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Category: College Bound

Sep 10 | You Have A Junior - Now What?

by Denise Evans

You Have a JUNIOR ? Now What? It just doesn?t seem possible, but here it is ? your child?s junior year of high school. You may be aware of the myriad of activities and responsibilities that go along with being a senior, but what should you be doing to get your junior ready for college?

Hopefully, you have been talking to your child about college for quite some time. Now that your child is a junior, it?s time to seriously consider which college or university they should attend. Many high school students automatically lean toward colleges that their friends attend, ones that are close (or far!) from home, or ones that family members have attended. While this is a good starting point, encourage your child to look beyond the ?obvious? choices. I have a good friend whose son ended up going to the last college they visited. It initially was not even on his ?radar?, but a brochure he picked up in his counselor?s office peaked his interest. Upon visiting, it was evident that it was a good fit for him.

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Oct 29 | Three Things Juniors Should Be Doing NOW

Excerpts in the following article are from Three Things Juniors Should Be Doing NOW July 22,2011 by Lynn O?Shaughnessy. Ms. O?Shaughnessy is a financial journalist and the author of The College Solution ? a must read for all parents planning college for their children.

In this article, Ms. O?Shaughnessy is addressing both the parents and the high school junior. Too often both of these parties feel no need to hurry in preparations for college while the student is still a junior. Thought college planning could wait until the senior year? Ms. O?Shaughnessy proposes an outstanding ?No? to that questions. She infers, and rightly so, that preparation for college should begin as early as possible. Although the subject of degree may not be chosen, preparing for the more intimidating aspects of testing and funds should begin early. She gives 5 principal areas for the junior to accomplish.

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Oct 31 | Road trip to college- Day 3 (last day!)

So the morning of our third day we had some trouble.......the car didn't want to work but lucky for us the husband of the lady who owned the bed and breakfast was a car guy. But it turns out that the car was just cold because being at such a high altitude it get a lot colder. But we were ok.....when we got going. So within about 40 min we were in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Pagosa is a cute little place, its a small town but that is why its so cute. So in driving we came upon this flat that is at like 8,000 ft but when you are up on it it looks just like Texas because you can't really see any of the mountains. My mom liked that.....well we finally made it to Utah my mom and my sister almost missed the sign. We decided to go through Moab........bad idea. Moab pretty much consist of canyons and mountains and canyons a valley and some more canyons.......My mom is afraid of heights. My sister and I were actually proud of her she had been fine the whole trip she was a brave girl. So at one point we were on some switch backs and the speed limit of course is like 80 and for once in my life my mom was actually going the speed limit that was in part because we had a semi up our butt. So we are going along and me and my sister are both like hey mom you might want to slow down on these switch backs....hey mom.....well long story short we turned the corner and there was a huge drop off on the other side of the mom freaked out but not until we were down. It wa kind of funny....but hey I think her fear of heights is done for. But I am happy to say that even with all of the dilemas we finally made it to salt lake.

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Oct 23 | College Board Will Offer a New Test Next Fall, By SARA RIMER

Amid growing challenges to its role as the pre-eminent force in college admissions, the College Board on Wednesday unveiled a new test that it said would help prepare eighth graders for rigorous high school courses and college.

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Oct 22 | At this rate, we'll lose generations ?

The results are in. IDRA?s 2008 Annual Attrition Study for the state of Texas, released today, finds that:

? Texas schools continue to lose one student every four minutes; One of every three students (33 percent) from the freshman class of 2004-05 left school prior to graduating with a high school diploma.

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Sep 18 | Do High School AP Classes Help with College Admissions?

Michelle Hartwell - Sep 5, 2007

Taking high school AP courses can help you stand out in the eyes of College Admissions departments and can help you prepare for the type of course work you will encounter in college. So should you jump in and apply for AP classes? Well, yes ? but only if you feel that you WILL excel in these classes. These classes require hard work and can be stressful. If you have a job or multiple extra curricular activities and feel that you can?t dedicate the time to do well in these classes, then don?t opt for AP courses. It?s better to get an A in a regular or Honors class than a poor grade in an AP class so as not to affect your GPA.

What are AP Classes?

Advanced Placement or AP classes are part of a nationwide high school program put together by the College Board. They developed 37 courses across 22 subject areas to be at college level and much more rigorous than standard high school classes. High Schools decide if they will offer these classes, and high school students can opt to take these courses if they want to stand out academically, want to be challenged, or have a keen interest in a given subject.

At the end of the AP course, and for a fee of about $85.00, students take the AP exam and if they score well enough, some colleges will accept these scores as college credit - for example, if a student scores high on the AP Biology exam, he or she can skip the introductory college Biology class. Qualifying to skip courses can save you money in college tuition, plus save you time allowing you to graduate on schedule, or even earlier in some instances. Not all colleges accept high AP exam scores for college credit, so be sure to check your future college or talk to your high school counselor.

AP classes differ from Honors classes in that Honors classes are developed locally and don?t allow students to qualify for college credits. Also, Honors classes are typically offered in grades 9-12, while AP classes are offered in the 11th and 12th grades. As far as degree of difficulty, generally speaking, Honors courses are one level up from standard high school courses, while AP classes are 2 levels up from standard high school courses and are often weighted as such. Ask your future college if and how they look at AP scores.

Bottom Line

AP classes can be very rewarding both personally and academically, but you have to weigh them against what other activities you have going on in you life. Best best is to talk to your guidance counselor and ask them if AP classes are a good idea for you based on your current academic progress and extra curricular schedule.

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Sep 16 | K-12: encourage children to consider careers in nursing

Executive Summary

* Some nursing organizations are implementing creative programs to recruit young people into nursing.

* The Nursing Shortage Consortium of South Florida has supported such programs as the Future Nurse's Club, and image and best practices task forces.

THERE HAS BEEN an abundance of information in the nursing news regarding financial aide for high school students interested in pursuing nursing as a career. Recently, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Education Secretary Rod Paige launched a new campaign entitled "Kids into Health Careers" (American Organization of Nurse Executives [AONE], 2002a). This program was designed to encourage school children to consider careers in nursing and other health professions. Information and toolkits are available through This campaign focuses on children of all ages in grades kindergarten to 12.

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Several states offer scholarships to individuals entering nursing or other health professions. The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Scholarship Fund will also offer scholarships to high school students entering nursing programs (AONE, 2002b). This is only a small part of the extensive J&J campaign that also includes prime-time TV spots promoting the nursing profession, and career information and recruitment materials for high school students. More information is available through

Nursing Shortage Consortium

Besides this long-overdue financial support for individuals entering nursing and other health professions, some nursing organizations are implementing creative programs to recruit young people into nursing. About 5 years ago, a program was begun by Diane Homer, EdD, RN, dean, University of Miami School of Nursing. Her concern over the nursing shortage led her to convene the Nursing Shortage Consortium of South Florida. The members of the consortium are health care executives, educators, recruiters, publishers, and medical staffing companies ("UM's Dean Horner," 2002). The consortium initially included nursing leaders in Dade County, but leaders in other surrounding areas have since joined. The consortium was originally started with a grant and dues have been added as a means of financial support. A Web site is to be developed shortly and an executive director to be named (Adams, 2002, personal communication).


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Jan Van Blarcum

Meet Jan Van Blarcum | Founder

In 1999, Jan Van Blarcum, Ph.D. founded Creative Tutors. As an educator, Dr. Van Blarcum understood the importance of personalized attention in a child?s educational growth. Her passion for learning grew into a business endeavor that provides customized, one-on-one, in-home tutoring to children with a variety of learning needs. Every child receives personalized attention from certified/degreed educators.