Who Do You Think You Are?

Three Crucial Conversations for Coaching Teens to College and Career Success
Wiley (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 18. Oktober 2017
  • |
  • 208 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-119-38471-7 (ISBN)
Give your kids their greatest chance at success
Who Do You Think You Are? helps parents, school counselors, and administrators get teens thinking about--and interested in--their future careers. Success in college and beyond relies on thorough prior preparation; by identifying interests and passions early on, young people are better able to plan for the career they want by mapping out the academic path to support it. This book shows you how to guide teens along on this journey, and how to stick with them until they reach the goals they've set. From helping them discover just what it is they're interested in, to finding the institution that will help them flourish and setting out a clear "plan of attack," this book provides invaluable insight from an expert in student success.
No one expects every student to have a definitive life plan by high school graduation, but having some idea of direction is critical. Nearly 3.3 million students will graduate high school this year, and most will head straight to college--but just 20 percent of those who pursue an associate's degree complete within four years, and only 60 percent of those who pursue a bachelor's degree complete within six years. Even those who earn a degree may struggle to move from school to work. Those who do succeed have done so because they've planned their work and worked their plans. This book shows you how to help your child to be one of the success stories.
* Map out an academic plan to support each kid's field of interest
* Identify the best-fit institution to get them where they want to be
* Balance support and independence throughout your teen's journey
* Help your child be prepared for college so they can succeed far beyond
Adults know that success in life comes from plenty of hard work and thorough preparation--but for kids in middle and high school, that lesson is just now beginning to hit home. Who Do You Think You Are? helps you guide them through the transition successfully, so they can come out the other side exactly where they want to be.
1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • New York
  • |
  • USA
John Wiley & Sons
  • 0,43 MB
978-1-119-38471-7 (9781119384717)
1119384710 (1119384710)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
STEPHEN M. SMITH is CEO of Intellispark, an education technology company. He is vice chair of the board of College Possible, a member of the board of the National College Access Network, and a cofounder of Naviance. He previously served as president and chief product officer at Hobsons, where he focused on helping students achieve college and career readiness and success.
SHAUN FANNING is chief product officer at Intellispark and a cofounder of Naviance. He previously served as vice president of research and development at Hobsons, where he led new product initiatives focused on improving student success. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of roles in business analysis, finance, technology, marketing, and product management at AT&T and The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters).
About the Authors ix
Acknowledgments xi
PART I Who Are You?
Chapter 1 How Do You Get Started? 3
Chapter 2 What Are Your Interests and Strengths? 13
Chapter 3 What Does Work Mean to You? 25
PART II Where Are You Heading?
Chapter 4 Are You Ready for a Career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math? 37
Chapter 5 Can You Have a Good Career with a Degree in the Liberal Arts? 49
Chapter 6 Can You Have a Career Helping Others without Sacrificing Your Own Needs? 61
Chapter 7 Do You Want to Work in Business or Be in Business? 73
Chapter 8 Can You Make a Living as an Artist or Musician? 85
Chapter 9 Should You Consider a Career in Law or Criminal Justice? 97
PART III How Will You Get to Where You Want to Go?
Chapter 10 How Can You Try On Your Career Interests? 113
Chapter 11 Is College Right for You? 127
Chapter 12 Can You Afford College? 141
Chapter 13 Does It Matter Where You Go to College? 153
Chapter 14 Is Community College a Better Place to Start? 167
Chapter 15 Closing Thoughts 179
Additional Resources 181
Notes 185
Index 189

How Do You Get Started?

We are doing this all wrong. College gets more expensive and more competitive every year. Kids lose sleep over where they're applying and whether they'll be admitted. Parents are anxious and increasingly wonder whether college is a worthwhile investment. Those same parents ask a lot of important questions. Will my child will get into a "good" college? How long will it take her to earn a degree? Can we afford tuition-not to mention room, board, and other expenses? Will she get a decent job after graduation? Will she be happy? The problem, in most families anyway, is that we take the questions in the wrong order.

Brandon Busteed, the executive director of education and workforce development at Gallup, describes this process well. We start searching for colleges by thinking about attributes like size, selectivity, and location. We look into what majors are offered at the institution, and we may even consider sports programs or campus life. We probably look at the list price for tuition, room, board, and expenses, but because our system of education finance is so complex, those figures often bear little resemblance to what it will cost to attend. We build a list of colleges that meet our criteria. We visit some of those institutions to get a sense of how they "feel." We narrow the list and begin the arduous task of preparing and submitting college applications. By having focused our attention on list prices instead of the actual cost of attendance, we may have already ruled out some attractive options for financial reasons, even if those institutions may have turned out to be affordable. It's not until acceptances start coming in from colleges we chose to apply to that we get a better sense of the actual cost of attendance. For the vast majority of us, the cost of attending even an institution with a modest list price is higher than we can afford based solely on what we have saved or earn, so we explore loan options. After that, we decide where to enroll.

