Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pre-ACT

Pre-ACT Test Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2016
Location: WKHS Gym
Time: 7:30am (check-in) beginning promptly at 7:45am
Cost: $12.00 (checks payable to WKHS)

The Pre-ACT is the practice test for the ACT. This test is an option for freshmen, sophomores or juniors.  The content of the Pre-ACT is closely tied to that of the ACT achievement test, which is used for college entrance and placement decisions. It covers the same subjects and gives you estimated ACT scores.

The Pre-ACT has many benefits. It can help you get started in thinking about and planning for life after high school. It will show you areas where you may want to seek extra help. The results can also be used to help focus your test preparation to improve your ACT scores. Additionally, one of the other valuable aspects is that the Pre-ACT test includes a career component that helps identify career interests and possible career fields. For all of the students who have no idea what they might want to do some day this is one way to help come up with some ideas.

It is only a practice test; therefore, your score will not appear on your transcript.

Students can register for the test in the WKHS Counseling and Career Center from October 22nd - October 31st.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

College Visits

Walking on college campuses, exploring the buildings, eating the food, meeting the people are all a critical step for deciding which colleges you'd like to apply to and ultimately to attend.  With a long weekend coming up, Friday could be a great day to make a college visit.

So what do you do if you want to make a visit?  Start off by signing up for a visit.  (Students should make the call - not the parents.)  Some colleges will have an online option to sign up for a tour and information session, but for other colleges you will have to call the admissions office to reserve your spot.

When you go on your visit you don't have to be dressed up, but be sure that you are dressed appropriate.  If it wouldn't meet the school dress code, then you shouldn't be wearing it for a campus visit.

Pay attention to your surroundings and ask questions when you are on your visit.  (Below is a lengthy list of question ideas for you.)  After each visit, review the list to see if there are any other questions you might want to add. Remember, you are visiting campuses to get a feeling for the atmosphere of each place – something you can’t get from a brochure or website.

Questions to Ask During a Campus Visit:
- What activities and services are available to help students get settled (academically and socially) during their first year?
- How big are the classes?
- (Ask students) How easy is it to meet with faculty?
- (Ask students) Are you able to register for the classes you want?
- What is the total cost of attending the college?
- What types of financial aid does the college offer and how do I apply?
- Are all freshmen assigned to an academic advisor?
- Where do most freshmen live?
- Can I take a tour?
- What activities are available for students?
- Who teaches the majority of the courses for first-year students?
- How successful are the college’s graduates in finding jobs?
- What services (such as transportation and shopping) are available locally?
- What is there to do on weekends? Do most students stay on campus or leave on weekends?
- Are the dorms spread throughout the campus or clustered in one area?
- Is there any kind of shuttle service between classroom areas, the library, the student union, and dorms? How late does it run?
- Is there a security system to bar outsiders from entering dorms?
- How large is the campus security police force? Does it patrol the campus regularly?
- What services are offered by the campus health center? How large is it?
- Does the student health center refer students to the local hospital? Is there a nearby hospital? How large is it?

Ask Students:
- How many of your courses are taught by a big-name professor and how many by a teaching assistant?
- Is the teaching innovative and project oriented or is it mostly lecture oriented?
- Do most freshmen class lectures take place in an amphitheater?
- What are the strong majors? What are the weak majors?
- How hard do you have to work for your grades?
- What’s the reputation of the ________ department?
- How adequate for your needs is the campus computer network?
- Do fraternities and sororities dominate the social life of the college?
- What do students do on weekends? Do most go home?
- How is the advisement system? Do you feel your professors really care?
- How helpful are the other students if you miss a class? (Are they willing to share a copy of their notes or review the information covered with you?)
- There are a lot of organizations on campus. Are they dominated by a few groups or is anyone welcome?
- How active is the ___________ (fill in the activity in which you are interested)?

Pay Attention to/ Take note of:
- Are the dorms quiet or noisy? Do they seem crowded?
- How large are the dorm rooms? Is there adequate space and light to study?
- Does each dorm room have access to the internet and the campus LAN?
- What’s advertised on dorm and classroom bulletin boards? What does this tell me about campus life?
- How good is the lighting around each dorm, classroom, and lab buildings?
- Do the buildings and grounds look well cared for or do they need painting and general repair work?
- Is the grass cut and are the grounds landscaped?
- What’s the condition of the playing fields and the sports equipment?
- How is the quality of the food in the cafeteria or dining hall? How are the sizes of the portions? Is it healthy or fast food? Are there meal plans?
- Does it look like there is much to do outside of campus?
- How easy is it to get to places off campus?
- Are there places within walking distance?
- Are there places to get extra furniture, like bookcases, for your dorm room?
- Is there a supermarket nearby to stock up on snacks and soda?
- If you move out of a dorm after freshman year, what are the options in apartment complexes or buildings?

