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Columbia High School Senior Parents’ Night Tuesday, September 24, 2010 7:00 pm, CHS Auditorium Welcome! We hope you leave here tonight feeling well-prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Columbia High School Senior Parents’ Night Tuesday, September 24, 2010 7:00 pm, CHS Auditorium Welcome! We hope you leave here tonight feeling well-prepared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Columbia High School Senior Parents’ Night Tuesday, September 24, 2010 7:00 pm, CHS Auditorium
Welcome! We hope you leave here tonight feeling well-prepared to navigate SENIOR YEAR

2 Program Agenda Welcome – Dr. Lovie Lilly, CHS Principal
Program Introduction – Dr. Jennifer Giordano, Dir. Of Guidance Graduation/Prom – Mr. Kirk Smith Senior Class Advisor – Mr. Matthew Endlich What You Need to Know – Mr. Maietta and Ms. Boer SENIOR H.S.A. Representatives –Ms. Acevedo & Ms. Monaghan The Senior Year – College Admissions & the Application Process

3 Program Objectives & Packet Contents
College Application Process Common Mistakes Process & Protocol for requesting a teacher recommendation Tips for Applying to College or Technical Schools Interview Tips Standardized Testing Dates for College Admissions SAT I, ACT and SAT II The Family Connection (Naviance) The College Essay Tips for Visiting College Campuses What do admissions officers look for? Counselor Contact Information

4 Step-by-Step Guide to the College Application Process
Students are responsible for the following: Obtaining an application for admission (online) from each college of interest Completing the application and electronically submitting it to the college Contacting testing agencies (; and requesting test scores be sent directly to the colleges…this may include SAT, SATII, ACT or AP Asking teachers (2-3) for letters of recommendation. A stamped, addressed business envelope must be provided to each teacher for each college/university. Completing a Transcript Request Form - TRF (available in Guidance) and providing a large, addressed envelope with three stamps to your counselor for EACH college to which a student is applying ($1.27 postage ) The large envelopes are available in Guidance and MUST be submitted at the same time as the TRF. Please check with Mrs. Singer (Guidance Secretary) that you have completed the process, prior to leaving your materials for your counselor. Once students have submitted the TRF along with the envelopes, the Guidance Department is responsible for the following: Mailing the envelope(s) to the college(s). The envelope contains: An official Columbia High School Transcript Your Grade Point Average and Percentile Class Rank as of the previous June A Secondary School Report, which includes a RECOMMENDATION A CHS Profile Students should mail applications no later than 1 week prior tot the college’s application deadline. Students should give application items to their counselors no less than 10 business days prior to the deadline.

5 Common Mistakes on College Applications
Date of Birth must be written or entered CORRECTLY! Confirm the correct number of essays for which the college is asking. Remember to put your name and social security number on every page you submit. DO NOT forget to sign your application & recommendation letter waiver. When asked about activities, remember to include ALL in which you participate. You are not limited to those sponsored by CHS. Proofread your essay and application. DO NOT rely on Spell Check Send official test scores. Contact College Board or ACT directly to find out how (, List intended major, if asked. If you don’t know, indicate “undecided”. BE, THINK, & PRESENT yourself in the most positive way!

6 Teacher Recommendation Procedures
The STUDENT Ask 2-3 teachers who have had you in class within the last two years if they will write you a letter of recommendation. Teachers of math, science, English, social studies and world language are preferred by most colleges. Provide them with the teacher recommendation form, if requested. Have a conversation with the teachers. They are responsible for representing you as a student in their classrooms. Provide each teacher with a stamped business envelope, properly addressed to each college to which you are applying. Neatness and legibility is key! Clearly indicate application deadline dates for each college. Submit materials to teachers at least 1 month prior to the earliest deadline. The TEACHER Type letter of recommendation Mail letter to the colleges for which an envelope has been provided

7 Sample Teacher Recommendation Form, page 1
Date _____________ Dear _____________ As per our conversation, I am formally requesting a college recommendation. I have attached stamped, addressed envelopes and would appreciate the recommendations mailed by ______________. On the reverse side of this form I have completed relevant information to assist you in writing my recommendation. Please include my name and social security number on the recommendation to ensure it is placed in the proper file. If you have any concerns or questions about the recommendation or deadline date, please contact me. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to help me reach my goals. Sincerely, _____________________ (student’s name)

