THE COLLEGE ACCESS WORKBOOK: Strategically Positioning Yourself for the Future

THE COLLEGE ACCESS WORKBOOK: Strategically Positioning Yourself for the Future

by Wendy C. Felton

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Overview

THE COLLEGE ACCESS WORKBOOK: Strategically Positioning Yourself for the Future by Wendy C. Felton

As a middle - or high-school student, what if you discovered there is an easier way to get into college?

What if you figured out how to turn your so-so grades into good grades, or your good grades into great grades to get into college?

What if you learned that it does not matter how much money you have -- or don't have -- to get into college?

What if your dream to become whatever you want was just a matter of focusing now on your future?

The College Access Workbook transforms your "what ifs" into "why nots." This how-to guide targets your future with precision, pinpointing what steps to do, when and where to do them, how to achieve your personal best in middle and high school, and how to pay for college.

And now, the final question:
Why not position yourself for success?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477261033
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 09/27/2012
Pages: 100
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

THE COLLEGE ACCESS WORKBOOK

Strategically Positioning Yourself for the Future
By Wendy C. Felton

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Wendy C. Felton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6103-3


Chapter One

Getting on Track

Decisions Have Consequences!

As a teenager, you face many difficult decisions. Although your family teaches you right from wrong, sometimes peer pressure gets in the way. Wanting to fit in and be loved can be overpowering.

What should you do?

• Stay in touch with the values and morals instilled in you from positive role models in your life.

• Ask adults you admire how they handled "their business" back then. Maybe they can help you handle yours now.

• Think through the decision completely before acting on it. Will the decision have a positive or negative outcome? If it is negative, maybe harming you or others, do not do it.

• Pray about all of your concerns.

Be a good decision-maker. It will serve you well in your everyday life far beyond college.

Take Note

Any disciplinary actions on your official transcript? A college recruiter will see it. Be proactive, not reactive, and completely think through all your decisions.

Peaceful Conflict Resolution

Respect the right to disagree.

Express your real concerns.

Share common goals and interests.

Open yourself to a different point of view.

Listen carefully to all proposals.

Understand the major issues involved.

Think about probable consequences.

Imagine several possible alternative solutions,

Offer some reasonable compromises.

Negotiate mutually fair cooperative agreements.

Robert E. Valett

Study Beyond the Test

What is the best advice you can get about studying? Study beyond the test!

In high school and college, extra studying will build self-confidence when you know more about the material than your classmates. You also will impress the instructor, going beyond what he or she expected you to learn. There will be no surprises because you are well-prepared for everything and anything on the test.

In the work world, extra preparation grooms you for the unexpected in the boardroom. When you present your work to colleagues, you will anticipate their questions better and answer them confidently.

In life, when you prepare for the unexpected, you can face any unforeseen situation. When things do not go as planned, you will know how to improvise where needed. If you prepare only for the test, there is no room for deviation.

Study Skills

• Pay attention in class, taking good notes.

• Ask questions in class.

Organize notebooks for each subject.

• Know each assignment's purpose.

Keep a journal or daily planner. It will show you where you plan to go, how to get there and what you already have accomplished.

• Learn how to study at home because no one at college will tell you to study and finish your homework.

Set short-term goals, things you do daily, such as completing homework, and long-term goals, such as improving test scores and note-taking skills.

Review often to help retain 80% of the information.

Create a grid showing the hours in a week. Track how you spend your time for one week and where to improve.

• Plan a definite time and place for studying each day.

Take short study breaks without cramming for tests the night before.

• Think positive and do your best!

Take Note!

Use study resources, such as KHAN Academy, at khanacademy.org

Test-Taking Tips

No matter what kind of test you take—whether it is in high school or college—applying these tips will help you to perform better:

• Read all directions and questions carefully.

• Know exactly what the questions ask.

• Review all questions' choices before you answer.

Eliminate answers you know are wrong.

Paraphrase (put the questions into your own words).

Think carefully.

Check your work.

Do your best!