As many as half of all traditional-age first-year students enter college without declaring a major, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education, almost 80 percent change their major at least once after they enroll. So it's not until well after starting college and often taking on debt that families begin to understand how much the student will be likely to earn after graduation and what he can realistically afford to repay. Because such a high percentage of students change majors while in college, many are taking a long time to get to the finish line. In fact, NCES data show that only 44.2 percent of first-time bachelor's degree recipients earn a four-year degree in four years or less.

If you were designing this process from scratch, you might approach it from exactly the opposite direction. Start with the end in mind. Pick a career based on what you like to do. Research the labor market and find out how much you'll be likely be able to earn. Then look at the type of education required to get that job. Weigh the ability to pay for that education given your career prospects and reconsider if necessary. Once you're sure the cost of your education is manageable given your chosen career, enroll in the institution of your choice and complete your degree.

Many adult students (defined by the Department of Education as those age twenty-five and older) approach college in just this way. These students often enter college with specific career objectives. And although they're sometimes referred to as nontraditional or posttraditional students, this demographic now makes up the majority of college students in the United States. Can an approach that works for twenty-five-year-olds also help teenagers to make better college and career choices?

It's incredibly challenging for an adult to pick a major or a career, and developmental differences and comparatively limited life experiences make this decision even more overwhelming for teenagers. In that context, it's not surprising that so many college students change their minds after picking a major. Nonetheless, with poor retention and graduation rates at many colleges, few would argue that what we're doing now is working well. Something needs to change. By rethinking the path from middle and high school to college and career, we can reduce the stress and anxiety families feel and put more kids on track for a healthy and successful adult life.

This book got its start nearly seventeen years ago when we launched a program called Naviance and began working with high schools to improve how their students choose among colleges and universities. Since that time, more than 22 million kids around the world have researched college and career opportunities; selected middle and high school course work; gained important knowledge about what it means to go to college; and completed personality, strengths, and career interest assessments and other self-awareness activities in Naviance. These activities have helped those kids build a foundation for a thoughtful progression from school to college to work.

The goal of this book is to help more kids think about school and college with an objective in mind: recognizing that learning is intrinsically valuable and continues for life but that purposeful learning can be even more transformative. The question "Who do you think you are?" gets at the essence of what families need to explore to help their children make good college and career choices. The other questions posed throughout this book are meant to prompt crucial conversations that can help you and your teen, ideally with the support of your teen's school counselor, better inform the college and career search process.

Let's look at how the process typically works today. In U.S. elementary schools, there are few choices to make. Most kids in elementary school have a single teacher for all core academic subjects, even if there are separate faculty members for specialized courses in areas such as music, art, or physical education. While some subgroups of kids with particular needs, aptitudes, or interests might be selected to receive additional support, most follow a fairly consistent program and spend the majority of each day in the same room with the same teacher and the same classmates.

The environment is much different in secondary schools. By grade 6 or 7, schools frequently offer separate classes within core academic subjects for students who are performing at, above, or below grade level. Many schools have optional courses, known as electives, in subjects such as foreign language, instrumental music, and technology. Kids may still receive additional support if they need it, but they are also able to make many more choices to personalize their school experience. Many schools offer clubs and after-school sports. In grades 6 and 7, but especially by grade 8, the courses kids take have a direct impact on the courses they can take in high school, and as a result, their choices affect the majors they can select and even the colleges they may be able to attend.

Some of those connections are straightforward. For example, students who don't take algebra by the end of eighth grade typically can't complete the required course work to take calculus by twelfth grade, and those who don't take calculus before graduating from high school are at a significant disadvantage when applying to engineering and other quantitative programs in college. Other choices are a bit more complex since requirements for admission vary significantly from one college or university to another. Those requirements can even vary among schools and departments within the same college or university. The shared experiences in elementary school give way to a much more individualized program of studies and other activities in middle and high school, which can put kids on very different paths to life after earning a high school diploma.

How do you make sense of these choices? Is it even possible to ask a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old to think ahead ten years or more to consider how making a choice between taking algebra in eighth grade and choosing a slightly less demanding math class is likely to affect college or career options later in life? Is it possible to ask that same young person to weigh the benefits of taking another elective, and making time for the required homework, versus joining an additional after-school club? Choices like this one are being made by and for kids millions of times each year in U.S. schools, often with limited insight into the consequences. For some, it may even feel as though their plans are on autopilot. Those who have done well academically are often pushed to take every one of the most rigorous courses (regardless of their interest level in the subject) and to add even more to their plate through extracurricular activities based on their prior academic successes.

There's a false dichotomy playing out in many American schools. Kids with high grades get pushed to take more and harder courses, while those with lower grades are directed toward career-oriented programs. This approach sets up a tension between college and career. As one counselor in a highly regarded American high school told us, "At this school, college is the career." She conveyed that statement with no sense of irony or anxiety. For their four years in high school, every academic and extracurricular decision these students made at that school was intended to put them on a path to college. The...

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