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2.3.3.

F1

Preparing for Higher Educa on


Advanced Level

A eryouhaveanideaoftheeduca onandtrainingyouneedtoachieveyourfuturecareergoal,its metobeginmaking


planstoreachthatgoal!Preparingforeduca onandtraininga erschooldoesnthappenovernightasama eroffact,
therearethingsyouneedtodothroughoutyour meinhighschooltomakesureyouareprepared.
Therearefourthingsyouneedtodotoprepareforhighereduca on:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Prepareyourselfacademically
Getintotherighthabits
Explorepoten alinterests
Selectandapplytopostsecondaryins tu onsrightforyourcareergoals

1. Prepare Yourself Academically


DID YOU KNOW?
Thepercentageoffirst mehighschoolgraduatesplacedintoatleastoneremedialcoursein2011was31.8%,up
from28.6%in200910.Thelargestnumberofstudentsneededremedia oninmath.
Nearlyfouroutoffiveremedialstudentshadahighschoolgradepointaverageof3.0orhigher.1
Remedia onreferstosequencesofincreasinglyadvancedcoursesdesignedtobringacademicallyunderpreparedstudents
totheacademicskilllevelexpectedwhenenteringhighereduca on.Studentsareo entakenbysurprisewhentheylearn
theyarenotcollegeready.Didnttheypasstheirhighschoolacademicclasses?Theygraduatedfromhighschool,on
me,right?Andhey,theyevendidwellonthehighstakesassessmentsdoesntthatmeantheyarecollegeready?
Notnecessarily.Highereduca onandtrainingexpecta onsareverydierentfromhighschool!Eveniftheclassyouare
takinghasthesamenameastheoneyoutookinhighschool,highereduca oninstructorsmovethroughcoursematerial
atamuchfasterpace,covermorematerial,emphasizedierentconcepts,andmayhaveverydierentgoalsthanhigh
schoolinstructors.2
Soevenifastudentpassedtherequiredmathclassesinhighschool,itdoesntnecessarilymeanthatstudentisreadyfor
mathinahighereduca onse ng.
Whatmanystudentsdontrealizeisthattheremedia oncoursestheytakeareo enrequired,addtotheirdegreeor
cer ficateprogramcourseload,costthesameasanyothercourse,butdonotcount
towardstheirprogramcer ficateordegree.Therefore,ifyouhadadegreeprogram
Ifyoutakeaplacementtest
thatrequired120credits,creditearnedinpostsecondaryremedia oncourseswould
whiles llinhighschool,you
notcounttowardthe120creditsrequiredforthatdegree.Thismaymeanthatittakes
s llhave metogetyour
academicskillsuptospeed
longertofinishyourdegreeprogram,andinthemean me,yourpostsecondaryfunding
beforeyougotohigher
mayrunout.Thelastthingyouwantishighereduca ondebtbutnocreden altoshow
educa
on.Thiscouldsave
forit!
you meandmoney!

DiplomatoNowhere,StrongAmericanSchools,DeltaCostProject,2008,p.4(h p://www.deltacostproject.org/resources/pdf/DiplomaToNowhere.pdf)
Conley,DavidT.RedefiningCollegeReadiness,EPICIns tute,2011,p.2.Web.<h ps://epiconline.org/files/pdf/RedefiningCollegeReadiness.pdf>

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2.3.3.F1

1. Prepare Yourself Academically Con nued...


Youcandosomethingaboutitfindoutearlyonifyouracademicskillsare
collegeready.Althoughadmissionstests,liketheSATorACTcanprovidean
indica onofyouracademicreadiness,manypostsecondaryins tu ons,use
placementtests,suchastheAccuplacerexams,todetermineifyouare
academicallyreadyforpostsecondarycourses.Tes ngresultsfroma
placementexamarentusedtodetermineifyoushouldcon nueyour
educa onbuttoplaceyouinthemostappropriateacademicpostsecondary
courses,evenifitmeansremedialcourses.

What steps can you take to make sure


you are ready for higher educa on?

Youcanalsopreparebychallengingyourselfinhighschool,especiallyinyour
coreacademiccourses

2. Get Into the Right Habits


Youneedtoknowmorethanfactstodowellwhencon nuingyoureduca onandtraininga erhighschool.Youneedto

havetherightbehaviorsthatwillleadtopostsecondarysuccess.Theseincludegoodnotetakingskills,studyskills, me
managementskills,andselfmonitoringskills.