8 Sample Teacher Recommendation Form, page 2
Student Name _______________________ Social Security No. ___________________ Courses and final grades taken with you: The following is a list of my involvement in student activities with you or activities related to your subject matter: My plans for the future are: *Please include your observations of my class performance, attitude, and capability

9 Tips for College Interviewing First Impressions Count
Arrive early & dress neatly. No suit necessary, just something comfortable and appropriate…no jeans or t-shirts. Be prepared. Be sure you know the basics about the school you are applying to. Be aware of your body language – are you slouching? Fidgeting? Frowning? Avoiding eye-contact? Posture is important. Smile and look people in the eye! Don’t worry about feeling nervous. Nerves are perfectly normal. Concentrate instead on knowing your unique strengths and getting comfortable speaking with them. Listen to the questions and be sure to answer them completely. This is your chance to share information about what you and the school have to offer one another. Have questions prepared.

10 Interview Questions Some typical questions asked by college interviews:
If your best friend were here and I asked him/her to describe you, what would he/she say? How did you become interested in our college/university? If I cleared my desk and asked you to put any three books on it, what books would you choose and why? If you inherited one million dollars with the stipulation that you take a year off between high school and college, how would you spend your time and money? If you were to be named the new principal of your high school, what changes would you make and why? How would accepting you to our college impact our campus? Some typical questions asked by prospective students: What are your criteria for admission in order of importance? Will applying for financial aid affect my chances for admissions? What is/are the major issue(s) on campus, at present. Are there opportunities for independent study and undergraduate research internships?

11 College Admissions Standardized Testing Schedule for 2011-2012 CHS CEEB Code: 310750
SAT I Reasoning Tests and SAT II Subject Tests Test date Registration Deadline Late Deadline October 1 September 9 Sept. 21 November 5 October 7 Oct. 11 December 3 November 8 Nov. 20 January 28 December 30 Jan. 13 March 10 (SAT ONLY)February 10 Feb. 24 May 5 April 6 April 20 June 2 May 8 May 22 ACT (American College Test) September 10 August 12 August 26 October 22 September 16 Sept. 30 December 10 November 4 Nov. 18 February 11 January 13 Jan. 20 April 14 March 9 March 23 June 9 May 4 May 18 *CHS is NOT an ACT test center. The nearest test centers are located at Montclair HS, James Caldwell HS & West Orange HS. Important Dates to Remember November 1 or 15 – Early Decision Application Deadline (for many colleges) September 29 & 30, October 21, November 10 & 11 – CHS closed; a GREAT time to visit colleges December 1 – Target date for getting completed application packets to counselors

12 Tests for College Admissions: Facts, Tips, and Important Information
Students often ask their counselors for recommendations regarding when and which college admissions tests (SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Test and/or ACT) should be taken. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SENDING THE SCORES TO THE COLLEGES IS THE STUDENT’S. SAT REASONING TEST The SAT, a three-hour-and-forty-five minute test, measure critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills students have developed over time and skills they need to be successful. The SAT is the best independent, standardized measure of a student’s college readiness. It is standardized across al students, schools, and states, providing a common and objective scale for comparison. The SAT consists of nine sections, including a 25 minute essay, each timed separately. The essay will always appear first, and the five other 25 minute sections can appear in any order, as can the two 20 minute sections. In addition, a 10 minute writing multiple-choice section will be at the end of the test. Each of the SAT’s three main sections is scored on a scale of the SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. It is administered seven times a year in the U.S., Puerto Rico and US Territories, and six times a year overseas.

13 THE ACT: Facts and Information
Tests for College Admissions: Facts, Tips, and Important Information (con’t) In addition, there is one 25 minute unscored section, know as the variable or equating section. This unscored section may be either a critical reading, math, or writing multiple choice section. This section does not count toward the final score but is used to try out new questions for future editions of the SAT and to ensure that scores on new editions of the SAT are comparable to scores on earlier editions of the test. SAT SUBJECT TESTS Subject tests are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well s their ability to apply that knowledge. Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects such as English, history, mathematics and science. Some colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. They may specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take. All tests are outlined on the College Board website. THE ACT: Facts and Information The ACT is a national college admission and placement examination. The test (including instructions and break times) takes just over 4 hours to administer without the Writing Test. The actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes, broken down as follows: English 45 minutes, Math 60 minutes, Reading 35 minutes, and Science 35 minutes. The ACT Writing Test adds 30 minutes.

