February 15, 2012
During this post-January time frame, it can be a challenge to keep our senior kids motivated to keep their grades up.
But it’s important. Many students will not hear on their acceptances until late March and during that time, schools will look at progress reports. If your child is on the borderline, these next two months can make a big difference.
For students who are already accepted, they need to know that a school can rescind its offer if grades drop significantly in the second half of the year.
All in all, that means that an occasional pep talk about hanging in there is a good idea.
For Juniors, Sophomores and Freshmen
As for your younger high schoolers, they have more time to make a difference in the picture that they will present to colleges in their senior fall. In order to have more choices later, that means that now is the time to go for it (with both academics and extracurricular activities)!
This is a good time to have a talk with your 9th, 10th or 11th grader to make sure they realize the strong connection between what they are doing now and the choices they will have later.
Your child should also start thinking about what will they do to make the most of this summer (e.g., job, internship, volunteering, camps, career exploration). I recommend that in addition to plenty of fun and relaxation, all high school kids should do something over the summer that will help them gain real world experience or learn more about their strengths and preferences. Some of the best opportunities fill up early so it’s good to start that exploration process soon.
Two weeks ago, I attended a conference at Lynn University in Florida. The agenda focused on helping students with learning differences transition to college.
One of the sessions I attended had relevant information for all high school students. Rick Lavoie, educator, author and speaker, presented results from a 20-year study conducted by the Frostig Center in California.
The center interviewed and observed over 40 students with learning disabilities over their lifetime, who had experienced success in college and/or the workplace. The researchers identified specific characteristics and behaviors that helped these adults to be successful. These were the six success factors that were found to really matter; self awareness, proactivity, perseverance, goal setting, using support systems, and emotional coping strategies.
From all the talking I do with college support staff, it seems that these same six factors are what can help all our students be successful in college and in life.
These can be cultivated and practiced while in high school and will go a long way to a successful transition to college and adulthood.
Follow this link to a lengthy article about the study results.