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Monday, October 31, 2011

Week Nine Notes

A Plea to Ninth-Graders

This a third request (the first was by email and the second via Facebook) for ninth-graders to complete an on-line survey about their transition to EOSHS.  It takes fewer than 10 minutes and it can be found on the Family Connections page of Naviance.  Students can click on the "About Me" tab and locate the survey on the left of the page.  Thus  far, only 12 students have responded.  We'd really appreciate a healthier response.  Individual responses will remain private, but the aggregate data is very useful information.  Thank you in advance for your help with this.

A Correction

The Financial Aid Workshop for Parents/Guardians is scheduled for Monday, December 5th at 7 pm in the lecture hall.

Setting Measurable Goals

OK...we've presented information about Naviance and Student Success Plans (enough already, right?), so let's move to the next step in the sequence of building an electronic portfolio (ninth-graders, by the way, have been asked to complete the Ninth Grade Six Week Assessment - directions were given via email and are also available on Facebook).  This next step has ninth-graders identifying measurable goals they'd like to achieve this year that will help make the first year experience a meaningful one for them.

This exercise is done in Naviance and students input their information on the Family Connections page.  Students are first asked to identify at least two goals they'd like to achieve.  More often than not, they respond with goals such as "I want to do better in school" or "I want to get better at _____ (insert sport)", but they're quickly told that the goals have to be defined in measurable terms.  So, "I want to do better in school" may really mean "I want to make the honor roll in all four quarters" or "I want to earn at least a B in each course."  These are measurable.  Students are then asked why the goal(s) is (are) important to them.  In other words, what is it that makes the goal meaningful?  Finally, they're instructed to list the steps/behaviors they'll need to take/exhibit in order to move towards realization of the goal(s).

This exercise has at least two objectives - to help students target behaviors (process) that will move them towards desirable outcomes (product) and to help them understand how to establish goals in measurable ways.  After all, if they're not measurable, then how will you know when you get there?

Tuition Break for Connecticut Residents

Looking for a discount on college tuition?  Well, the New England Board of Higher Education may have a program for you.  Called the Regional Student Program (RSP) Tuition Break,  this program is a partnership comprised of the public colleges and universities in New England that offers more than 700 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and provides a significant discount on regular out-of-state tuition rates to eligible students. 

Here's how it works - residents of one New England state are eligible when they attend certain public colleges in the other five New England states and pursue majors not offered by public colleges in their home state.  This means that a CT resident may enroll in an out-of-state public school in New England and pay what amounts to almost in-state tuition provided that the major pursued at the college is not one offered by any of the public colleges and universities in CT.

If interested (and why wouldn't you be?), you can find more information about the program as well as majors available elsewhere at Regional Student Program Tuition Break.

Take the Quiz

Complete College America is a non-profit organization working to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree or credential of value and to close the attainment gaps of traditionally underrepresented populations.  

Take the quiz to check your awareness of student matriculation and completion rates in higher education (answers are at the bottom);

1. Just over ____(a) 35%, b) 50%, c) 65%, d) 75%) of students who start a four-year bachelor's degree program full-time finish in six years.
2. Fewer than_____(a) 3, b) 5, c) 7, d) 9) out of ten students who start at community colleges full-time graduate with an associate degree in three years.
3. America now ranks ____(a) 1st, b) 5th, c) 10th, d) 20th) in the percentage of young adults in the world with a college degree.
4. In the current recession, unemployment rates are_____(a) 100%, b) 50%, c) 25%, d) same) higher with just a high school diploma compared to those with a bachelor's degree or higher.
5. ___(a) 75%, a)50%, c) 25%, d) 10%) of today's college students are attending full-time and living on campus.
6. For every 10 students entering community colleges, ____(a) 7, b) 5, c) 3, d) 1) require remediation.
7. ____(a) 75%, b) 60%, c) 35%, d) 25%) of college students enrolled full-time graduate within eight years.
8. ____(a) 75%, b) 60%, c) 35%, d) 25% of college students enrolled part-time graduate within eight years.
Answers: 1) b, 2) b, 3) c, 4) a, 5) c, 6) b, 7) b, 8) d

EOS Courses Offering Community College Credits

Much has been publicized about UConn courses (Early College Experience) made available through the EOS curriculum, and the school community should also know that EOS several Manchester Community College courses as well.  They are (MCC equivalent is in parentheses) Accounting 1A (ACC 115: Financial Accounting), Human Anatomy & Physiology (Bio 115: Human Biology), Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJS 101: Introduction to Criminal Justice), Video Productions 1 & 2 (OM 240: Broadcast/TV Production), Child Development (CE 101: Introduction to Early Childhood Development), Health and Wellness (LT 103: Investigations in Health Careers), Culinary Arts (SP 101: Principles of Food Preparation), Elementary Algebra Foundations (MAT 095: Elementary Algebra Foundations), Quantitative Literacy (MAT 109: Quantitative Literacy),Algebra 3 & Trigonometry (MAT 138; Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach), Physics B (PHY 110: Introductory Physics), Student Success Skills (SD 111: Foundations of Student Success).

Due to federal government restrictions (this program is funded by Washington, DC), only juniors and seniors are eligible to earn college credits in these courses.  Applications will soon be available in the Guidance Office.

Money, Money, Money

The best place to look for scholarships is in your own neighborhood.  In other words, the major national scholarships tend to be extremely competitive and the best bet on finding money is with local scholarships.  The EOS Guidance Department posts scholarship information on Naviance (click on "Colleges" tab).  For other scholarship opportunities, you may want to try Sallie Mae, fastweb, or SchoolSoup.

Articles of Interest

You get the gist of this week's theme.  If you think that the goal is to get into a "good" college and that you'll be set from there on, then read Humming to Higher Ed for a reminder that parenting is hardly over once kids move into a dorm on campus.  And if you're wondering how much student debt is too much, you may want to read How Much Student Loan Debt Is Too Much?  Finally, if you're trying to decide which major to pursue, then click on The Major and the Job Market, the Dream and the Reality, and then read about why Your First Job (Really) Doesn't Matter.  Hope you find these pieces interesting and thought-provoking.

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