John Hersey High School College/Career Center Junior Parent Newsletter

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1 John Hersey High School College/Career Center Junior Parent Newsletter October 2014 Parents of the Class of 2016: Inside this issue: Career Exploration College Search Campus Visits College Rep Visits College Fairs Naviance Financing College Standardized Tests College Athletics Calendar of Events Nancy Davis College Counselor Paula Volpe College and Career Assistant Janine Freedlund Career Advisor The beginning of junior year marks the halfway point in high school. While your son or daughter may be happy in their John Hersey High School activities, they are beginning to face questions about their future. Whether preparing for the military, workforce, trade schools, or college, we have pulled together resources to help them navigate this exciting and sometimes confusing process. This Newsletter is will explain the resources available to help your child in college and career planning during junior year. Typically, 94% of John Hersey High School graduates continue on to either a two or four year college immediately after high school. For this reason, starting junior year, we provide classroom sessions, evening events and other activities aimed at assisting our students and families with college planning. This year in the week of November 4-7, we introduce juniors to the college search process, emphasizing the need to match their interests and needs with the college s resources. We introduced them to online tools in a web-based program called Naviance, which can be used to conduct online college searches and research individual colleges. We also talked about using college visits, college rep visits, college fairs and upcoming college events to find schools of interest. We will meet with juniors again in late February to talk about standardized testing, college admissions criteria, and financing college. I can also meet with juniors in small groups, individually or in family meetings to help them develop a college list. This publication is intended to provide an overview of the junior year college and career planning process. Please print this newsletter out, so you can refer to it. You will find the calendar or events on the final page particularly helpful. During the school year, I will provide you with more in-depth information through parent evenings, District college/career events, and updates. Please make sure our school has your updated addresses, so that we can keep you and your family up to date. I look forward to working with you during junior year. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Best Wishes, Nancy Davis

2 Exploring Careers and College Majors What do you want to be when you grow up? Answering this question as a young child is easy, since they understand only a few careers. As your son or daughter matures, it is more difficult. feel they do not have enough information to answer the question. So where does one begin? There are two main ways to gather information: research and exposure to different careers. Hersey High School has a career exploration program that takes advantage of both. Research of career options begins sophomore year, as counselors work with students in classroom sessions sharing career tools available in Naviance. Sophomores take a personality test that allows them to identify careers and college majors that match their personality. They are shown how to research additional information about each career s job description, daily tasks, required educational background and wages. Naviance also has career search tools that match interests and skills to potential careers, as well as a resume writer. Exposure to careers occurs through a variety of programs developed in conjunction with the Northwest Educational Council for Student Success and the JHHS Career Advisor, Janine Freedlund. Through this program, students of all grade levels explore careers by participating in one or more of the following activities: Career Nights Every fall, District 214 hosts three Career Nights in October and November, featuring professionals in today s most popular career fields. Both students and parents are welcome to attend and learn about a variety of careers. Please visit: Career Consultation One-on-one with our Career Advisor, Mrs. Freedlund, is available during the school day. She will support student career path exploration with interest inventories and career suggestions. Additionally, Mrs. Freedlund, will assist in connecting student interests to available independent opportunities. Internships For students who are committed to a specific career, there are summer, fall and spring internship opportunities in a variety of careers. This Internship Program is a valuable way to enrich students understanding of career fields through hands-onexperience. Career Speakers Professionals from a variety of careers are invited to John Hersey High School to share their educational background, personal career path, day-to-day responsibilities, professional highlights/challenges, and myths/realities about the occupation. If your student has not taken advantage of these programs yet, now is a good time to start. Parents can promote participation in these activities and start conversations that encourage their sons or daughters to think about their personal strengths, favorite classes, and things they enjoy. Supporting your child s participation in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, elective classes, and part-time or summer jobs is also a great way to develop career interests. These situations may help your child identify the types of jobs that interest them or cause them to realize they do not have the interest or skills for a job. It is equally valuable to learn they have an interest or disinterest in a career, moving your child through the process of identifying a potential career or college major. Even with all these suggestions for career exploration, some students may still feel they are no closer to a career or college major decision. Remember, it is fine to enter college as an undecided major or to begin in a liberal arts area of study. There are wonderful resources available through colleges student services offices to aid students in declaring a major.