Things to Ask Yourself:
- While waiting how did the staff members that you observed interact with students? Were they friendly or did they approach students – both potential freshmen like you and enrolled students – as if they were interfering with the staff members jobs?
- Was the Admissions office a friendly and inviting place with a great deal of information about the school or was it cold and sterile with little information to pick up?
- What did your parents find out about the career planning services offered to graduating seniors and to graduates? What do the services include?
- Do most of the students seem to be like you or are they completely different? Can you imagine being friends with the people you see on campus?
- How would you feel being in a classroom full of these students? Sharing a dorm with them?
- Do the students try to make you feel at home? Are they happy to answer your questions or do they make you feel like you’re intruding? How do they interact with one another?
- Does the campus seem too big or too small?
- Do freshmen live in their own dorms? How do I feel about living in a single-sex or coed dorm?
- Do you feel comfortable and safe?
- Think about the kind of person you are. Are you a self-starter or do you need someone to motivate you? Do you like being part of a crowd or would you rather be alone or in a small group? How important is it to be near your family? How comfortable are you with challenging courses?
- Compare your offers – financially and what the school has to offer. Make a list of pros and cons of each school and the key reasons for your decisions. Remember some factors may be more important to you than others.

After the Visit/ Interview:
- Write thank you notes to your interviewer and anyone else you met with formally, such as a coach or a professor.
- If you spoke with any students and traded e-mail addresses, send an e-mail thank you.

And, of course, by now it should hopefully go without saying, please don’t forget to take a picture of you on campus to bring back for the “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” display! :-)  I will be excited to hear about your visit experiences if you visit colleges this coming weekend.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Delaware Area Career Center

When students enter 9th grade, many are excited about the different choices and opportunities available in high school. Unfortunately, the reality is that the first two years of high school really don't have all that many choices. There is, however, a great deal of flexibility as students reach their junior and senior years. One of those options includes the possibility of attending the Delaware Area Career Center.

All sophomores had a chance to listen to a presentation about the Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) and the programs they have available for students. Attending DACC is a great opportunity to earn your elective credits in an area that interests you rather than taking electives that you are selecting simply because they will fill up your schedule.  One of my students, Melina Calhoun, did a great job as one of the student ambassadors sharing about her experiences at DACC.

It was interesting to hear about all of the different programs that are available for students to explore and they will also be adding 2 new programs for next year - Medical Assisting and Cybersecurity. (Please note that the list talks about the different locations where the programs are housed, but next school year they will transition to one campus for all programs and that will be at the "South Campus" location.) There are some unique experiences and opportunities available that can really stand out to colleges. If you are interested in participating in the field trip to the DACC, please be sure to return your permission slip to the counseling center right away.  (Technically, you have already missed the sign-up deadline as permission slips were due back by Friday, October 12th, but ironically in light of yesterday's post about deadlines, they have extended the deadline for students who still want to participate and haven't submitted their permission slips yet.  The field trip is scheduled for Friday, November 16th.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Deadlines

Deadlines are real! Often times I worry that the tendency we have in high school to set a deadline and then extend it or accept late materials creates a major problem when it comes to college applications and the rest of the world. The reality is that outside of high school, deadlines are real. If they say you need to have something done by a particular day, then it is essential that you have it done by that day. College applications and financial aid forms fit into this strict rule so this is your friendly reminder to watch your deadlines!

It is really important that you stay organized and submit all application materials to colleges prior to their designated deadlines. There are several schools that have scholarship deadlines of November 1st. (This means that if you want to be considered for the maximum scholarship offering that you need to apply by November 1st.) Other schools have November 15th, December 1st, December 15th, or even later deadlines, but because every school is different it is really important that you stay on top of this and meet the requirements with plenty of time. 


Because we know that so many of you are working to hit November 1st deadlines, don't forget that senior students are invited to attend the Application Completion Workshop in the drop-in lab at WKHS tomorrow evening from 5-7pm.  Bring your essays, login information, or whatever you need to be working on and the counselors will all be present to try to help as you work on moving forward in the application process.

