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College
GUIDE
Education
Advertising supplement for the week of April 27, 2014
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Make the most of senior year: How to end school on a high note
Ah, senior year. You’ve waited for it,
pined for it, ached for it — and now
it’s fnally here. That last year before
you go of to college; the last months
before you get to be on your own.
Understandably, it feels like it drags on
forever. After a while, you lose steam
and simply become a high school
zombie, waiting for that fnal of fnal
bells to ring so that you can close out
your high school chapter and start your
college story. You’ve fallen prey to that
most dreaded of high school diseases:
senioritis. The symptoms of senioritis
are common and widespread among
graduating classes: glazed-over eyes,
blank expressions and lack of interest
in everything. You’re done, you’re
spent and you’re ready to move on.
The problem is, school isn’t ready
to move on with you, and what you
do this last year of high school still
matters. It matters to your GPA, and it
matters to the colleges to which you’re
applying. Slack of, and you could be,
in the most extreme cases, saying
goodbye to college acceptances you
thought were already in the bag.
So, it’s time to come up with a plan. Follow these fve simple steps to stay active and involved that last
year of high school, and make it truly count.
Become a leader
Now that you’re a senior and you’ve been involved in your extracurriculars for two or three years, it’s
time to step it up and really get involved. Become the editor-in-chief of the yearbook or newspaper.
Take on the lead role in the school play. Become the volunteer liaison or fundraising leader for your
school’s chapter of a charity. You know the lay of the land, so lead the pack! Becoming a leader will
keep you involved in your activities, and will help lend structure to your extracurricular pursuits.
Get interested (and interesting!)
Don’t let your curriculum get boring just because it’s your last year. Sure, you need to get all your core
courses done, but that doesn’t mean
you can’t spice things up with some
fun or unusual courses. What of-the-
beaten-path classes does your school
ofer? Seek them out, and consider
adding one or two to your schedule.
It’ll keep things interesting and keep
you interested in academics during this
long but last year in high school.
Give back
You’re an expert at navigating the
high school scene. You know where to
go, what to do and how to get things
done. Consider becoming a mentor
to incoming freshmen, volunteering
at the guidance office and maybe
even giving talks through your college
advising ofce about how to best apply
to college. Taking the time to guide
others through experiences you’ve
already mastered will give you a new
appreciation for everything you’ve
learned.
Remember: It’s a year of ‘lasts’
Don’t let the fog of senioritis cloud over
the fact that this is the last year of high
school. Chances are pretty good that
everything you do will be some version of the “last time” you do it. Don’t simply go to school for the
sake of going — savor each moment! Take pictures. Hang out with your friends. Make a list of all the
silly stuf you want to do “one last time”— and then do it! Once you’re in college, high school is gone
forever, so make your senior year a year to remember.
Try something new
Just because you are a senior doesn’t mean that you can’t join a new school activity. Consider checking
out a new group or club this year. Always wanted to be a football booster? Check them out. Wondered
what writing an article in the school newspaper would entail? Contribute one. Love taking pictures?
Consider joining the yearbook or school magazine. Not everything on your résumé has to have had
lengthy, long-term commitment; sometimes, just doing something because it’s new and fun is enough
of a reason. Trying something new keeps things fresh, and may even land you some new friends.
By AnnE CHAConAs | FoR nExtstEPU.Com
College Education Guide • Page 2 • Advertising supplement to messenger Post media for the week of April 27, 2014
College Education Guide • Page 3 • Advertising supplement to messenger Post media for the week of April 27, 2014
College Education Guide • Page 4 • Advertising supplement to messenger Post media for the week of April 27, 2014
There is a skills gap in the United States. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. employers report having difculty
fnding staf with the appropriate skills, according to the annual Talent Shortage Survey conducted
by the ManpowerGroup, a human resource consulting frm. Employers are looking for employees
who possess the proper education and training, but are having trouble fnding qualifed candidates.
If you are trying to get ahead in your career, you’ve likely realized the skills gap exists and you know
the benefts a new position or promotion could mean to you and your family.
Chances are you’ve seen these opportunities before but didn’t pursue them because of the time
commitment to get the education and training you need. You ask yourself, “If I go back to school and
have to wait two-to-four years before seeing the benefts of my education, will the opportunities
still be there?”The good news is that you don’t have to wait for graduation day to demonstrate what
you’ve learned.
Some online colleges are re-imagining higher education in ways that recognize the demands placed
on people seeking to advance their careers. These programs strive to help students document
achievements not just at graduation, but before, while they are still in school. Here are just some of
the ways.
Badging. Whether you were active in scouting or have played online video games, you’re probably
aware of the system of badging. A badge or patch — physical or electronic — is awarded to
recognize your specifc accomplishments. The badging idea now exists in higher education as well,
and some online schools have tapped into this trend, using the same principles to recognize student
accomplishments. Online colleges fnd students enjoy the accomplishment of a badge as they
continue toward graduation, and the online platform lends itself well to this system. The program is
gaining traction with employers as well. Hiring managers are fnding that the badges sometimes say
more about what a student has accomplished than the typical degree.
Skill stacking. To provide a clear way to demonstrate workplace-ready skills before graduation,
leading online schools are ofering students the capability to earn key industry-recognized
certifcations as they work toward their degree, delivering value prior to a diploma. Students can
add these certifcates to their resume or LinkedIn profle in order to display immediate benefts from
their education as they continue on their degree path. These certifcates are an excellent way to
demonstrate to current or potential employers that you have learned work-place ready skills in areas
such as communications, leadership, marketing, project management or other aspects of business.
e-Portfolio. For students who are looking for one convenient place to showcase their work to current
or future employers, e-Portfolios are a valuable tool being introduced at some online schools. These
electronic portfolios record any badges or work samples loaded by students. They are a great way for
students to showcase their knowledge, skills and abilities in one location.
Education on your timeline. Traditional universities are difcult for non-traditional students because
of their fxed class schedules and mandatory due dates for projects. Online schools ofer students a
more fexible model; eliminating fxed semester schedules and giving students control over their
own education. Students are able to complete projects as quickly or slowly as their schedule allows,
giving them the opportunity to pace themselves and see the best possible return on their education
investment.
If you’ve considered going back to school but thought it couldn’t be done because you don’t have
the time, these new online program innovations are worth a look. They provide tools to showcase
accomplishments before you complete your studies, and give you the fexibility to learn on your
terms and at your own pace. [BPT]
New online college programs

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