FINDING YOUR NICHE, Course Adjustments!
This is the time to develop or confirm your area of interest of study. All juniors should have already spent extensive time comparing and evaluating curriculum at colleges on your short list.
Especially for Sophomores:
This summer is the perfect time to engage in preparation for ACT/SAT tests to be taken in the fall of your junior year. Please discuss with me the variety of test preparation options and what might suit your learning style and family budget.
All students should jump start their anticipated most difficult classes for next year.
For most students, that would be an AP Math or AP Science class. Spend disciplined time 2-3x a week to become familiar with concepts you’ll be learning the first semester. Buy the SATII/AP books and read them.
EdX offers “on-ramp” courses. Let me help your student create a manageable summer schedule and help monitor their progress.
I can guarantee you that there’s no magic formula for being accepted into a selective university, and any college advisor two tells you otherwise is being less than authentic with you. I can guarantee you that building an Educational & College Admissions Plan as early as eighth grade will greatly increase the likelihood of a student who is intrinsically motivated and prepared for academic success. Students with goals and dreams are better students and live their high school years with greater ease than those who haven’t set some objectives.
Success begins with a student-led Strategic Educational & College Admissions Plan with actionable items!