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Is our education system supporting our genii of the future?

When we look at people throughout history who have made incredible contributions to society, it’s easy to assume they were all top of their class and graduated college with the highest degree. In-fact Albert Einstein was told by his teacher at school that he would ‘never amount to anything.’ It was his fascination and unique way of looking at invisible forces that deflected a compass needle and a book on science that ignited his incredible contribution to society.

Other notable people who don’t credit their school years for their success include Thomas Edison who dropped out of school after only three months of formal education. Benjamin Franklin spent just two years at the Boston Latin School before dropping out at age ten and going to work for his father. Walt Disney gave up formal education at the age of 16 to join the army and Picasso was good at the arts but not good at anything else. Even Virgin founder Richard Branson, who suffers from dyslexia was such a poor student that he gave up school at 16.

It’s not their school reading, math or science test results that measure their success.

Being a genius isn’t simply about having a high IQ or being top of your class at school. While intelligence is, of course, a part of being a genius, there are other common characteristics that genii share: a unique perception, exceptional creativity, outside-the-box thinking and distinctive self-awareness, to name just a few.

Of course I’m not suggesting that students would be better if they dropped out of school. We all need to learn the core skills in reading, math and the sciences, however, what I’ve learned over recent years is that our traditional education system doesn’t always give students the learning foundations needed to ignite their imagination and curiosity.

Renowned psychologist and child development theorist Jean Piaget made a very emotive statement when he said, “Our real problem is – what is the goal of education? Are we forming children that are only capable of learning what is already known? Or should we try developing creative and innovative minds, capable of discovery from the preschool age on, throughout life?”

To date our education system has always been based on a defined curriculum with core skills that need to be taught, assessed and measured. Yet according to Piaget’s theory, education should move towards opening children’s enquiring minds to explore, evaluate and discover the world in which they live. 

I wasn’t a great student. The classes didn’t excite or interest me. I couldn’t picture how the things we were learning, were going to impact my life. That said, it was the constraint of today’s education system that ignited my interest in THINK Global School’s way of learning. It was my parents that first heard about THINK Global School and recognized how this could be ideal for my way of absorbing information. It clearly appeared to be a better, holistic, and more interesting way of learning, that they hoped would inspire me.

There may be school Counselors out there who recognise this trait in some of their students.

The very essence of THINK Global School’s programme aims to immerse students in social and emotional skills: perseverance, empathy, mindfulness, courage and leadership are all central to this platform for learning.

During my time at THINK Global School, my ‘class’ lived in four different countries each year, making unforgettable connections between our education and the world around us. My time in Costa Rica, Botswana, India, Japan, Spain, Greece, China and Oman gave me a unique and broader perspective on life and learning. Taking Japan as one example, that module was on the history of Hiroshima and the country’s aquaculture and sustainability today. 

We were given the freedom to take charge of our learning through a combination of real-world exploration, skills, mastery and project-based activities. My exposure to learning experiences outside the restrictions of a classroom has made me mature a lot faster, which in turn has been pivotal in the way I communicate and engage with people and think things through.

Broadening horizons

While the life-long benefits are hard to quantify, the people I met, and the different cultures I encountered certainly broadened my learning experiences. Instead of a state-defined education system, we all had the opportunity to delve into project-based learning in real-life environments which encouraged everyone to apply their skills effectively and become adults very quickly.

At first glance THINK Global School may sound out of reach for some families but due to its sliding-scale tuition, the school is an option for all, regardless of their family’s financial situation. It has given me a lot of perspective and a richer understanding of different world views, cultures and people, that are helping to shape me as a member of society.

While I have a way to go before being the next Einstein or Piaget, this learning experience has given me the platform I needed to break away from any constraints and it has injected motivation and happiness into my life. I’ve not only learned key academic skills, but I’ve also developed an inspiration to do more with my life.