3 The College Search Any parent, who has taken a child to college, knows how hard it is to say goodbye. The one comfort each has in parting, is knowing that the student is at a school where he/she can be happy and do well. To increase the chances this will happen, JHHS encourages our students to think about the college search as the process of finding the right fit. This process takes time. It starts with the student thinking about who they are and what they need in a college to be socially and academically successful. This often involves visiting schools or talking with college representatives at JHHS or in a college fair. After identifying preferred college traits, the student can search for schools with those qualities by talking with the College Counselor, using online resources, or printed materials in the College/Career Center. Finally, students narrow their options, being careful to include schools where they are likely to be admitted and can afford. Starting early in junior year and investing time in this process increases the chance that your child will find a school that fits. Listed below are different ways for juniors to learn about colleges in the coming year. Campus Visits A college visit is a great way to kick off a college search. A campus tour helps students identify what college traits are important to them (large/small, urban/suburban/rural, close to home or far away, coed, majors offered, etc.). For initial visits, consider one of the many colleges nearby. For example, a visit to University of Illinois at Chicago or De Paul will showcase an urban school. Northern Illinois University is a good example of a large public school in a college town. Northwestern is a medium, private, highly selective school. Elmhurst or Lake Forest Colleges are small, private colleges. Harper College is our local community college and is located in Palatine. After a visit or two, many students can begin to identify what they want in a college. To arrange for a college visit, Check the college s website for information about what types of tours, sessions and activities may be available. Call the college 1 2 weeks before your visit to make arrangements. The best time to visit a campus is when classes are in session. Consider visiting colleges on days off from school or over the JHHS spring break when students are in class. If you choose to take a college visit on a JHHS school day, parents must call the attendance office to report the absence in order for the absence to be excused. College Representative Visits Admissions representatives from over 100 colleges will visit our College/Career Center in the fall and spring of each year. For those just starting the college search, meeting a college rep is a good way to identify what is important in a school. For those who have a clear sense of what they are looking for, college rep visits can clarify if a particular college fits them. A list of visits is posted outside the College Career Center, in Naviance, and in the morning announcements during the fall and spring visit season. This list is updated frequently, so your sons and daughters should check often for schools of interest. are required to pick up a pass in the CCC and get their teacher s signature in advance of the visit in order to be excused from class. Encourage your student to take advantage of these rep visits. College Fairs Admission representatives from a variety of colleges around the country gather at a college fair to answer student questions about course offerings, college life, admission and financial aid. Mark your calendar for the District 214 College Fair on April 7, 2015, at Harper College. For other upcoming local college fairs, see: Naviance Naviance is a web-based college-planning tool that JHHS students can use to search for colleges that match their interests. Additionally, this online tool can be used to look up detailed information on admissions standards, financial aid availability, academic majors, and student life at individual colleges. You can link directly to college websites and, in some cases, take a video tour of campus. Scattergrams can be used to determine if your student is likely to be admitted to a school, by viewing the GPAs and test scores of past JHHS students previously admitted. All JHHS parents have their own login to Naviance. If you need assistance gaining access to this program, please contact us.

4 Financing College With rising college costs, families are becoming more focused on finding affordable college options. While limiting college costs and debt is a good idea, it is important not to eliminate a school from consideration before you know the true cost. For most people attending college today, the listed tuition, room & board are NOT what will be paid. Colleges will attempt to meet the demonstrated need of your student by providing a financial aid package. The package may consist of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. The amount of the financial aid package will vary from school to school and sometimes, the schools with the highest listed costs are also among the most generous for financial aid. While there are tools for estimating financial aid, families will not know the exact amount of financial aid and scholarships until they file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 of the year the student plans to begin college. For an explanation of the financial aid process and ways to find affordable college options, please plan on attending the District 214 Financial aid night for juniors and their parents on March 18, 2015 at the Forest View Educational Center Theatre. Standardized Testing The majority of colleges require the applicant to submit the results from standardized college entrance exams as part of the application process. All colleges now accept either the SAT or the ACT test. Selected schools require SAT Subject Tests in addition to either the ACT or SAT. These tests are described in more detail below:! ACT Test (www.act.org) The ACT test is an achievement test measuring what a student has learned in school. It has 4 multiple-choice tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. Scores ranging from 1-36 will be given in each of these tests as well as an overall composite score. There is an optional writing test that is scored from Individual colleges determine whether they will require the optional ACT Writing Test as part of their admissions criteria. On March 3 rd, all juniors in D214 will take an ACT with the writing test during the school day. This is funded by the state of Illinois but is recognized by all colleges for admissions purposes.! SAT Reasoning Test (www.collegeboard.com) The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills needed for academic success in college. The SAT consists of three sections: a critical reading, math, and writing section. A score on a scale of will be given for each of the three sections for a possible total of Two sub scores are given for the writing section: a multiple-choice sub score on a scale of and an essay sub score on a scale of who want to take the SAT should sit for the exam in the spring of their junior year.! SAT Subject Test SAT Subject Tests measure knowledge of skills in a particular subject. Some selective colleges require two or three SAT Subject Tests as part of their admissions requirements and/or for course placement. There are 20 different SAT Subject Tests offered and each is a 60-minute multiple-choice exam. are permitted to choose the tests that allow them to best showcase their academic talents, but often colleges ask that math be at least one of the tests taken. SAT Subject Tests are given on most of the same dates as the SAT Reasoning tests. It is recommended that sophomores and juniors interested in applying to selective colleges take SAT Subject tests upon completion of a course in a subject that they do not plan to continue (e.g. biology, chemistry, U.S. History). While only one college entrance exam is required with a college application, some students choose to take an SAT and an ACT, to determine which test allows them to achieve the highest score. It is recommended that students take either college entrance exam in the spring of their junior year. may optionally retake the SAT or ACT test in the summer and early fall and still be able to use these scores for applications submitted in the fall.