Your Résumé

Even if you have not had a job, regardless of what grade you currently are in, you can start now to create a résumé.

How? Write down what your accomplishments and commendations have been to-date. If you do not have any, do this:

Clubs and Community Service

Join clubs that interest you. Run for office and develop leadership skills. Become a valued member with an active role.

Get involved in your community, too, because many scholarships and awards require it, and volunteer service hours may be a requirement for high school graduation. Remember: Colleges, scholarship groups and employers want well-rounded students.

You eventually can list your achievements on a college application and share them with those who will write your recommendation letters.

Consider these activities for your résumé and the homework assignment on the next page. Use the Grade-Level Award Charts in this chapter to list your activities:

1. Perfect Attendance

2. Band/Choir/ Drama/Orchestra

3. SGA President

4. Varsity Softball

5. Boys and Girls Club

6. Honor Roll

7. SADD President

8. Canned Goods Drive Chair

9. Beta Club Vice President

10. FSM Community Service

Homework Assignment

• Ask your guidance counselor for a copy of the clubs

and organizations offered at your school.

• Identify clubs that win position you for college, such as the Beta Club and National Honor Society. Entry into both is based on your academic performance. It is an honor to be in either.

• Find clubs that ready you for your dream career. for example, if you want to be a lawyer, look at the Debate Club, Mock Trial or even the Drama Club to improve your presentation skills. I

• Not sure which club to choose? Ask a trusted adult.

• Keep club details in your college access notebook.

Take Note

The more activities you are involved in, The more impressive you résumé will be

Check Out These Programs

  •   TRiO Programs online: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Upward Bound Math and Science, Student Support Services, McNair and more. They are federally funded programs that assist low-income, first-generation students.

  •   In Roads online for details about college access and transitioning to the work world

  •   Junior Achievement for professionals who volunteer and mentor youngsters

  •   CFES, College for Every Student, for nationwide mentoring programs

  •   Corporations that invest in programs in your area

  •   Builders Club (middle school) and Key Club (high school), Kiwanis-sponsored programs that develop and invest in youth

  •   Boys and Girls Clubs of America for their local chapters' College Bound program near you

  •   POSSE at possefoundation.org

  •   National College Access Network (NCAN) to locate college programs in your area at collegeaccess.org

  •   Start your own program with this book and find sponsors who will invest or partner with you to help others go to college.

    For Extra Encouragement

  •   Read George Washington Carver's favorite poem, "EQUIPMENT," by Edgar A. Guest, and "figure it out for yourself, my lad."

  •   Surround yourself with positive people. Let your haters be your greatest motivators. You possess what it takes to succeed if you believe.

  •   Take advantage of every opportunity given to you. Live life with no regrets.

  •   Never let "no" discourage you. Keep pushing.

    Take Note!

    I wrote this book because I believe in you and to encourage you. Now believe in yourself!

    Grade-Level Check-Up

    6th Grade

    • Adjust to changing classes and work with multiple teachers. This is preparing you for the future.

    Review the classes you have selected for your 7th grade year with a parent or guardian. This will help you to be on track to take a rigorous curriculum.

    Find out if there are any classes you can take in 7th and 8th grades that will give you course credit in high school, such as foreign language.

    7th Grade

    • Master working with many teachers and doing multiple assignments. Learn to stay ahead of the class.

    Review the classes you have selected for your 8th grade year with a parent or guardian. This will help you be on track to take a rigorous curriculum.

    Take classes that will give you course credit in high school, such as foreign language or math. Position yourself for the future.

    8th Grade

    • Determine your track. Find out about the different diplomas that your high school offers. See which diploma will help you to reach your career goals. Start thinking now about your passion, and which career requires those skills and pays you for them.

    Review your 9th grade classes with a parent or guardian. This will allow you to make sure you are on track to take a rigorous curriculum. The world is becoming more competitive. Be prepared for it.

    Curriculum not challenging? Ask your parent or guardian to meet with the counselor to change your 1^ schedule. After all, who knows you better than yourself and your parent?