Notetakingskills
Theproblem:Professorsandtraininginstructorswillnotslowdownortell
youwhatisimportantinforma onyouhavetobeabletofigurethatouton
yourown.
Thesolu on:Prac cebe ernotetakingskillsinhighschool.Educa on
bloggerDennisJerz3oers psforgoodnotetakingskillsthatinclude:
Gotoclassprepared
Improveyourlisteningskills
Developanotetakingmethodthatworksforyou
Payclosea en ontocontent
Reviewandedityournotes

Youcantryoutdierentnotetaking
methodsbydownloadingFiveNote
TakingMethodsfromtheRhode
IslandAdultEduca onProfessional
DevelopmentCenter,
www.riaepdc.org/Documents/
ALALBA1Five_Methods_of_Notetaking
.docx_UPDATED_709.pdf

Studyskills
Onceyougettohighereduca on,it'suptoyoutoreadandunderstandtheassignedmaterials.Lecturesandassignments
proceedfromtheassump onthatyou'vealreadydonesoandthatyouunderstoodalloftheassignedmaterial.Tostudy
well,youwillneedtoprac ceeec vereadingcomprehensiontechniques,tocreateyourideallearningenvironmentand
todemonstratediscipline.
Tobe erunderstandwhatyouarereading,itmayhelptotrysomeofthefollowingtechniques:
Tryprereadingtechniques:writedownwhatyoualreadyknowaboutthetopic,orques onsyoumayhave
Readoutloud
Lookupunfamiliarwords
Summarizeeachpage,sec onorparagraphasatweet(writeasummaryof140charactersorless)
Outlinewhatyouhavereadtocapturemainpointsandsuppor ngdetails
Ifyouownthetext,orareusinganereader,underlineorhighlightkeyfactsorpassages
Readthepassagetwiceoncetoappreciatetheinforma onasawholeandthentounderstandthedetails
3

TakingNotes:5CollegeSuccessTips,DennisG.Jerz,postedAugust29,2012,h p://jerz.setonhill.edu/wri ng/academic1/takingnotes5collegesuccess ps/


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2.3.3.F1

StudySkillscon nued
Nowistheperfect metodeterminewhatyourideallearningenvironment.Dierentpeoplelearnbestindierent
situa ons.Thinkaboutthefollowingcondi onsandfigureoutwhichse ngsworkbestforyourlearningneeds:
Sound.Somepeopleneeditabsolutelyquietinordertoconcentrate.Othersworkorstudymoreeec velyonlyif
thereismusicornoisearoundthem.
Light.Tooli leortoomuchlightcaninhibitlearning.
Design.Thisreferstotheformalorinformalse ngsandfurnitureintheroomwhereyoustudy.Forinstance,doyou
sitatadeskordoyouprefertoloungeonthefloororbed?
TimeofDay.Somepeoplearenightpeopleandothersworkbestinthemorning.
Food.youneedtoeat,drink,orchewgumwhilestudyingorworking?
SocialAspects.Thisisyourpreferencetoworkorstudyalone,withapartner,orinagroup.
Finally,itisagreat metostartworkingonselfdisciplinewhenitcomestostudying.Itcanbediculttoavoid
ac vi eswithfriends,tex ng,favoriteTVshows,ortalkingonthephone,butthesedevouryourstudy me.Onceyou
findtherightplaceand me,getridofallpossibledistrac onssoyoufocusonyourmainpurposeearninggood
grades,andeventually,earningapostsecondarycreden al.

Timemanagementskills
Itdoesnttakelongforstudentswhocon nueeduca onbeyondhighschooltorealizethatmanagingtheir meisone
ofthemostchallengingaspectsofbeinginschool.Withsomuchtodoandkeeptrackof,andnoteachersorparents
pushingyou,strong memanagementskillscanmakeallthedierence.
Getacalendaranduseit.Itcanbeapapercalendaroracellphone.Schedulereminders,study mes,andproject
benchmarks.
Writedowneverything.Writedowneverythingyouneedtodoinoneplace:whentoeat,sleep,study,dolaundry
Yougettheidea.Thebusieryourschedulegets,themoreimportantthisbecomes.
Schedule metorelaxandreward.Don'tforgettoscheduleachancetorelaxandchill,evenifitisonlyforfi een
minutes.Giveyourbrainabreakandkeepyourstresslevelsincheck.Also,schedulesomerewardstocelebrate
accomplishments.Itmightmakeiteasierforyoutogetthroughachallengingconceptorassignmentifyouknow
youhavesomethingtolookforwardtoa erwards.
Keeptryingnew memanagementmethodsun lyoufindonethatworksforyou.Maybeanewandbe erapp
justcameout.Maybeafriendtoldyouaboutatechniquethatworksforhim.Maybeatechniqueyouaretryingjust
isntworkingout.
Planbackwardsfrommajordeadlines.Startwithdeadlinesforlargeprojects,examsandpapers.Then,figureout
howmuch meyouneedtoprepareforeachdeadlineandscheduleyour meaccordingly.Besuretoputinali le
extra me,justincaseyouhitabumpintheroad.
Dontprocras nate.Evenifyoureabletopullowri ngtwopapersandplanningapresenta onduringmidterms
week,youllbestuckifyougetthefluwhenyou'veplannedtopullanallnighter.Workonyourassignmentsas
soonastheyareassigned,andnotwhentheyaredue,toeliminateanyunwantedsurprisesordelays.