In 2021 I set up AlturaNFT, an API and Web3 infrastructure crypto-currency software business that makes it easier for third-party applications and video game developers to utilize the power of blockchain. At just 20 years of age, I already have 15 members of staff. I know that blockchain backed digital assets will play a significant role in the future as gamers push to have more ownership of their digital assets and I plan to be at the forefront of this transition.

Conclusion

I hope that the global education system starts to evolve, to offer a less restrictive, narrow curriculum and gives more students the chance to open their minds to the vast career possibilities. By breaking down the barriers of our current school structure we can help more students to develop key life and social skills including autonomy, cultural awareness and independence beyond academic skills. Wouldn’t it be good to hear more genii credit their school days for their success?

by Maxim Sindall, former student at THINK Global School

College Visits: Do’s and Don’ts for Parents

Most parents will join their children on their visits of prospective Colleges. How involved should they be on those visits? Here is a short list of what parents should and should not do when with those children on those visits courtesy of US News & World Report:

Don’t Micromanage

If your child will be going away to college, he or she will soon have to do many things independently. Everyday tasks like laundry, meal prep and cleaning up, which you and your family may still assist with, will soon be the sole responsibility of the student. Factor in the more demanding academic rigors of college, and you realize your child will soon have a lot more on his or her plate than before.

If you have always been extremely involved in your child’s life, it is time to let go of the reins so that your child is more psychologically prepared when the first day of college arrives. Start by letting your child make decisions about college visits, such as when to travel and which campus tour to sign up for. This way, your child will have a better feeling about the visit.

Don’t Project Your Wishes

College visits can be as exciting for parents as they are for students. You may be eager for your child to consider certain features of the campus or advise him or her based on what would be important to you as a college student.

However, this can be frustrating to high schoolers whose personalities and interests differ from yours. For instance, you may urge your child to get a sense of campus culture by attending a sporting event, yet your child may be more interested in seeing the libraries and study spaces.

It is best to avoid living vicariously through your child. Instead, put yourself in your child’s shoes and let him or her decide what is worth doing during the visit.

Keep Detailed Notes

Campus visits are characterized by stimulation and novelty; everyone sees and experiences a great deal in a short time. With all the excitement, you may not think to take notes, or you may trust yourself to remember the visit well. However, this would be a mistake, as you and your child are bound to forget the finer details, especially if you tour multiple colleges in a row.

As such, it is highly recommended that you and your student take handwritten or electronic notes. You could even volunteer to be the “scribe,” so the endeavor feels like less of a burden for your child.

For each visit, you could maintain a chart with categories for your child’s observations, such as “What I Liked,” “What I Didn’t Like” and “What I’m Unsure About.” Alternatively, you could agree to rank different aspects of the college dining options, student body diversity, closeness of lecture halls, etc. on a numeric or star scale.

It is equally important to reflect on these areas again once the visit is over and the dust has settled, giving everyone more clarity. Your child may realize that a category that initially seemed important while on campus is no longer a top priority.

Ask Questions That Prompt Reflection

If you think it is important that your child consider certain aspects of the campus, but you want to avoid sounding bossy, ask questions that prompt reflection.

For instance, you might say, “Should we go look at the fitness center in case you start working out?” or “Would it be a good idea to visit the science labs, since you’ll probably be spending a lot of time there?” Such questions can guide your child indirectly without giving the impression that you are exerting your will.

Be Alert Without Smothering

During a campus visit, your child might want to spend some time on his or her own, and it is important that you let that happen within reason. Alone time can give your child a chance to make friends on campus and get more acquainted with the college culture.

To this end, be attentive without smothering your child. For instance, you can agree to meet up after a certain hour or schedule check-in calls to make sure everything is okay. Again, the point is to give your child a healthy taste of the independence he or she is on the brink of having.

Check out the original post at US News & World Report here as well as some of their other blogs: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/college-visits-dos-donts-for-parents

How Your Students Should List an Internship on Their Resume

  • Including internships on a resume can help emphasize your work ethic and skills.
  • Applicants should only list internships relevant to a particular job.
  • Leave internships off a resume after establishing 2-5 years of professional experience.
  • Treat internships as work experience when listing them on a resume.

