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Yippee! One of my favorite topics is on the front pages… okay, the front pages of Education Week, yet the front pages nonetheless!

I am passionate about helping teens and families ensure that young adults heading off to college are fully prepared to be there—academically, emotionally, and socially. Teens need to be college-ready not just college eligible. I write about it, talk about it with teens and parents—and now the conversation is happening at a national level! This critical conversation has implications for you.

This article,  Testing Consortium Crafts College-Readiness Definition – Curriculum Matters – Education Week (do not be scared off by the title) highlights the current thinking about the knowledge and skills student need to have at various levels in their school life.  While you don’t need to know the details now… The “takeaway” from all of this is…You/Teens and their families need to have an eye toward the future! Life at college is mulitfaceted, and having the skills to navigate the:

  • academic workload—classes, studying, tests, papers, projects, internships, etc.
  • social life—rooomate(s), free time, parties, interpersonal and romantic/sexual relationships, refusal skills re: drugs and alcohol, etc.
  • daily living realities—eating well and sleeping enough, money management, laundry, etc.

are foundational to success on campus.

Learn more here… Here are two resources: My short video about becoming college ready and one of the many articles I share with audiences at schools, conferences, and parent workshops.

How to Pick the Right College|Prepare Your Teen to be College Ready

College eligible v. ready

 

I’m just back from six FANTASTIC sessions at Igniting Innovations, the 2012 National Fall Leadership Conference for PBL and FLBA, where I presented to over 600 young adults—talking about what matters most to them—preparing for their futures.

It was so exciting to share information, pose questions, listen to their thinking, address their concerns, and see planning for next steps take place before my eyes.  Major in You: How to Find the Colleges That Are the Right Fit! was my favorite session because it gave me the most opportunity to hear from students about their real life experiences in the search—and to point to a path which would guide and support them.

After the session, two teens approached me for a brief conversation. They were both seniors and said, “We don’t know what to do with our lives.” While there was not enough time to get into a deep conversation, I handed them my card and told them to call me. A complimentary Strategy Session seemed the right place to begin with them… We’ll discover what they have accomplished and dig into different avenues for exploring where their interests, passions, and strengths lie. The paths to their futures will flow from their introspection and, perhaps, some research into new and different areas.

In the weeks ahead I will share the results from my College Search Survey—the teens’ thoughts, feelings, and questions about the labyrinthian process.

Here’s the survey, just in case you want to take it, scan it, and send it back to me. I’d be happy to answer your questions.

College Survey

 

 

Gosh, I wish I were you! You are so lucky you are to be in the midst of your college search—really!

I spent a good chunk of time yesterday checking out colleges and universities—looking at the big guides, going online, taking trips down memory lane to reflect on where I’ve visited and my impressions of the campuses and students. As I immersed myself in thinking about the opportunities that accompany going to college, I muttered under my breath, “I would go back to college in a heartbeat.”

My college search and my years in college and graduate school are still so vivid to me… they were great times. Such fun, interesting and engaging experiences have made me into a lifelong learner… I am always taking some kind of course or another, learning a new skill. I want you to know, it wasn’t always like that…

I was an exchange student in high school, living for half a year in France with a family and attending school. That was a fabulous experience! When I returned home I was really unhappy with being back at high school and realized that I desperately wanted to graduate early. With the support of my parents I was able to leave half way through my senior year and complete my credits at The New School for Social Research in NYC—and I took classes at Parsons School of Design. Now that was a great way to finish my senior year!

The story of my discontent creates a context. I always loved learning, but I hated feeling bored and being disengaged. I thrive when I am learning new information and skills that are relevant to who I am and who I want to become.

How about you? What do you want? What types of majors, minors, professors, students, opportunities for internships, study abroad and community service will challenge you to do your best work, and become the environment in which you will thrive? The college search is all about discovering more about yourself and then using that information to suss out the environments in which you will thrive. It is about the destination and the journey.

 
 
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