Thursday, September 20, 2012

9th Grade College Night: The 3D-Model

Last night we had a packed house for our 9th grade parent college night.

Our overarching goal was to educate our parents about the college counseling program, to ensure them that they were in good hands, and that every student would find a college fit.

It's important at this stage in the process to keep it simple.

9th graders are having enough difficulty just adjusting to being in high school.

One illustration I like to use with 9th graders to help them visualize what they should aim for in all four years in high school is the "3-D" model."
The aim is to go "up, "in", and "out".

Up:  Each year aim to go to the next level of appropriate rigor in terms of ability and readiness in each of the core academic disciplines (math, science, english, humanities, language).  Aim also for incremental performance growth.  

In:  Get involved.  Join a club.  Or a team.  Or a theater company.  Tech crew.  If there isn't a club that you wish was on campus - lobby to start it up.  Lend your talent, abilities, and passion to the school community.  And over time, find ways to lead and influence. 

Out:  Find ways to move beyond your school community out into the broader local and global community to give yourself away to others.  Colleges are hungry to find students who are a part of the Generation G movement - young people who are committed to a lifestyle of generosity and transformation.  To be a change agent is to be someone who brings order to chaos.  This can be as simple as volunteering at the local chapter of the Boys and Girls club.  Or partnering with organizations like charity: water, Invisible Children, and The Adventure Project to help give people a "hand up".  Or daring to start a grassroots project to help repair, store, and heal what is broken in your neighborhood and city. 

In a recent Times article, in fact, the Dean of Admission at Harvard, Bill Fitzsimmons, addressed many of the the 3-D's that they are looking for a candidate.  

There is indeed a simplicity on the other side of complexity.

And Out.