Why You Should Include Internships on Your Resume

Often, recent graduates lack professional experience to highlight on their resumes, making it difficult for hiring managers to ascertain their preparedness for a role. Internship experience can demonstrate to prospective employers that you are dedicated and eager to learn.

By participating in internships in college, recent grads can signal to employers that they used their time wisely and learned outside the classroom. Whether a student took on a paid or unpaid internship, they still had the opportunity to put their learning into action and gain skills that can transfer to future roles.

Writing a resume as a student or recent grad can feel frustrating — it can be a struggle to create a resume that looks robust. For those early in their careers, adding internships to a resume can demonstrate work ethic and highlight professional experience.

Examples of Internships on a Resume

The following internship resume examples provide guidance on how internships should be formatted on a resume.

Research Intern, American Heart Association
January-May 2019

  • Assisted research manager in compiling relevant data points for social media campaign
  • Formatted and updated existing research according to data management guidelines
  • Developed new system for organizing data submitted by supporters

Social Media Intern, Hays Auction and Appraisal
August-December 2019

  • Developed content production and posting schedule across social media platforms
  • Assisted in creating new posts based on company goals
  • Created system for tracking engagement and building growth on channels
  • Helped create campaign to increase followers, which led to 23% expansion

Information from this post came from Best Colleges. Check out their original post here: https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/internships-on-your-resume/

Yahoo Finance Interview with: Richard Cordray, Federal Student Aid COO

Do your students have any questions about financial aid/student loans? Here is an interview conducted by Yahoo Finance’s Aarthi Swaminathan with Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray to discuss student loan debt, tuition inflation, and the student loan payment pause. Here is the link to the video: https://finance.yahoo.com/video/yahoo-finance-presents-richard-cordray-120000791.html

Why Content (Not Structure) Must Always Come First in Any College Essay

Before we begin guiding professionals through our ten-step process in the College Essay Experience program, we ask them to name three challenges their students face when they write essays.

Many participants mention structure:

  • After years of writing in five-paragraph essay format, writing in a more freeform narrative style can be daunting.

  • How do I communicate a structure that will make sense to — and support — my students?

  • Can the Wow process work with a multiple-scene-style essay and other types of structures to catch the reader’s attention?

They are generally surprised (and relieved) to learn that we don’t teach a variety of structures, at least not in the way they might expect.

We teach content first, followed by structure and polish. We guide students through a simple, reflective writing process that teaches them how to understand the task at hand. We give them simple instructions and the freedom to make their own editorial decisions.

Structure emerges from content.

When students learn that structure comes first, they try to fit their ideas into boxes without first exploring those ideas freely. Why are our colleagues struggling with structure? Because they are taking the little pieces of content out of those boxes and trying to untangle it.

Does that sound like you?

It doesn’t have to be so hard.

If you want your students to write meaningful college application essays that are genuine, reflective and answer the prompt, you’ll need a process that puts content before structure (if you don’t have one already).

It should come as no surprise that we are not fans of the five-paragraph format; most of you are not either. But our concern about format extends to any externally imposed structure. When her children were learning to write in school, Susan wrote this insightful blog about her crusade to blow up the five-paragraph essay. I hope you’ll check it out. Substitute any structure you’ve been taught to follow for the words “five-paragraph essay” in the blog, and you’ll understand the heart of our approach.

I’m curious to know what you think. Do you teach structure first? Do you try to fit your students’ first drafts into a pre-formed structure? Does it work? Let’s continue this conversation. You can share your thoughts with me at Kim@wowwritingworkshop.com.


