Transitioning from high school to college is a big milestone for students. Students are starting a new chapter in their personal lives and education. As a school, you do your best to prepare your students. There’s a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes to get students ready for college. Today, we are sharing our best tips for helping them prepare for college and making the transition more manageable.
Get Transcripts Ready
First things first: College admissions require high school transcripts. Transcripts need to meet minimum state and accreditation requirements. Make it a priority to finalize junior and senior transcripts.
With more and more colleges seeking out students, you could create a section on your school’s website where colleges and universities can go to request student transcripts. Make sure your contact information is visible, front and center, on your website. Since schools work on reduced hours during the summer, always make sure someone is on staff to answer the phone and reply to emails. Or, have a system set up where emails can be forwarded to the right person.
Prep for Testing
Inform juniors and seniors of the testing options that are available to them: the CLT, SAT, and ACT. The sooner you do this, the better. The CLT, also known as the Classic Learning Test, is an alternative to the SAT and ACT but is not accepted by all colleges. In making your recommendations, you’ll want to consider what your students’ future plans are.
Encourage students to begin testing early and to test often. This gives your students more time to prepare and more opportunities to achieve their goals. Some colleges participate in “super scoring,” in which they take the best scores from each section and combine them.
Offer the PSAT, a practice version of the SAT, to be administered at school for 10th graders. Note that the PSAT test administrator must have a master’s degree to give the test.
Provide SAT and ACT testing dates and locations. Instruct your students to keep track of the dates online, especially given changes due to COVID-19.
You might be wondering what the difference is between the ACT and SAT. The student’s individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses determine which test they’ll perform better on. Recommend to students that they take both tests and see which one they perform best on.
Give Personalized Assistance
Provide specific guidance to your students and their parents on the tasks essential to preparing for college. Have a staff member available who can answer students’ questions and help guide them through that process. If your school doesn’t have a guidance counselor, provide teachers and parents with information so they can help students.
Create a timeline and checklist to help get students in the right mindset for the process of preparing for college. Remind your students that it’s all about following the Lord’s will and trusting God to guide them where they’re meant to be.
If you have a student who’s in need of classes that your school doesn’t offer, consider ProTeach options. Students are able to take these classes, such as physics or chemistry, online.
Provide Easy Access to Information
Providing easy access to information is crucial in getting your students ready for college. If you’re an administrator, reach out to admission offices at colleges and ask them if they have resources they can share.
Have admissions staff from colleges visit your school and discuss the college admissions process with students. Encourage your students to plan college trips. Some colleges may be holding virtual events, which could be beneficial for students and parents.
Consider Dual Enrollment
Dual enrollment is a great option for students that can ease the transition from the high school classroom to college. It also gives students the opportunity to take courses from a university without having to pay the full price of college classes.
Consider offering your students the online option through Pensacola Christian College. Christian school students can take dual enrollment classes online through PCC and get an early start on earning credits toward their degree while experiencing college expectations as they take classes in a variety of subject areas.
While there’s no foolproof way to ensure your students are ready for college, you can try your best to equip them as much as possible. After transcripts and standardized testing are out of the way, it’s a matter of helping students choosing the college that’s right for them. You can do it!