Individual Learning Profiles
In order for students to make informed decisions about their futures, it is important for them to gain a better understanding of themselves, their interests, and their needs. To help in this effort, students take part in individual and group college planning sessions where they investigate admission requirements, discuss career paths and areas of study, and determine the benefits of obtaining different levels of degrees. Counselors help students research specific colleges and learn about financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Other discussions center around college skills for success including managing time, self-advocating, and handling new responsibilities. Together with counselors, students are able to set goals and determine a concrete plan of action.
Choosing a Major
Another facet of college planning is “choosing a major.” This begins during the interview process when parents answer the question, “What is your child interested in?” Counselors and teachers help connect families with available resources. Many students are interested in robotics, computer programming, gaming, or engineering. Others are interested in business and finance, or more artistic pursuits such as architecture. BCS provides a mentoring atmosphere and a broad array of classes and activities that tap into those areas students are passionate about.
Baseline Skills Assessment
Students at Balboa City School participate in a number of activities that help prepare them for college. Starting in 8th grade, college planning formally begins when students take the ReadiStep exam. The ReadiStep is a test created by the publishers of the SAT to provide early feedback on the skills needed for college success. This test allows BCS to create personalized educational planning for each student, based on their individual educational profile. For more information see: http://readistep.collegeboard.org/
Students often take full-length practice SATs under regular testing conditions to prepare. These tests give teachers and parents a valuable baseline from which to work in preparing students for this important college placement exam. In order to improve scores over time, English and math teachers assign and review academic activities directly related to SAT preparation, beginning in grade 8 and continuing into grade 12.