14 ACT facts and information, con’t… The ACT is universally accepted for college admissions. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what the students have learned in high school courses in English, mathematics and science Students may take the ACT as often as they wish but only once per national test date. Many students take the test twice, once as a junior and again as a senior. Research suggests that 55% of students who take the ACT more than once increase their composite score on the retest. They may also take the ACT if they have already taken the SAT.

15 What is the Family Connection?
The Family Connection was designed to serve the need of students and parents while at the same time giving the counselor full control over how it is used in their particular program. It is designed to provide flexibility in what features it offers, how it looks, and who can access it. The overview below will help you to understand the most important points to know about how the Family Connection works: The web address for the Family Connection at CHS is: Anyone with a valid username and password can access the site. They can view and modify information that is specific to them. In order to protect the security and privacy of student information, each student is required to register with a unique registration code before they can create a username and password. This registration information is available to all students via their guidance counselor. Please note, an address is needed to activate the connection. The Family Connection is divided into three sections: About Me, About College, and From the Counselor. Each of these is explained as follows:

16 Family Connection, con’t…
ABOUT ME… This section provides students an opportunity to enter information about themselves, test scores, notable accomplishments, and their post-graduation “Game Plan.” It also allows them to view and add to their college application list, indicate a level of interest in specific schools, view scattergrams with student scores and GPA date overlaid on the graph, as well as check application deadlines and update application information. ABOUT COLLEGE… This section provides students the opportunity to look up colleges by name, alphabet, state or by country. It also helps students seek out appropriate “match” schools to their grades, scores and academic performance. It provides comparisons among student data at CHS and nationally to lend insights into the competitive nature of different colleges and universities. A list of scheduled college visits is also available, here. Further, information on scholarships, deadlines and financial aid awards is also available via this section of the Family Connection.

17 Family Connection, con’t…
FROM THE COUNSELOR…. Here, as student can obtain a list of other web-based resources related to college and financial aid. In addition, this section provides direct access to the counselor via . If a student is signed-in, the will be directed to the counselor that is assigned to them. Counselors can monitor all updates and changes to a student’s profile through their accounts. The Family Connection is a wonderfully transparent resources to keep students, families and counselors in contact throughout the often tedious and stressful college application process.

18 The College Essay The essay is an integral part of the application process that may set you apart from your peers. It should tell the reader something about you that could not be gleaned from the transcripts, activities, or perhaps even recommendations. The essay should reveal your INDIVIDUALITY! BEFORE YOUR START: Read other essays. Understand the question and the task. Ask yourself, “ who is my audience?” Practice Writing Schedule in enough time to meet your deadlines. Make an appointment with your English teacher to have your essay reviewed. ORGANIZING YOUR INFORMATION: List facts and information about specific subjects Seek out other points of view, such as autobiographical data, positive qualities and/or shared experiences. TYPES OF QUESTIONS: General (Open-ended or Your Choice) Specific (i.e. Discuss something that you have read that has a profound affect on you?)

19 College Essay…more! PURPOSE:
Write about something that you really know. Be POSITIVE about yourself. Avoid controversy Show that you can reason effectively, think creatively, and write with clarity and accuracy. POINTS TO REMEMBER: Did you follow directions? Did you answer the question that was asked? Did you avoid: Did you include: Cliches variations in sentence structure Abbreviations consistency in verb tenses “cute” words organization of your thoughts Repetition remember to proofread for errors “In other words” statements

20 Visiting the College Campus There is nothing like seeing the campus for yourself. If you are going to make a college visit, you should not approach them lightly. Here are some helpful hints and strategies for making the most of your on-campus visit TAKE NOTES AFTER EACH VISIT! The schools tend to run together and it is hard to remember the details. ACADEMIC COURSES: How much flexibility will I have in my curriculum. Can I change majors? Can I double major? Can I cross-register with other local colleges? Is there a core curriculum. What is the average class size? What is the faculty-student ratio? How many majors are offered? Do you offer a major in….? If not, is there a way to develop my own major? Can I get an internship in my major field? Can I study abroad? Where? How many credits must I take each semester to be a full-time student? How often does each class meet per week? FACULTY: What percentage of the faculty teaches freshman and sophomores? Will I be taught by full professors or graduate students? How accessible are the faculty members? Office hours? Availability outside of class? STUDENT LIFE: Is the campus and student population diverse? What is the geographic distribution of students from across the country? What student organizations exist on campus? Are there fraternities and sororities? How important is Greek life on campus? Is there tangible school spirit? How is it fostered? What kinds of athletic teams exist on campus? Do sports play a major role on campus? Are there intramural sports? Is there an effective student government? How do I get involved? What is campus life like on the weekends?