 Kim Lifton, of Farmington Hills, MI, is President and Co-founder of Wow Writing Workshop, which teaches students and educational professionals a simple, step-by-step process for writing effective college essays, so students can stand out and tell their stories. Kim leads a team of writers and teachers who understand the writing process inside and out. Since 2009, Wow has been leading the college admissions industry with our unique approach to communicating messages effectively through application essays, including personal statements, activity and short answer essays and supplements. Kim is also an executive board member of Michigan ACAC and a national delegate. When she is not teaching students or training professionals, Kim likes to write her own stuff, do yoga at her synagogue, drink coffee, and swim laps (slowly but steadily) a few mornings a week at the high school she attended a very, very long time ago.

Webinar: Summer Support – Guide Students Through Financial Aid Steps

This webinar shares best practices for supporting students through summer college affordability activities, like paying the fall bill and planning for indirect expenses.

You’ll be able to:

  • Describe the financial aid tasks students must complete over the summer to successfully matriculate
  • Help students understand the college bill, identify payment options, and prepare for indirect expenses 
  • Find opportunities for students to build self-advocacy skills

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Click here to register: https://uaspire.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoceusqj4rGtCN1XXgtcKLlN9CA5MriQJi

Guide to Combat College Decision Fatigue

Finding the right college can be very stressful for High School Seniors. With help and advice from mental health experts, a guide was developed that covers what decision fatigue is, its causes and symptoms, as well as 7 exercises and tips students can implement to make the admission process less stressful. There is also included a printable decision-making worksheet to aid in the college admissions process. Here is a link to the guide created by Degree Choices: https://www.degreechoices.com/blog/decision-fatigue/

Does it Matter Which College Your Students Attend?

Here is What the Experts Have to Say

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” 

– Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”

Where are you going? Deciding can feel overwhelming – especially when it comes to college selection. Is the fact that you’re attending college enough to secure your future, or does it matter which college you go to?

Choosing a college is probably your biggest, most important decision yet. To top it off, you’re facing unfamiliar, uncharted territory. From pre-school through high school, you’ve traveled a familiar path. But as you begin the college application process, the path fills with uncertainty. Why is college important? What colleges can I get into? Where should I go to college?… And, perhaps most important – does it really matter where I attend?

We’ve done the research, asked the experts, and honed in on what you need to know.

The Impact of a College Education

The college will be an exciting, life-changing experience – no matter where you go. Not only will you get an education, make new friends, gain independence, and embrace new experiences, but you’ll also be increasing your future earning potential. 

Elka Torpey, the economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), says data consistently show that employees with higher education levels typically earn more and have lower unemployment rates than employees with less education.

“According to the BLS Current Population Survey, workers with a bachelor’s degree had median weekly earnings of $1,305 in 2020, compared with $781 for workers with a high school diploma,” she said. “The unemployment rate for bachelor’s-level workers was 5.5 percent, compared with 9.0 percent for those whose highest level of education was a high school diploma. So in terms of dollars, education makes sense.”

Your College Experience

What else matters when contemplating how to choose a college? The first step is to think about what you want.

Do you prefer a large university with football games, homecoming parades, and a wider range of academic and social options – or a smaller school with a more personalized learning experience? What social activities are important to you? Maybe you’re a runner, baton twirler, or would love to join a debate team. Look for a college that will allow you to pursue your passions. 

Other things to think about when choosing a college are the distance (close to home, or not?), the available academic majors (if you’ve chosen your major, make sure your list of potential colleges offer it), on- and off-campus living facilities, and cost. As mentioned in The Ultimate Guide on How to Choose a College, think about which factors matter most, and look for a college that best suits your individual needs. 

Elite Universities…Are they Better?

Ivy League and uber-selective colleges and other prestigious schools definitely carry a level of distinction and look impressive on your résumé. But does it really matter if you go to an elite college versus a one that’s not so selective? More importantly, is an Ivy League education right for you?

Beyond bragging rights, attending a prestigious university does have advantages. Because elite colleges are often considered ‘feeder schools’ for some of the nation’s top employers, students tend to develop outstanding networking opportunities and access to prominent and influential employers. Elite schools also attract top experts and renowned lecturers in their fields.

