June 2015 College Readiness Tips for College Access Advocates

Welcome to the end of the school year. You deserve a great summer, yet we need to do so much to help our students get ready for college. Let us know if you need help with brainstorming summer bootcamps or other college readiness ideas a-gor plans.

  1. Plan student and family college readiness workshops. In LAUSD, A-G graduation requirements went into effect for the class of 2017, and many students are not on track to graduate. Hold workshop for families so they understand the A-G requirements. Dr. Joseph developed a Powerpoint you can use and/or adapt. She has other presentation as well on Slideshare. http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege
  2. Help your students finalize summer and fall plans to focus on leadership and initiative. Encourage them to be busy this summer. Colleges want active and engaged students. Students should spend-at least 20 to 30 hours per week taking classes, working, volunteering, doing internships, and more. They should also take leadership roles this fall in and out of school and really push the initiative factor. All LAUSD vendors must offer internship and other career readiness opportunities.
  3. Encourage students to make a resume. High school students should have remes that should focus on leadership and initiative. Categories can include: Education, Activities, Work, Service, and more. Tips: 1. Always start with most recent and work your way to the past. 2. Use power verbs to begin each entry. See our resume tips.
  4. Remind students to do all they can to prepare for fall standardized tests. There are three fall dates for both the SAT and ACT. The new ACT essay goes into effect September 2015. The new SAT goes into effect in March 2016. Juniors should be set, but sophomores will need to make proactive plans. Please do not plan any mandatory events on these days for juniors or seniors. Also please make sure counselors have enough waivers ordered for the fall and that students can access them for September and October registration deadlines.
  5. Help students develop a college list that matches their talents. They should have a range of schools that match their interests and abilities. College Greenlight is an amazing new program that counselors and teachers serving low-income students can access for free. You can track your students, and students can find schools around the country who are seeking students like themselves. http://www.collegegreenlight.com/college visits
  6. Help students see colleges in action. Help them book fall trips and arrange interviews either here or there. They can plan to meet with professors, students, and other campus representatives that interest you. See if they can stay in a dorm and eat in the cafeteria. Many colleges fly under-represented students for free. Application deadlines start now and run through mid-fall. Email Dr. Joseph for the current list. We are updating it now for Fall 2015: http://getmetocollege.org//2015-free-diversity-college-visits. Students can also visit colleges virtually via e-campus tours (http://www.ecampustours.com/) and YOUniversity (http://www.youniversitytv.com/). They can also email and contact diversity programs at colleges on their own.
  7. Encourage seniors to start writing their major essays their college applications. Consider holding a summer bootcamp—private schools are all doing them. Please help your students address the correct prompts. Dr. Joseph has just developed a free 4 to 10 day curriculum you can use to help students develop these essays. They connect with new Common Core standards for 11th and 12th grade English. I’ve attached it below. If you use it and have any feedback, please let me know. We also just posted a brand new powerpoint for helping under-represented students write powerful appication essays to slideshare. http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege
  8. Help students begin completing applications now and during the summer. CSU mentor (http://www.csumentor.edu/Planning/) allows kids to enter their grades and courses at any time in high school and that transfers to their application this fall. They can start working on the Common Application (http://commonapp.org) and UC application when they go live on August 1.
  9. Research major scholarships that are due. Posse nominations occur between the spring and early fall http://www.possefoundation.org/about-posse/program-components/recruitment/nomination-process. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has released a merit scholarship for top under-resourced students. The Phase 1 application will come out in August. http://www.jkcf.org/scholarships/college-scholarship-program/. Questbridge (http://www.questbridge.org/) and other major scholarships are due in the fall. Be willing to nominate students and to write powerful letters of recommendation early for these scholarships.
  10. Encourage undocumented students. Remind them that the full Dream Act in California is in effect. They can also apply for their Deferred Action. They can qualify for Cal Grants and must submit a Dream Act financial aid application. School policies around the country are changing rapidly. UCLA is providing, for example, separate funding above and beyond Cal Grants, as is Chapman University. In the meantime, they can research other colleges that are friendly to undocumented students. We have a list of many school-based policies for undocumented students: http://getmetocollege.org//financial-aid/info-for-undocumented-students/school-policies-towards-undocumented-students




About rjoseph

I am the creator and visionary behind this site. I want to do everything I can to help students consider college as an option, even when they may be the first in their family to go or may not have the funds at hand. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the right or the ability to go to college.

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