21 Visiting Colleges, con’t…
MISCELLANEOUS: How are the facilities in various departments, especially the science and engineering resources? How active are the athletic, music, theater and arts departments in campus life? Is housing guaranteed for four years? Are there specific freshman dormitories? Can I chose where I want to live? Is it a lottery? How’s the food on campus? Is the campus safe? What resources and precautions are available to ensure student safety? What percentage of students go on to graduate school? What kinds of support services are available to students? Where do I go on campus if I need medical, psychological or academic help? Can I get a job on campus? Can I have a car on campus? KEY PIECES OF ADVICE: Go to a dormitory and see a student’s room. Find out where students hang-out and spend some time there. Talk to current students to get a feel for the campus and what kinds of students make up the population. Have lunch with a student. Read the student newspaper. Make an appointment to meet with a faculty member in your department of interest. Stay overnight, if the option exists. Getting a feel for campus life through your own experiences is the best barometer. You need to determine if this is the type of academic and social setting you want to live in for the next four years. The only way to decide is to look and ask.

22 What Do Admissions Officers Look For
What Do Admissions Officers Look For? Ask any college admissions officer what three elements are most important in the admissions application and the answer will likely be: courses, courses, and courses. The admissions officer’s job is to bring to the campus those students the faculty most wants to teach. THE TRANSCRIPT: Most admissions officers read the transcript as a dynamic, multidimensional document. It speaks to the student’s level of motivation: have you challenged yourself and taken advantage of the most rigorous curricular offerings or have you taken the easiest path through school? Have you demonstrated range, depth and breadth in the courses you have taken? Is there evidence of a willingness to try new things? Perhaps, most importantly, the admissions officer gains a sense of trend. Are you maturing, gaining strength in the upper grades or taking it easy knowing you have already achieved a certain level of accomplishment? The transcript provides real insights into your high school experience and should considered a valuable reflection of your academic history and potential. TEST SCORES: In addition to the SAT I and ACT, many of the more selective colleges require that students take the SAT II Subject Tests in various content areas.

23 From the admissions officer’s perspective…more
TEST SCORES con’t… Acceptable ranges of test scores vary from college to college. For the most part, test scores are used as one element of consideration,. A student’s test scores provide another clue to interpreting the overall record: another way to add dimension and detail to the map presented by the transcript. EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: Most applications ask you to list your accomplishments and extracurricular activities. Some students obsess about these and rush out and join every activity/club in their senior year. The last reason to do these things is to improve the “LOOK” of your application. Admissions officers are more interested in a depth of involvement that reflects your true interests. A person with a single interest, pursued with passion, is far more appealing than one who touches lightly on many.

When seeking recommendations, follow the same rules as for extracurricular activities. The admissions staff wants to hear from a few people who know you well and can write convincingly about your abilities. For example, a compelling recommendation may come from a teacher who gave you a “B” but speaks of your determination and tenacity in pursuing a subject that does not come easily to you. A FINAL POINT: If you see the application, transcript, recommendations and personal statement as instruments over which you have control, you can use them to build a clear and convincing position for your admission. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and put forth your best image of yourself. What’s important to remember is that your admissions profile begins the day you started high school, not just in your senior year, so remember to start strong and end strong…because everything in between matters. GOOD LUCK!

25 CHS Counseling Department Contact Information Dr. Jennifer Giordano ext 1030 Guidance Counselors (10-12) Mrs. Nancy Tenenbaum ext 1036 Ms. Susan Boer ext 1037 Mr. William Seaman ext 1038 Mr. Sam Maietta ext 1039 Ms. Patricia Nazaire ext 1040 Ms. Deb Conway ext 1041 Mrs. Marcia Hicks Ms. Bleiberg ext 1151 Student Assistance Counselor (11-12) Mrs. Judith Cohen ext 1043 Guidance Secretaries and Registrar Mrs. Cheryl Hernandez ext 1030 Ms. Amy Singer ext 1031 Mrs. Sheila Bellini ext 1032

26 We will now spend a few minutes taking your general inquiries.
Thank you for coming! We will now spend a few minutes taking your general inquiries.

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