I'd also like to remind you that college applications is just 1 piece of my job as a high school counselor. I am more than happy to help you by writing recommendation letters if they are needed by your school, but you must give me at least 30 days notice before you need the letter! Being able to outline, draft, edit and revise each letter is important so that I can share all the great things you will bring to the college. 

Don't forget, it also takes us 3-5 days at WKHS to process your transcript release and get it submitted to the colleges you have selected. Some schools (like OSU) hold firm to the requirement that their deadline doesn't just mean that the application has been received by that date, but that all supporting documentation is also in their hands by that particular date. This means that they also need to have your transcript and official ACT/ SAT test scores prior to the deadline date.


With the FAFSA now being based on the 2017 tax returns (for this year's seniors) the FAFSA is now open and ready for you and your parents to complete.  Be sure to do this and submit it to all of your colleges prior to the earliest FAFSA deadline.  Many colleges in Ohio have December 1st deadlines while some are as early as November and others might not have deadlines until January or even February.  Just like with college application deadlines, each school gets to set their own FAFSA deadlines and you will need to watch the deadlines carefully so that you do not miss out on your chance to try to qualify for grants or loans.

If you are having trouble figuring out any of the deadlines, stop down to see me and we can look it up together.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October Students of the Month

Earlier this month we had the first ceremony of the year to honor Kilbourne Students of the Month.  Students are nominated by teachers to receive the recognition as being a Student of the Month in honor of their outstanding academic commitment, their leadership, the personal effort, the compassion they have shown, or their dedication to being a positive presence in the school community.

Four of "my" students were among those being recognized.  A huge congratulations to (L to R): Maxim Estevez-Curtis, Isaac Cooper, Johnny Berardi and Josh Bayless.  I am proud of all of you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

PSAT Reminder

Don't forget - tomorrow is the day when Kilbourne students, as well as many other students around the country, will take the PSAT.  

If you are one of the students who will be taking the PSAT, you will report directly to your assigned room when you arrive to school on Wednesday morning.  Please plan on leaving your book bag and your cell phone (turned off) in your locker.

You 
should bring your student id with you in order to check in.  You will also need to bring number 2 pencils (no mechanical pencils allowed), a calculator, and I would recommend a watch. 


As a reminder for all of the other students - buses will run at regular time only so if you ride a bus to get to school, please bring work to do while you are in the commons for 4 hours awaiting the afternoon activities.


During the afternoon, following the completion of the PSAT, there are a range of other activities and opportunities for students to take advantage of for the rest of the day.  Lunch for all students will be from 12-1.  Then after that students will have options.  You can come into the counseling center if you want help with college search, college applications, career interest inventories, or to engage in a conversation about eliminating mental health stigma.  The library will be open to allow students to have quiet study or reading time.  Some students will need to de-stress and burn off a little physical tension by exerting themselves with fun activities in the auxilary gym or out on the track.  Many clubs and activities will be meeting from 1-2.  And the opportunity I am most excited about is that a Sports Psychologist will be presenting from 2-3 about Overcoming Adversity and Managing Setbacks.

Good luck on the PSAT!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Application Completion Workshop

It may seem scary how fast time flies and that college application deadlines are rapidly approaching.  I don't want you to be haunted by your applications!  Even though it may be getting dark outside, on Monday, October 15th, from 5:00 - 7:00pm, the counselors will be in the computer lab to assist you.  The most important trick is to bring your information with you.  Sometimes the essays may seem spooky and common app can be ghastly, but do not be afraid - the counselors are here to help!  No costumes are required, but we will have some treats.  You don't want to boo hoo because you miss it.  :-)

Students are in very different places in their application process.  A few of you still haven't started and so this will be a great opportunity for you to get started with your applications with our support and assistance.  Most of you have started, but are struggling to get finished and so if you need help finalizing your essays or just finding the time to be able to work through your application and get it finished, this is the perfect opportunity to complete your applications.

While I understand that coming back to school or not leaving after practice isn't very appealing, the reality is that it will make a difference.  By spending a few hours on focused application work, I am confident you will find the progress you make on your applications worth the sacrifice.  So, unless you have finished 100% of your applications, I hope you will join me and the rest of the counselors in the computer labs on Monday the 15th to work on finishing them!