SelfMonitoring
Whenyoucon nueontohighereduca on,theonlyoneresponsibleforyouisyou.Youneedto
beabletodemonstrateyouhavewhatittakestotakecareofyourselfandgetyourwork
completedon me.Youneedtofigureoutwhenyoucanhandleyourworkbychallenging
yourselfandwhenyouneedassistance.Anditiscri calthatyouknowwheretogotoaccessthe
assistanceyoumightneed,whetheritbetutoringormedicalhelp.

When you a end


higher educa on,
the only one
responsible for
you is you.

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2.3.3.F1

3. Explore Poten al Interests


Byexploringyourinterestsandhobbiesthroughouthighschool,youcanaccomplishmany
thingsthatschoolsandemployerslookfor:
Showcasediverseinterestsandcapabili es,todemonstratethatyouarewellrounded
Proveyouareabletomanageyour mesuccessfully
Showcaseyourtalentandleadershipskills
Exhibittransferableskillsthatleadtosuccessintheclassroomandtheworkplace
Contributebacktoyourcommunityortoothers
Demonstrateexcellencethroughacquiringawardsandhonors
However,youmaybeaccomplishingmorethanthatyoumaybefindingyourfuturecareer!
Itsimportantduringhighschooltostarttogetasenseofwhatyoumightlike,ormightnot
like,todoonceyouentertheworkforcefull me.Youcandothatthroughyourextra
curricularac vi es,yourhobbiesandeventhroughasummerorpart mejob.

Foryears,manyadvisers
wouldtellstudentstheyhad
todemonstratetheywere
wellrounded,meaning
capableinavarietyofskills.
Admissionsadvisorsarenow
mixed:somes llbelieveitis
s llamusttogetintoa
goodpostsecondaryschool,
somebelieveitistoo
commontomakeyoustand
out,ands llotherswantto
seeasingularfocus.

Therearealsoworkandlearningac vi esthatmightbeavailableduringhighschool.Thesecanincludecareerfairs,
communityserviceprojectsorprojectlearning,internships,communityservice,jobshadowing,informa onalinterviewing
andcoopera veeduca onopportuni es.Themoreinforma onyoucangathernow,thebe erequippedyouwillbeto
select,andpayfor,thepostsecondaryeduca onortrainingyouwillneedtoprepareyouforachosenoccupa on.
What skills can make you successful in the classroom and the workplace?

FinancialImplica onsofSwitchingProgramsandSchools

Some mesitis
Notmanypeopleknowwhatcareertheywantwithouttestdrivingitfirstinapostsecondary recommendedtohavea
fallbackorstarter
se ngorintheworkplace.However,every meyouchangeyourpostsecondarydegreeor
careergoal,something
cer ficateprogramofstudy,yourisklosingcreditsforclassesyouvealreadytaken.Ontop
thatcouldgetyouajob
ofthat,thenewprogramofstudyyouhaveselectedwillrequireyoutopaytotakenew
whileyouworktowardsa
classes,cos ngyouevenmoremoney,andmore me,tofinishyourpostsecondary
careerthatisyourtrue
educa onortraining.
passion.Whatwouldbea
goodfallbackprogramof
Theproblemoflossofclasscreditandmoneycanbeevenmoreextremeifyouswitch
studyforyou?
schools.Many mes,onehighereduca onins tu onwillnotacceptcreditforcoursesfrom
anotherins tu on,evenifitisforthesameclass.Inaddi on,thenewschoolmaynotacceptcoursecreditfromthe
oldschoolifyoureceivedalowgradeforthatclass,suchasaD.Eitherway,youenduppayingtwiceforthesame
classes.Ontopofthat,yourisklosingsomeorallofyourfinancialaidbytransferringtoanotherschool.
Beforeyouconsiderswitchingmajorsorschools,weighthepoten alcostsofthisdecision.Youmightenduppayinga
lotmoretocoveraddi onalclassesortrainingrequirements.Youalsomightenduplosingscholarshipsorgrantsyou
wereawarded.Dependingonyoursitua on,youmaybebe erocomple ngadegreeortrainingprogramifyou
knowitisatleastrelatedtosomethingyouwanttodo.Doyourresearchandcheckwithanacademicadvisor.Long
termthinkingandplanningwillsaveyou meandmoney.Be eryet,minimizetheriskofneedingtoswitchschoolsby
researchingtheschoolfirst,includingitscosts,programsandaidpackage.Alsoconsiderinterviewingcurrentstudents
andvisi ngthecampustoensureitisagoodfit.
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2.3.3.F1

