ACT scores hold steady across the nation

October 19th, 2005 by Key Magazine

Administrators of the ACT recently released the class of 2005 results. According to the report, “average scores on the ACT college entrance exam held steady across all subjects for the high school class of 2005 compared with last year’s seniors, an indication that schools are treading water in their efforts to prepare students for college-level work.”

The ACT is used as an admissions test for about half the states, mostly in the middle part of the country, while the SAT is more popular on the East and West Coasts. Most colleges accept either exam.
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Executive-style coaching can help college freshman stay on track

October 12th, 2005 by Key Magazine

The term coach is typically reserved for the person responsible for leading an athletic team to victory. Lately, the title has been used to identify a variety of people offering an even greater variety of services such as life coach, nutrition coach, career coach and relationship coach. Add to the list college coach.

Many colleges and universities are starting to acknowledge what many adults have known for a long time: most freshmen are not mature enough to handle the responsibilities suddenly forced on them as college students. To help these young adults navigate the journey to adulthood with success, schools such as Orange, Calif.’s Chapman University have begun offering coaching services to incoming freshman.
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College campuses promote digital community

October 10th, 2005 by Key Magazine

College campuses are some of the most wired places in the country. Students at most colleges and universities can connect to the school network from anywhere on campus with, or without wires. Newsweek recently published an article on the trend for college campuses to lead the way to a completely digital world.

The most wired students in the history of the world, just like Allen, are going off to college. Today’s entering freshmen created PowerPoint presentations in middle school, if not before – and yet may have never “dialed” a telephone. They grew up digital: with PCs, broadband and cell phones at the ready. Likelier to reach for Google than for a dictionary, they live-journal their days and photoblog their snaps, trade music and swim in a sea of messages – e-mail, instant messaging and text. Some of their parents may not even know what verbs like live-journal and IM mean. “Students are so tied in to computing and networking that it’s almost like an extension of their central nervous system,” says Garland Elmore, a professor of informatics and communications at Indiana University. “It’s how they connect to their friends, it’s how they connect to information – it’s how they connect to their world.”

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Teach For America celebrates 15 years of placing teachers in urban and rural classrooms

October 6th, 2005 by Key Magazine

Teach for America, a Peace Corps for the public school system, will be celebrating its 15-year anniversary this weekend in Washington, D.C. With more than 10,000 Teach for America alumni, 3,600 current teachers in America’s poorest classrooms and 1.75 million students touched by the mission of Teach for America, it is safe to say the organization has had a definite impact on the public school system.

The Teach for America web site describes the organization as “the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools, and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting some of our nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort.”
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High school guidance counselors must wear many hats

September 28th, 2005 by Key Magazine

It is not easy being a high school guidance counselor. With all the pressures to help students achieve in the classroom, while pushing them toward college and a career, it is any wonder school counselors stay in the job.

A lot of people are interested in becoming a high school guidance counselor. Counselor Companion certainly salutes those interested in a school counselor career, but it is not easy.
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IBM encourages science and math careers

September 20th, 2005 by Key Magazine

After watching the United States loose its competitive edge in the science and math fields, IBM has decided to take action. IBM will announce plans to financially back employees who are willing to go back to school to become science and math teachers.

“The new program, being announced Friday with city and state education officials, reflects tech industry fears that U.S. students are falling behind peers from Bangalore to Beijing in the sciences.

Up to 100 IBM employees will be eligible for the program in its trial phase. The goal is to help fill shortfalls in the nation’s teaching ranks, a problem expected to grow with the retirement of today’s educators.”

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Ten hottest careers: managing your career choice when you have too many choices

September 19th, 2005 by Key Magazine

Do you remember when career exploration was playing make-believe? At any given time you could switch from being a master chef to a brain surgeon to an archaeologist with just the change of a costume. If only choosing a career were as easy as a wardrobe change.

Career exploration involves research, observation, experimentation and relationship building. And although stressful at times, it can be fun and exciting. You just need to develop the right approach to the process of looking for the right career.
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Can bribery improve school attendance?

September 9th, 2005 by Key Magazine

Bribes come in all shapes and sizes and are used for a variety of reasons to bring about a desired outcome. Now bribery is showing up in one of the nations largest school districts and the question is can you bribe students to come to school?

A recent article by Tracy Dell’Angela that appeared in the Chicago Tribune reported on a Chicago Public Schools policy to bribe students with prizes and money to improve attendance.
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Keeping students fit during school hours

September 1st, 2005 by Key Magazine

*This article by Jacqueline Stenson, contributing editor for MSNBC, about physical education offers some tips for high school parents, teachers and guidance counselors who might be struggling with balancing an educational environment with phyiscial fitness as childhood obesity escalates. Guidance counselors can share this physical fitness information with the teachers in their buildings, especially if their school has eliminated the physical education department due to funding cuts.

With schools cutting back on physical education classes, and some eliminating them altogether, the prospects for getting exercise during the day aren’t great for many kids heading back to school this fall.

So what’s a parent to do to make sure their children get the exercise they need?

For starters, don’t rely too much on gym class, experts say. While some schools are updating PE to include in-line skating, elliptical trainers, wall climbing and other popular activities, more schools are reducing or stopping their PE programs.
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Volunteering sets students a part

August 31st, 2005 by Key Magazine

This article about the benefits of volunteering appeared in the Sunday edition of the Courier-Post and was written by guidance counselor Mark Petito.

As a guidance counselor at Deptford Township High School, I see a tremendous need for high school students to volunteer their time with community service projects or area agencies. Not only is there a great need for volunteers, but volunteering can bring students many benefits in the future.
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