Some studies indicate that graduates of elite schools may earn more after graduation, but others find those data misleading. Critics dug deeper and found that dedicated, high-achieving students had high-earning potential regardless of where they went to school. 

The drawbacks of attending an elite school? Not only do the Ivies cost more than many schools, but because you’d be among the country’s brightest students, the pressure and competition to get in – and stay in – can be intense. Most Ivy League and similarly selective colleges have low acceptance rates (this year’s acceptance rates were 4% for Harvard and 3% for Yale). 

The bottom line? While many influential individuals attended elite colleges, there are plenty of highly successful people who didn’t. Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Morgan Freeman to name a few, attended community college. Don’t rule out elite colleges if they’re a good fit for you, but don’t be discouraged if they’re not. 

What Is College Accreditation, and… Does it Matter? 

College accreditation is a voluntary, rigorous quality assurance review by an authorized independent accreditation agency. It ensures that an institution of higher learning complies with important criteria and meets – and maintains – strict quality standards. Because accreditation is not required, not all colleges pursue it. But…does accreditation really matter? Most experts say yes.

A college education is expensive, and many students rely on scholarships and financial aid. However, federal financial aid is only available to accredited colleges and universities. Also, if you plan to attend graduate school or transfer to another college, credits from a non-accredited school may not be transferable to an accredited school. 

If you’re interested in a non-accredited college, research it thoroughly to ensure that your degree will be accepted by prospective employers, your credits will be transferable to other colleges, and that the school is licensed by the state. If your chosen profession requires a license (e.g., mental health counselor), make sure a degree from the college prepares you to sit for the licensing exam. 

To find out if a college is accredited, check out the U.S. Department of Education’s database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

What Matters Most?

It’s clear that there are many important things to know when choosing a college.  With literally thousands of colleges and universities in the world, how will you decide which one is right for you? Will a large public university make you more successful than a smaller private liberal arts college? Will graduating from an Ivy League institution give you the upper hand? Experts agree that YOU are the most important factor.

A 2013 Gallup Poll that surveyed more than 600 U.S. business leaders concluded that the amount of knowledge and skill candidates have in a field is more important than where they attended college. Surprisingly, employers ranked as least important where a candidate attended college. More recent studies concur that it’s the quality of the student – not the school – that matters most.

Judi Robinovitz, a certified educational planner with more than 30 years of experience, agrees.

“Your dedication, drive, ambition, and commitment as a student matter much more than which college you attend,” she said. “Think about what you want in a college and – instead of worrying about the ‘best’ school in general – focus on finding the best school for you.”

It’s All About You

Research, then, concludes that for most students, where you go to college doesn’t typically matter to others – but it may matter to you. So…take a deep breath, and try not to stress about it. Choose a college that meets your academic and social needs, and make the most of your college experience. Because in the end, Dr. Seuss was right: YOU are the guy – or girl – who’ll decide where to go (…that is truer than true. And there’s no one alive who is you-er than you)!

This post was written by Judi Robinovitz of JRA Educational Consulting and Score Academies. Since 1980, thousands of families have turned to Judi Robinovitz, Certified Educational Planner, and her team of seasoned professionals to help them choose, apply to, and get admitted to their “best fit” schools, colleges, and graduate schools. Check them out at https://www.jraeducationalconsulting.com/

10 Amazon Gift Card Winners – LINK for Counselors Survey

Recently we commissioned Paramount Research to conduct a study for us on our Spring 2022 issue. Counselors that took the survey were entered into a drawing for 1 of 10 $10 Amazon Gift Cards. Paramount chose the 10 lucky winners randomly. Here are the Counselors who were selected as winners:

Candace Reedckreed@canfieldschools.net
Hillary Bushhbush@rsu16.org
Tracye Martintmartin@troupisd.org
Heather Nocerohnocero@cvcougars.org
John Quantjohnquant@regentsacademy.com
paula duncanpduncan@cpsbla.us
Alicia Kuehnakuehn@jeffcoschools.us
Celestina Ucabchernandez-ucab@swisd.net
Stephanie Laustelau@d219.org
Lorretta Evanslorretta.evans@tangischools.org

Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll

Phi Theta Kappa annually looks at all four-year colleges to see which ones welcome transfer students and publishes a list of schools that provide great pathways for students to transfer. The Transfer Honor Roll Program identifies colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of community college transfer students and applauds the dynamic pathways these colleges have created to continue fostering student success at the four-year college. The 6 areas they evaluate are:

  • Transfer Data
  • Admissions
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Campus Life
  • Recruitment Practices
  • Peer Reviews

Here is the complete list of the schools that made the 2022 Transfer Honor Roll:

Adelphi University

Albion College

Alma College

Anna Maria College

Antioch University – Santa Barbara

Antioch University – Seattle

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University

Athens State University

Augsburg University

Baldwin Wallace University

Barton College

Bay Path University

Belhaven University

Bellevue University

Binghamton University

Blackburn College

Blue Mountain College

Bluffton University

Bryant University

Buena Vista University

Carroll College

Carson-Newman University

Carthage College

Chatham University

Clarke University

College for Creative Studies

Columbia College (SC)

Concordia University-St. Paul

Cornell College

Cumberland University

Dallas Baptist University

Delaware Valley University

DePaul University

Drake University

Duquesne University

East Texas Baptist University

Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Oregon University

Eckerd College

Elizabethtown College

Elmhurst University

Elmira College

Florida International University

Florida Southern College

Freed-Hardeman University

Friends University

Georgetown University SCS

Georgian Court University

Gonzaga University

Grand View University

Greenville University

Hamline University

Hiram College

Hood College

Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois State University

Iowa State University

Kansas State University

Kean University

King’s College

Kutztown University

Lake Forest College

LIM College

Lincoln Memorial University

Lindenwood University

Lipscomb University

Long Island University Post

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University New Orleans

Marian University

Marquette University

Maryville College

McMurry University

Merrimack College

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Millikin University

Mississippi State University

Monmouth College

Mount Mercy University

Mount St. Joseph University

Neumann University

New College of Florida

New York Institute of Technology

Newberry College

Newman University

Niagara University

North Carolina Wesleyan College

North Central College

Northeastern State University

Northern Arizona University

Northern Michigan University

Northland College

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Oakland University

Oglethorpe University

Ohio Dominican University

Ohio University

Pacific University

Palo Alto University

Prescott College

Radford University

Randolph-Macon College

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rider University

Roger Williams University

Rollins College

Rowan University

Russell Sage College

Rutgers University Newark

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Peter’s University

Shepherd University

Simpson College

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Wesleyan University

Spring Hill College

Springfield College

St. Cloud State University

St. John Fisher College

Stephens College

Stevenson University

Stockton University

Suffolk University

SUNY Cortland

SUNY Geneseo

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Texas Lutheran University

Texas Tech University

Texas Wesleyan University

The College of Saint Rose

University of Texas at Arlington

Trevecca Nazarene University

Union Institute & University

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Denver

University of Evansville

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Iowa

University of Kansas

University of Louisville

University of Massachusetts Lowell

University of Mississippi

University of New Haven

University of North Texas

University of Northern Iowa

University of San Francisco

University of Southern Mississippi

University of Tampa

University of the Incarnate Word

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Ursuline College

Utica College

Valparaiso University

Walsh College

Wayne State University

Webster University

Wells College

Western Governors University

Western Kentucky University

Whitworth University

Wichita State University

Wilkes University

Wilmington College

Wilmington University

Wisconsin Lutheran College

York College of Pennsylvania

For more information on the program visit: https://www.ptk.org/recruiters/university-transfer-recruiters/transfer-honor-roll/

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