4. Select and apply to postsecondary ins tu ons right for your career goals
Herearesomesimplestepstohelpyounavigatetheprocesstoapplytoapostsecondaryeduca onand/ortraining
ins tu on:
Step 1:Selecttheschool,orschools,whereyoudliketogoa erhighschool.Factorstoconsiderinclude:admission
rate,programsofstudy,cost,size,loca on,se ng,accredita on,extracurricularac vi es,etc.
Step 2:Definetheapplica onprocessforthatschool.PerformanInternetsearchforthepostsecondaryins tu on
pluswordslikeapplica onoradmissionstogetalinktothatins tu onswebsite;itshouldwalkyouthrough
whatthatschoolorprogramrequires.Payclosea en ontodierentapplica onprocesses,theirrequirements,and
deadlines.
Step 3:Iden fypoten almentorswhocanhelpyouintheapplica onprocess.Whocouldhelpyouthroughthis
process?Aparent?Teacher?Guidancecounselor?Academicadvisor?Mentor?Findoneortwopeoplewhocanhelp
youduringtheprocessandmo vateyoutocompletetheapplica on.
Step 4:Iden fydatasourceswhatdocumentsandresourcesdoyouneedtocompletetheapplica on?Typically,
theseincludehighschooltranscript,standardizedtestscores,le ersofrecommenda on;personalessayor
statement;extracurriculartranscript;workexperience;anyhonors,cer ficates,awardsorotherachievements.
Step 5:Collectdocumenta on.Onceyouknowwhatyouneed,collecttherequireddocuments.
Step 6:Haveyourmentorscheckyourapplica on.Itisbe erifatrustedfriendoradultfindsamistakethanan
admissionsocer!Haveyourapplica onmentorscheckforanyerrors,makesureallanswersarecomplete,andthat
allrequireddocumentsareaccountedfor.
Step 7:Apply.Besureyoumakeacopyofthecompletedapplica onbeforepu ngitinthemail,includingacopyof
theapplica onfeeyousendalongwithit(foryourrecords).Ifneeded,scheduleaninpersoninterviewandprac ce
withoneofyourapplica onmentorstoeaseyournervousness.
Step 8:Followup.Youshouldreceiveaconfirma onemailoncetheschoolhasreceivedyourapplica on.Checkthat
emailtomakesurealloftheinforma oniscorrect,andcontactsomeonefromadmissionsifitisnot.Therearegreat
websiteswith psonhowtoplaytheapplica onwai nggamewithoutbecominganapplica onstatusstalker,
suchasJackieManteysar cle,WhattoDoWhileWai ngforAdmissionLe ers.
Step 9:Compareoers.Nowisthe metogetpickytomakesureyoumaketherightchoiceforyou!Considertheaid
package,andthenotherfactorssuchasprogramcomple onrates,workandlearningopportuni es,jobplacement
rate,studyabroadopportuni es,studentfacultyra o,safety,campuslife,alumninetwork,andtransporta on
op ons.
Step 10:Selectyourschool.Thisiswhentherealworkbegins!Forgeteverythingyouknowabouttheschoolandtry
toseeitwithfresheyes.Ifyouhavenotvisitedtheins tu on,nowisthe metodoit.Talktostudentsinyour
programofstudyareaandgetafirsthandaccountofthecurriculum,faculty,facili esandop onsforthosewho
complete.Sitinonsomeclasses.Thisisoneofthemostexpensivedecisionsyouwillevermakeyouwouldntbuya
carwithoutseeingitortestdrivingitfirst!Themoreresearchyoudonowtomakesurethisistherightplaceforyou,
thelesslikelyitisthatyouwillregretyourdecisionorneedtotransferdowntheroad.

StartaCollege/TrainingApplica onfolderthathascopiesofdocumentstypicallyneededforemploymentorpost
secondaryapplica ons.Includecopiesofawardsandachievements,aresumethatincludescommunityserviceandany
repeatedvolunteerwork,alis ngofallextracurricularac vi esno nganyleadershiproles,proofofanyspecialstatus
youmightuseforfinancialaidfirstgenera oncollegestudent,veteranstatus,etc.,testscoresandmore.

4
JackieMantey,WhattoDoWhileWai ngforAdmissionLe ers,USNewsEduca on,October31,2007,
h p://www.usnews.com/educa on/ar cles/2007/10/31/whattodowhilewai ngforadmissionle ers

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