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Checklist for this Week, February 11, 2013


For freshmen

There are several good reasons why you should develop leadership skills by working on a project committee. Here are a few:

  • Chairing a committee for a short-term project is a good way to get experience in a leadership role.
  • You will have a chance to plan an activity from beginning to end.
  • You will probably develop a timeline for the project.
  • You will gain experience in learning to coordinate with others to meet a goal.
  • You may learn to stay within a budget.

You can develop your leadership skills and enhance your college resume by donating your time and effort to any one of the following organizations or activities:

  • Any school-sponsored clubs such as an art, drama, science, math, or service club
  • Your school newspaper or yearbook
  • Peer mediation club
  • Athletic teams
  • Pep squad
  • Church youth groups
  • Local community center
  • Local Goodwill or homeless shelter
  • Retirement homes and assisted living facilities
For sophomores

Summer pre-college programs are a good way to learn about a prospective college. Here's the scoop:

  • A summer pre-college program allows high school students to experience college courses in a college environment.
  • Programs will vary in the length and type of activities available.
  • There is a fee for these programs, but frequently scholarships are available.
  • There are several places where you can get information about which colleges provide summer programs.
  • Ask or go to your local bookstore to find out more.
  • If you have a specific college in mind, you can call that college's admissions office or check out the school's website.

Common pre-college programs that colleges offer to students include:

  • Computer and Web programming
  • Mathematics and engineering
  • Architecture and design
  • Natural sciences
  • Marine biology
  • Social sciences
  • Business and economics
  • Humanities
  • Creative writing, poetry, and journalism
  • Theatre and performing arts
  • Language exposure and immersion
  • Research with mentors
  • ESL and TOEFL preparation
  • SAT and PSAT preparation
  • College application and interview preparation
  • College reviews and visits
  • College credit
For juniors

As you research prospective colleges, make use of these resources:

  • The Internet
    The Web is a great source for current college information. Most colleges maintain websites that contain a wealth of information. For example, visit AIE's "Choose Your College" section (http://www.aie.org/planning-for-college/going-to-college/choosing-a-college.cfm), or the College Board's college search (collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp).
  • Books
    Your school library, school guidance office, or local bookstore will have books that describe thousands of colleges.
  • Counseling office
    Most counseling offices have files full of literature from colleges. You can usually pick up books, course catalogs, and sometimes even videos.
For seniors

College campus visits are a critical step in making that final decision. Here are a few key components for a helpful campus visit:

  • Call the college's admissions office prior to your visit. The staff will help you make the most of your time on campus. They usually have suggestions on what to do and where to go.
  • Take a tour, even if you have been on the campus before. The tour provides you with a thorough view of the campus and the tour guide is usually a great source of information.
  • Meet with an admissions representative to have any lingering questions answered.
  • If the college permits, take the time and opportunity to visit a class.
  • Ask to see the inside of a residence hall.
  • When you return home, you may want to make notes about your observations. Also, if a college admissions representative or other advisor was especially helpful, it is appropriate to write that person a note of thanks.
For parents

There are many sources for college information, a few of which are listed here:

  • The Internet
    The Web is a great source for current college information. Most colleges maintain websites that contain a wealth of information. For example, visit AIE's "Choose Your College" section (www.aie.org/planning-for-college/going-to-college/choosing-a-college.cfm), or the College Board's college search (collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp).
  • Books
    The school library, school guidance office, or local bookstore will have books that describe thousands of colleges.
  • Counseling office
    Most counseling offices have files full of college literature. You can usually pick up books, course catalogs, and sometimes even videos.
  • Summer pre-college programs
    These programs allow high school students to experience college courses in a college environment. For more information about which colleges offer summer programs, contact your child's counselor or the prospective college's admissions office.