Family Resources on Plan For College

Lesson Topic

Students discuss college freshman year scenarios and develop plans for their future.

Essential Question

How can I be ready for the challenges of college freshman year ?

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Plan For College – Resilience

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about preparing for various difficulties that many college students will face. In class students discussed challenging college situations and developed plans to deal with these situations.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features several unnamed youths and a college counselor who shares misconceptions high school students may have about college. Many high school students are not fully aware or prepared for the vastly different post-secondary education culture compared to high school.

Conversation notes:
Regardless of whether an individual student is planning to attend a two-year or four-year college or not, researching colleges and preparing for the differences between high school culture and post-secondary culture is essential for success. For example, the culture and expectations in an apprenticeship program or a full-time job will be different from the culture and expectations of a high school student.

Some useful background information “The 12 Most Common College Freshman Mistakes” by Kayla Soyer-Stein:

The College Board operates a useful website for college planning, Big Future:

This article by Dr. Drew Appleby is also a good resource:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

What do you think is the biggest difference between being a high school student and a college student? Are you prepared for this? Why or why not?

Create a to-do list for the rest of this school year of things that you need to do to prepare for college. Is this list adequate? How do you know? Who are some people you can ask to offer feedback for your list? Ask several people and reassess.

Who are some adults in the community who you can talk to about preparing for college? Why would these people be helpful? Spend time with several and ask about college and preparing for college. What did you learn from talking to these people? What actions do you need to take now and in the next few years? Why are these actions important for success?

Identify a current college student or a recent college graduate that you know in the community. Ask this person for advice on preparing for college. What did you learn from this person? Was their advice helpful? Why or why not?

School to Home Resources on Plan for College

Lesson Plan

Getting involved

Before starting freshman year in college, students should develop a plan to become involved in college activities. As an example, the link below is to the “Student Life” webpage at the University of North Georgia. Every college website should have a similar page. Using this page develop a list of at least ten campus groups or activities that you think you would find interesting. How would you find out more information about each group or activity? Why are interested in these? Develop a timeline to research student groups and activities you are interested in at the college you plan to attend (you should have this ready before freshman orientation for your college).

With independence comes responsibility

Take a look at this article from the American Psychological Association about preparing for college (you will not have to read the entire article). Scroll down to the section titled “Student-Teacher Contact is Less Frequent and More Formal”. Read this section. What are your plans for dealing with this? Now scroll down to the section titled “Students Must Be More Independent and Responsible”. What are your plans for dealing with this change? Why do you believe your plans will be effective?

College entrance requirements

Take a look at the college entrance requirements from the Georgia Futures website. Assess your situation. Are you on track to attend either the state university system or the technical college system? Does it appear you are prepared to start your freshman year? Why or why not?

Preparing for freshman year

Review this timeline for senior year college planning from the Georgia Futures website. This planning tool (and others like it) are useful because it is thorough and relatively succinct. It may include steps that may not apply to your individual situation. Assess your current college admission plan. Are you on track? If you are lacking steps, what actions do you need to take? If you are up to date, are there future actions that you had not considered? Develop a set of action steps to be prepared for freshman year. Why is the best plan for you?

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