    If you make changes against the counselor's wishes, you must pass that class—no matter what—even if that means hiring a tutor.

    Not ready to take a rigorous curriculum? Use the summer to get ready. Set yourself apart from your peers and other students around the world. Push yourself to do your best in school, and accept and embrace challenges.

    Each school level prepares you for next year's success. If you are just coasting by doing what you did last year, you are not growing.

    Spend the summer reading, writing and preparing for the 9th grade. Find out what subjects will be taught and start studying.

    Practice taking the PSAT online. Find the resources throughout this book that will prepare you for this high school test.

    Review your high school handbook. Know your rights as a student and parent (as detailed in the next chapter).

    If school officials are unable to help you, seek advice outside of your school. Remember: It is your future, and you and your family are your best advocates.

    If an education-related conflict arises, talk to your parent first and let him or her fight your battles. It shows the school system that your parent is involved and proactive in your education. Otherwise, independently arguing your point could cause others to misjudge you as being disrespectful, regardless if you are right.

    9th Grade

    • Position yourself. Review "Getting on Track" (Page 11) to prepare for the best opportunities. Life is a chess game. Plan your strategy before making the next move.

    Write down your goals. Review them every day to help plan your career and make sure you are staying on task.

    Keep your "A." Everyone starts off with a clean academic record—meaning all "As"—until proven otherwise. Use this fresh start to push yourself hard. It will pay off in the long run.

    Take all math courses in the fall. This is very crucial in preparing for the 11th grade.

    Study! Earn the best grades possible to position yourself for valedictorian, the highest-ranking student in your graduating class. Doors open with good grades. Be there to walk through them.

    Track your grades daily. Create a chart to monitor your grades. Keep graded tests, quizzes and other assignments in your notebook. Go to a bookstore to find a teacher's grade book. Use its design to organize yourself.

    Visit the guidance counselor's office. Get to know your counselor and make sure he or she knows you. Your parent also should visit as your concerned advocate.

    Respond promptly to progress reports. Show your parent this report to get any academic assistance you may need for classes. Hiding the problem only makes

    Know your transcript. When you get your first official report card in high school, you are in the system with grades. So, promptly get your transcript from your guidance counselor to:

    * Know what everything on it means, including your rank, as based on your school's grading scale.

    * Ask who sees it.

    * Work on moving up in rank every semester.

    Register to take the PSAT in October. Typically, you sign up for any test registrations and/or materials to prepare for the test at your guidance counselor's office. There may be a fee required. You will take the test during your sophomore and junior year.

    Take the challenge. Register for a rigorous 10th grade curriculum, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Colleges will notice them later.

    If your school offers no AP classes, find nearby schools that do. Ask your guidance counselor if you may attend class there, while staying enrolled and completing other courses at your current school.

    10th Grade

    • Continue what you did in the 9th grade, and review this book again to stay on task.

    Took no advanced classes last year? By now, you should be taking an AP, IB, Gifted or Honors class.

    If your school does not offer them, contact your school board to find out available options. The state may offer virtual classes to supplement the curriculum.

    Register for the PSAT again if your school does not require you to take it this year. The test always occurs every October and is free in the 10th grade. Sign up for it at your guidance counselor's office.

    Start preparing for the ACT and SAT. Take free practice tests—available and graded on the Web—as often as possible. Why? Studies show that your score could improve after taking the practice tests more than once. Also, use the tips in this book to better prepare for college.

    Start researching career interests. Find summer, career-oriented camps to start narrowing down college majors. Check out MySummerCamps.com. Do not spend your summers at home doing nothing.

    Start researching colleges that interest you. Make sure they offer your major or career interest.

    Schedule a math class in the fall, again.

    11th Grade

    • Continue what you did in the 9th and 10th grades, and review this book again to stay on task.

    Take the PSAT in October; it will count toward the National Merit Scholarship. There may be a small test fee. Sign up at the guidance counselor's office.

