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March 2015 Archives

By Jayme Stewart and Janet Rooney

Restless leg tapping, chewing on thumbnails, nervous twitching-these are all symptoms of the weary and worried  students about to apply for colleges, but they need not fear; the College Guidance Program here at York helps students to become more independent and grown up through this dynamic and detailed process starting in their junior year.

"The college guidance class helps kids to start thinking about the process. The next four years is a $200,000 +/- investment, so it's an important thing to start researching and shop wisely.

Mrs. Stewart and Ms. Rooney (our College Guidance counselors) feel strongly that the student is the "client," meaning that the student should register for standardized tests, fill out their application, make appointments and learn to schedule interviews. Too much parent involvement can create more stress and lack of independence they will greatly need in college and life.

"I think the College Guidance Program really helps the students understand where they fit in outside of York Prep and in the world-who they're competing against for acceptances. It also helps them understand their level of writing, and motivate them to work harder."

As Ms. Rooney explained, the success stories that everyone expects to hear are not about the kids who have been accepted into Harvard or other Ivy League schools- though yes, they've accomplished this as well-rather it is about the students who find their match at a college that suits their needs, preferences, and the choices they want to pursue later in life in the outside world.

Students who wish to function and socially integrate in the outside world shouldn't be afraid if they have a quirky learning style, rather it is these types of children who tend to work harder than other students and lead them to great academic success. For the younger students in the 9th and 10th grades, at the present moment it is imperative they focus on good grades on being involved in the community, so that college understand they will be involved in their community.

Other importance factors include a sense of reality-knowing about the other students applying to the same colleges, actual GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and so on. Naviance, a sometimes useful tool, can help with its' scattergrams of admissions statistics. Even though many students are frequently bombarded with stress and anxiety from other students and parents about getting into a good college, the anxiety and the stress is generally unnecessary. A good college is all about the match, not about where the student can get in. So, as the title suggests, if your parents are stressing you out, "just buy the Harvard bumper sticker" for your car and move on. #

Jayme Stewart and Janet Rooney are co-directors of the College Guidance Program at York Prep.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) officially launched a new campaign today to seek 1,000 teachers to join Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative that brings leaders in education, business and governments together to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad. Currently, fewer than 10% of college students in the United States study abroad before they graduate. Recognizing the key role that K-12 teachers play in bringing the world into their classrooms, IIE has teamed up with globally-minded organizations to connect teachers with resources to help inspire their students to gain the international experience they will need to succeed in today's world.

IIE's Generation Study Abroad asks teachers to Take the Pledge to prepare their students to be global citizens, and specifically to encourage them to go to college expecting to have an international experience and build their international skills. Teachers are powerful motivators when it comes to encouraging students to pursue any and all types of global study, from classroom projects in elementary school to study abroad programs in college. They are uniquely positioned to inspire curiosity about the world by teaching all subjects through a global lens, as well as advocating for global enrichment activities, language learning, and exchange programs. By joining IIE Generation Study Abroad, teachers gain access to news and networking opportunities designed to build the global educator community as well as resources to enhance instruction.

Prior to the official launch of the IIE Generation Study Abroad Teachers Campaign, more than 100 teachers have already signed on to take concrete actions to advocate for study abroad. They have shared their stories on the IIE Generation Study Abroad Teacher Stories site, to provide ideas for other teachers and administrators across the country.

Allan E. Goodman, IIE's President and CEO, says "Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. We aspire to make 'international' part of every student's experience. To achieve our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade, it is essential to work with teachers and support them in building a pipeline of students who are prepared to take advantage of international opportunities."

IIE's Generation Study Abroad brings cooperating organizations together to maximize their impact and effectiveness and to help integrate study abroad information into the wealth of resources that they provide to help globalize classrooms. A few examples of organizations that have made Generation Study Abroad commitments are: National Geographic, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Asia Society, and Reach the World. Others have pledged financial support for students and teachers: CIEE has pledged student scholarships for their programs and the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation will collaborate with IIE to provide Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grants to teachers.

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Homeroom is the place to go for quick news on what is happening in education around the world. Remember how you had to check in to homeroom for attendance and daily schedule changes in intermediate school as well as high school? Education Update has created this section...Read More

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