5 Upcoming College Entrance Exams Spring 2015 ACT Test Dates ACT Registration Deadline ACT Late Registration Deadline February 7 January 9 January 16 April 18 March 13 March 27 June 13 May 8 May 22 SAT and SAT Subject Test Date SAT and SAT Subject Test Regular Registration Deadline January 24 December 29 January 13 March 14 (No Subject Tests) February 13 March 3 May 2 April 6 April 21 June 6 May 8 May 27 SAT and SAT Subject Test Late Registration Deadline ACT Registration: SAT Registration: Test Prep The best preparation for the ACT and SAT is to take challenging high school core courses and work hard to learn the material. However, a variety of test preparation materials (books, online materials, classes, etc.) are available if you want additional preparation. For example, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides free test prep services online at John Hersey High School also offers ACT Test Preparation classes. Please see the Hersey homepage in January for more information. Sending Scores To Colleges John Hersey High School does not send ACT or SAT test scores to colleges. It is the responsibility of the student to send test scores directly from the testing agency to colleges when they apply. Some colleges ask for all test scores, some use the highest test score when multiple scores have been sent and still other colleges will combine the highest sub scores from multiple tests. For this reason, it is often necessary to send multiple scores. At the time of registration for the ACT or SAT, you may send your scores up to four colleges at no additional cost. If you would like to send scores to additional colleges later, you log into the SAT or ACT websites and pay an additional fee ($ per score per school). Accommodations for Standardized Tests who are currently on an Individual Education Plan (IEP), or a 504 Accommodation Plan, may qualify for extended time on the ACT, SAT and Subject Tests. These students need to see their Guidance Counselor well in advance of registration deadlines in order to insure that they follow proper registration procedures. Both student and school complete eligibility forms and submit them to the testing agencies for consideration. Since this process takes time, you will want to see your Guidance Counselor as soon as possible. College Athletics If your son or daughter is considering competing in college athletics at an approved NCAA Division I or Division II school, they must: 1. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at the end of junior year 2. Send an ACT/SAT scores to the eligibility center 3. Send a transcript to the eligibility center after junior year. 4. See your counselor or the college counselor to assure you satisfy the academic eligibility requirements for core courses, ACT/SAT test scores, and GPA. For more information, come to the College/Career Center for an additional information packet for the student athlete.

6 College/Career Counseling Events for the Class of 2016 Date Event Time & Place Audience October November Career Night: Health/Natural Resources District 211 College Fair No School Great Opportunity For A Campus Visit District 211 Spanish-speaking College Fair 6:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. Prospect H.S. 6:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Palatine H.S. 6:30 p.m. 8:30 pm Palatine H.S. Week of 4-7 Thursday December Classroom Guidance For Juniors Finding Right Fit Colleges Parent University for Junior Parents Finding My College/Finding My Way Career Night: Engineering & Industrial Technology/Business & Computers Advising The Student Athlete wanting intercollegiate athletics International College Options College Fair Exclusively universities outside the U.S. International College Options College Fair Exclusively universities outside the U.S. JHHS Computer Labs JHHS Theatre 6:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. Wheeling High School FVEC - Theatre 7 9 p.m. Highland Park High School 7 9 p.m. Hinsdale Central H.S. Parents 2 January Ask the College Night A panel of different types of colleges FVEC - Theatre January February No School Great Opportunity For A Campus Visit 16 February 23 March 2 March No School Great Opportunity For A Campus Visit Classroom Guidance For Juniors Finding Right Fit Colleges Part II JHHS Computer Labs 18 Week of March April Financial Aid Seminar Juniors Learn about the financial aid process Spring Break Great Opportunity For Campus Visits FVEC D100 Rooms 7 District 214 College Fair 6:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Harper College Building M

John Hersey High School College/Career Center Junior Parent Newsletter

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