College and Career Resource Center
The school counselors met with sophomores during their Health class on November 23rd and 24th to discuss post secondary planning. During this class period, we emphasized the importance of sophomore year. We discussed how colleges utilize various factors when admitting students to their university, but the most important is the student's cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). To emphasize this point, the student played the "Great Sorting Game" where students moved up or down the college admissions list based upon certain criteria.
It is very easy to jump from one activity to another because we have so many clubs, sports, and fine arts programs offered at Niles West. However, colleges want students who are committed to two to three activities per year and hold leadership positions. These candidates stand out in the application pool because colleges know that they will be involved in a similar activity in college. These experiences outside of the classroom can be a rich and rewarding experience.
Most colleges will allow the student to express themselves in written form through a personal statement. We emphasized the importance of making the essay sound unique. At times, students write essays that sound very cliche and bland. Our students are very diverse and can bring a lot to a college. The student should be articulate in the college essay and have fun writing about themselves. It is important that students take their time to write a wonderful college personal statement.
Students are busy with their school work, activities, and social lives. It is easy for parents to fill out the college application for the student. Colleges know the difference between a 50 and 18 year old writing the essay. It is important for the student to take ownership of this process.
With deadlines pressing, students begin to rush their application to get it submitted. This often leads to carelessness. In order to fight the urge to procrastinate, the student should submit a week before the application deadline. This way, if something is missing, or a mistake is found, the student has time to correct it. Also, waiting til the last minute leads to a lot of stress.
One way to start the college search is to come listen to three dynamic speakers from a Community College, Private Liberal Arts, and a Large State University talk about the similarities and differences of attending these types of universities. This program will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 6:30 PM in the Niles West Auditorium.
On Career Cruising, students can answer 39 questions to find careers that relate to their strengths. Once a student clicks on a career, they can see job growth, potential earnings, education needed, and watch a video of someone in that field. On Naviance, students can do a Personality Test called "Do What You Are" Students will receive a four letter personality code that will match up possible career interests as well.
College Night 2016
Instead of grabbing brochures, utilize the time by asking a specific question such as:
- What can I do at your school with a major in ...?
- How many students return for their second year of college?
- What percentage of students graduate in 4 and 6 years?
- What are your requirements to receive merit based scholarship?
- How do I find internship opportunities at your school?
- What is your job placement rate upon graduation?
You'll be able to gather a lot of insight about the college or university by asking the right questions. Once you and your child visit all of the schools on the list, talk to other representatives. You might find a "hidden" gem.
- December 16, 17, and 18: First semester final examinations
- January 15: Sophomore College/Career Resource Center Drop in Day
- January 25 - February 2: Registration for junior courses
- January 28, 6:30 PM at Niles West High School: Exploring College Options for Sophomores & Their Parents
- April 13, 6:30 - 8:30 PM at Niles West High School: College Night
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Ms. Happi Bills
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Dr. Ben Grais
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Mr. Andrew Johnson
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Mrs. Hope Kracht
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Mrs. Stephanie Lau
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Mr. Mark Medland
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Mrs. Venesa Ocasio
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Mr. Mitch Stern
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Mrs. Joyce Van Alstin
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Mr. Jerry Pope
Dean of College Counseling
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Ms. Shermaine Miles
College Resource Center Assistant
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