    Register to take the ACT and/or SAT by March, and use the "Save the Dates" worksheet reminder (Page 67) for your test registration dates during senior year.

    Can you do high-level math? By December of your 11th grade, you should have completed at least three math courses. They cover most of the math necessary to be successful on the ACT/SAT.

    Continue to be active in clubs and organizations.

    Research scholarships in this book, including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and start writing their essays. Note all scholarship deadlines.

    Get recommendation letters from trustworthy teachers, counselors, etc. Often their letters are sealed without you knowing the contents.

    Create a goal chart for your senior year (see the "Setting Goals" chapter).

    Take Note

    Complete everything on this list (unless otherwise indicated) before December of your senior year.

    12th Grade

    • Continue what you did in the 9th through 11th grades.

    Review this book again to stay on task.

    Meet frequently—yes, "frequently"—with your guidance counselor, ensuring you are on the right track.

    Register to take the ACT and/or SAT by November of your senior year. By now, you should be taking your last math class, if you did not take it the spring of your junior year.

    Register for the Compass Test (Page 68).

    How many free, official transcripts do seniors get? Order all, except one. Save the last one to send to your college choice at the end of your senior year.

    * Your final transcript will have your final grades, showing that you completed all requirements to graduate from high school.

    * Unable to keep up with your transcripts before mailing them? Request them as needed from your guidance counselor.

    Identify and research the colleges where you plan to apply. Find out if the applications are online only. If the colleges use the common application, see if they require additional information.

    Attend as many college fairs as possible, taking your "official" transcripts with you. Admissions officials at the fair typically will let you turn in your transcript and complete their college's application on-site.

    (Continues...)



    Excerpted from THE COLLEGE ACCESS WORKBOOK by Wendy C. Felton Copyright © 2012 by Wendy C. Felton. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

  • Table of Contents

    Contents

    Introduction....................10
    1 Getting on Track....................11
    Decisions have Consequences!....................11
    Peaceful Conflict Resolution....................12
    Study Beyond the Test....................13
    Test-Taking Tips....................15
    Your Resume....................16
    Grade-Level Award Charts....................18
    Check Out These Programs....................21
    Grade-Level Check-Up....................23
    2 Preparing for the Future....................34
    Know Your High School's Profile....................34
    Know Your Rights....................34
    Know Your School's Grading System....................35
    Know Your School Curriculum Requirements....................36
    Rigorous Curriculum Check-Up Chart....................38
    Transcript Check-Up Chart....................39
    School Administrators' Roles....................40
    3 Setting Goals....................42
    Dream, Plan, Do....................42
    Goal Chart Example....................45
    Your Goal Chart....................46
    4 Career Exploration....................47
    When You Love What You Do....................47
    Majors and Careers....................48
    What Can I Do If I Major In ...?....................49
    5 College Exploration....................52
    Where You Learn Affects How You Learn....................52
    Public or Private?....................53
    Which College is Right for Me?....................54
    Follow Deadline Rules....................56
    Senior Year Starts Now!....................57
    Get In Where You Fit In Chart....................58
    Do You Have What You Need to Get In? Chart....................60
    College Choices Worksheet....................61
    You're In!....................62
    Seniors' "Done" List....................63
    6 Taking the Tests....................65
    Practice Makes Perfect....................65
    Web Site Testing Resources....................66
    Save the Dates Worksheet....................67
    Compass Test....................68
    Seniors' Compass Test "Done" List....................69
    Juniors' "Done" List....................70
    7 Scholarships....................72
    Get Paid To Learn....................72
    Tips for Student-Athletes....................74
    Types of Scholarships....................76
    Scholarship Web Sites....................78
    Scholarships Charts....................79
    Scholarship "Done" List....................83
    8 Financial Aid....................85
    More "Dough" to Go....................85
    Calculating College Expenses....................88
    Seniors' FAFSA To-Do List....................90
    9 Tying Up Loose Ends....................92
    Double-Check!....................92
    Last-Minute Tips....................93
    References....................95
    About the Author....................96

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