We all know that one person who committed to a college and a major before the start of senior year of high school. However, for the larger percentage of high school students considering a college or a four-year university, visiting a college campus can be a crucial step in making a decision.
Typically, students who are interested in post-secondary institutions fall into four different categories. First, there are those who know what post-secondary institution they will attend, but are undecided on a major. Then, there are students who know what they want to study, but not at what institution. There are those students who do not know what or where they want to study. Finally, there is that small, lucky percentage of students who know what they want to study and where.
Going to a post-secondary school is a personal and family decision based on a few factors including, location, living options, programs of study, college culture, cost, etc. Combined, all of these factors could be overwhelming to any student and her parents. Here are a few helpful tips to consider before making a cross-country trip or committing to a miss-fit for the next four years.
Applying for scholarships is one of the best ways to ensure you get the education you need for your future career options. First step: Go online to the financial aid information section of Career Information System (CIS).
CIS has details and application information about thousands of financial aid and scholarship programs – all you have to do is sort, review and apply.
Students become career ready with hands-one learning experiences
November may have been “National Career Awareness Month,” but every month is career development month for Idaho teachers who integrate career development daily :
Hosting Virtual Field Trips. Using innovative technologies, Stephani Childress, regional coordinator with Advanced Opportunities in Post Falls engages students in virtual field trips to colleges and universities. Students come to class before school starts, connect online and learn about colleges and post-secondary schools across the country.
Creating a Continuous “Go On” Culture. Cory Fortin and Parma High School are creating a continuous “go on” culture. Morning announcements are leveraged by congratulating students when they are accepted to a college or post-secondary training institution. Teachers dress in college attire, decorate classroom doors based on their alma-mater and students vote for their favorite. Extra credit is earned for dressing in interview clothing on test day. Every class must do a career development activity of their choice. Even the band teacher gets into the act and brings in professional musicians.
If you search the Internet for “college rankings” you’ll get hundreds of results, including rankings of best colleges from well-known sources such as US News & World Report, Princeton Review and the Washington Post. Rankings from lesser-known sources such as Mother Jones, SB Nation and various blogs and Facebook pages also exist, along with worst-colleges lists, rankings of online schools and lists of schools rated solely on athletic performance, weather, parking and concert venues. It seems like everybody else knows best where YOU should take this important next step in your life!
Take control of the decision by knowing the specifics about schools that also take your personal requirements into consideration.
Too often when people think of volunteering it’s simply regarded as a nice thing that some people do. One might think, “I just don’t know how to get involved,” or perhaps, “I need to look for summer internship opportunities, not volunteering opportunities right now.” If you are still trying to find summer work experiences or internships, maybe it’s time to re-think what it actually means to volunteer and consider taking advantage of the numerous opportunities available at non-profit organizations.
Volunteering vs. Internships
Why do teachers, parents and businesses encourage and promote students’ finding internships? One word: experience. Internships help students gain a better understanding of what different occupations are really like. While internships are a great way to begin building a resume, volunteering can serve the same purpose. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, those who volunteer have 27 percent higher odds of finding employment compared with those who don’t. Still not convinced? Consider some of the following reasons for volunteering:
Are you among the thousands of students who will visit colleges this summer?
Visiting a new place and imaging living there for four years can be daunting. Chances are you, like many of your fellow students, have never been as completely on your own as you will be the fall after your high school graduation, so it is important to check out some of the places you are considering. One great way is a visit to the school to find out if it’s a good fit for you.
How to get started
The best time to visit a prospective college or university is during a middle-of-the-term week, so you can observe typical day-to-day campus life. Figure out when you and a parent or other interested adult can get away from school and work, then contact the school to make appointments with a financial aid counselor and the admissions office. Most schools have information on their website for prospective students that includes how to set up appointments and tours.
And don’t forget your own special interests—you may want to visit when you can watch the spring theatre production rehearsal or a lacrosse team practice. Don’t plan to visit during homecoming week or during exams (many students and staff will be too busy to spend time with you). Remember that people you want to visit with might be unavailable during winter or spring break.
Finding your passion and purpose, or doing what you love, can be difficult at best. At worst, some people feel like they spend their entire lives searching for a job they truly love. A person’s career can be a fun and exciting journey of finding new opportunities and trying out different job duties, but there are some steps you can take to ensure you set yourself up for success and find a job you love.
Knowing yourself, your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, can have a big impact on the type of career path you choose and ultimately how happy you will be at work.
With the Idaho Career Information System, CIS, you can research more than 500 different careers and discover what some of the daily duties and working conditions are to see if your interests match up. For some, working on a computer designing websites would be perfect. For others who love to be outside all the time, this would be their worst nightmare. Use the Idaho Career Information System to easily compare these occupations as well as others side-by-side.
As college costs continue to rise and families find they need help paying for school, the search for financial aid becomes more important.
If you or your child needs college financial aid or funding for postsecondary education, now is the time to step up your search. February is Financial Aid Awareness Month in Idaho and across the country, and there are lots of resources to support your quest.
The application required at most colleges – FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an essential form for requesting financial aid. A completed FAFSA is required for federal scholarship and loan agencies; most college and other postsecondary school financial aid offices. The sooner after Jan. 1 an application is received, the greater the chances are of receiving aid that’s given on a first-come, first-served basis.
What’s it like to be your own boss? Can you come in late, take vacation any time, hire other people to do the hard work?
Sorry, no. The truth is when you own a business, you probably work more hours than you did before – and work harder than anyone else in your company. At the same time, the rewards of self-employment can be great and as an owner, you will likely be doing the kind of work or producing the kind of work product that is meaningful to you.
What’s it like to work for yourself?
People who own their business wear a lot of hats. Usually the business starts out small, sometimes with no other employee than the owner. The owner works at a dream job, but may also be the bookkeeper, supply and inventory clerk, marketer and salesperson, receptionist, IT expert – and janitor. He or she is on their own to solve problems, develop new ideas, stay motivated and keep the business running. For some people, this is exactly what they want; for others this may sound overwhelming. (See Is self-employment right for you? in the Idaho Career Information System (CIS).)
The time to start planning for a summer job is now, and well before school is out for the summer. Employers typically hire before their busy season starts, just like a football player joins the team and practices before the games. Follow these tips and make sure your search is well underway:
- Where’s your career plan? A solid career plan outlines your strategy for professional success and demonstrates to a prospective employer that you know how to think ahead. If you don’t have a career plan, this summer is a good time to get one done. Learn more by logging on as a GUEST at http://labor.idaho.gov/careerinfo.
- Get your job search materials together. Visit the Job Search section of the Department of Labor’s Idaho Career Information System — CIS — for information about staying organized, completing applications and résumés, and preparing for job interviews.
- Write a résumé outlining your work experience, skills and strengths. Are you involved in sports, clubs, volunteering? While you may not have a lot (or any) work experience, employers look for applicants who participate in other activities besides school. Sometimes these extra activities can show some of your positive traits and how they will be put to use in a work setting.
- Register with IdahoWorks as a way to search for jobs. Check out your local newspaper’s online offerings. Visit your he nearest Idaho Department of Labor local office and ask a workforce consultant for help with making sure the sites you search are valid and the best ones to use for finding the job you want.
- Tell everyone you know you are looking for a summer job. Ask your coaches, parents’ friends, teachers, counselors –anyone who may know of other places to look and ask them to keep you in mind for a summer job. You never know where your next job is coming from. Networking his is a skill you will use your entire life so start now!