First of all, we hope you all transitioned smoothly into the New Year! (although as I write this, I am not a big fan of our first blizzard of 2015!)
So, this post is dedicated to those seniors who suddenly only have one short semester (or 1 & 1/2 trimesters) left before graduation! Was that an audible groan I just heard? It’s hard to imagine that it will be here before you know it!!
For college-bound seniors, it is important for your families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The web link has lots of great information, including:
- Online Application
- School Search Codes
- FAFSA Filing Options
Parent(s) and the student will both need to apply for an electronic pin. Your electronic personal identification number (PIN) will serve as your identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems and will act as your digital signature on some online forms. If you do not already have a PIN, you can request one online by clicking APPLY FOR PIN. Your pin number will stay the same for your entire educational career, so be sure to keep it in a safe place!
The sooner you can complete this form, the better. The catch? You must have your taxes done prior to completing the FAFSA. This make the process much easier since the FAFSA application will direct you specifically to put which line item from your taxes where on the FAFSA form. And as with all scholarship money, it gets divvied up on a first-come, first-served basis by colleges, so the sooner you get the FAFSA submitted, the better!
Many schools have Senior FAFSA night, where the High School Guidance Counselor will help explain the process. Please contact them if you have any questions regarding this application process.
On April 22, 2013, Mrs. Karen Gorden, special education teacher at South Central Calhoun High School, took her junior and senior Career Club students on a 21st century skills field trip, thanks to the mini grant she received from our AEA Transition Department. Her goal was to show the students a variety of options that may help prepare them for success after high school. The first place on their tour was a stop at IowaWORKS Center, where the available resources could help them with future employment needs, The next stop was at Pizza Hut, where students experienced and discussed examples of necessary workplace skills, along with enjoying pizza for lunch! Then they toured Iowa Central Community College, where they got to explore different vocational programs of study. Their final stop was the POET Biorefining Plant near Gowrie, which gave the students an inside look at an ethanol plant.
Check out the PowerPoint of their adventure at: AEA Transition Grant – SCC ppt
The day provided many eye-opening experiences for the students and teacher alike, and they hope they can do another trip next year!
We have a wonderful training last Wednesday, April 10th, in spite of the winter weather up north! Sean Roy, from the PACER Center, and Karen Thompson, from the ASK Resource Center offered a wealth of information to help us think outside the box when it comes to work opportunities for our students. It was great to work in groups and to have time to brainstorm.
Sean shared an excellent resource from Landmark College for parents and students, that has a simple checklist to see if students are prepared for the challenges of college level work. The guide is called “Guide to Assessing College Readiness: for Parents of College-Bound Children with Learning Disabilities or AD/HD.” It breaks the questions down into five categories with five questions each: Academic Skills, Self-Understanding, Self-Advocacy, Executive Function, and Motivation and Confidence.
To give you a taste, the five questions in the Academic Skills category are:
1. Can you read up to 200 pages in a week?
2. Do you have a system for taking notes?
3. Can you write a paper of 10 or more organized pages that refers to two or more sources?
4. Do you have a system for preparing for tests and exams?
5. Can you clearly summarize a college-level reading assignment?
This resource is a great way to open up a conversation with your child/student. Check it out, and use it whenever you need it. And thanks to Landmark College for developing such a great tool!