Bay College Planning Specialists

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Simple Guide For College Students

By Tom Tessin

the-college-prosCollege is one of the best actions that people can take in order improve the quality of their lives. By going to college people not only increase their earning potential and employment opportunities; they also learn how to become more productive members of our society. The process for turning college students into high quality citizens begins in school. Here is a simple guide for students so that they can get the most out of their experience.

Go to Your Classes

Students pay money to attend a university and this means that they should go to their classes. The college experience is ultimately about the education process over anything else. It’s through this education process that a student is being prepared for the profession that they want to be involved in. So the best thing that any student can do is to show up for their class, be on time, and make sure they absolutely learn something.

Pay your Tuition

You can’t go to school without paying your tuition, well if we don’t take scholarships and grants into consideration. Students who have to work to attend school should make it a point to pay for their expenses while attending. Again, this is because the education for your profession is the most important reason why you’re there.

Have a Social Life

Being social in college is okay as long as it doesn’t interfere with your education. Many people get sidetracked in college because they allow the other aspects of the college life to get in the way of their main purpose for being there. Have a social life in college because it’s a part of the process for you becoming a productive member of our society but don’t allow this social life to get out of control.

Stay out of Debt

Many college students have charge cards and loans that they blow on things they more than likely didn’t need. Spending extra tuition money on foolish pleasures or things is not the best thing to do. Don’t get it wrong, it’s okay to spend some of the money on getting some of the things you want, but remember that you’re going to have to pay that money back one day. Also, charge cards are a college student’s enemy. The laws are
changing because credit card debt is out of control in this country and one part of these changes has to do with college students and credit. The bottom line is students under the age of 21 won’t be able to get a credit card unless they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can pay it off or if they have parents who can.

There are plenty more areas that can be covered for this simple college guide for students but the main thing to remember is that college is about your education and that education is what you will need in order to help you make a better life for your family and yourself.

About the author:
Find great student articles like this, and more of Tom’s work all on his student blog.

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Filed under: athletics, Bay Area, California Colleges, Campus Lifestyle, Career Path, Classes, College Debt, College Planning, High School, Junior College, Public Service, Social Networking, Students, , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Home-schooling an option for San Francisco Bay Area Children

By Keith Watkins

Due to the questionable state of our nations public school systems and the current strains placed upon our countries current economy a growing number of families are deciding to educate their children at home. The decision to home-school is a home-schoolerspersonal one and usually a difficult one. Ultimately making the decision to take control of your children’s education can, at first, appear to be overwhelming to a parent but more and more families are making the decision to home-school everyday. Homeschool students have been growing by an estimated 8 percent annually in the U.S. and as of 2007 totaled about 1.5 million.

In many places home-schooling is a legal option for parents who wish to provide their children with an alternative learning environment other than the ones that exists in nearby schools. While academic and religious reasons dominate the motivations for most home-schoolers, parents cite numerous other reasons ranging from a dissatisfaction with the public schools in their area to the desire for better academic test results and in a lot of instances parents cite the price of private school educations as being the determining factor for an ever increasing amount of families. Students who are gifted or have special needs benefit from a home school opportunity because they can learn at their own pace, whether they need to spend more time on a lesson or delve deeper into the content as a way of satisfying their intellectual curiosity. To that end, home schooling offers parents the opportunity to ensure mastery of a concept before moving onto the next, while public schools merely require a demonstration of understanding before moving onto the next concept, largely due to time constraints. 

Other students that benefit from a home school setting are those who live in rural areas and riding a bus for an hour each direction is more a waste of time than anything else. 

Home-schooling can literally be life changing. It creates personal growth for both the parent and the child. Nothing you will ever do in life will have a more profound effect on your child and your family’s future as home-schooling.

Although every families home-school is unique, certain home-schooling “styles” have become universally very popular. Most home-schoolers do not follow one style or method. Instead, they select the ideas and suggestions that fit their family and eventually end up with a method all their own.

Below are some of the most often used popular home-schooling styles found.

School-at-Home Method

Unit Studies Method

“Relaxed” or “Eclectic” Home-schooling Method

Unschooling Method

Classical Home-schooling Method

The Charlotte Mason Method

The Waldorf Method

The Montessori Method

Multiple Intelligences Method

DVD/Video Schooling Method

Internet Home-schooling Method

Did you know that the Scripps National Spelling Bee Winner for 2007 was a local Danville, Ca.San Francisco Bay Area home schooler. Evan O’Dorney, the home-schooled eighth-grader, easily aced “serrefine” — a noun describing small forceps — to become the last youngster standing at the 80th annual 2007 spelling bee. Plus, every year home-schoolers are admitted to hundreds of colleges in at least five different  countries. Those who prepare thoroughly can actually be admitted to some of the colleges of their choices with full scholarships.

Most parents are unaware of the fact that parents don’t need to be California licensed to educate their own children at home.  Home educators may establish, in California, a private school based in their home by filing a Private School Affidavit with the California Department of Education (CDE).

The affidavit does not license, evaluate, recognize, approve of, or endorse a private school. The State of California accredits neither public nor private schools. The affidavit itself is a statistical tool, and necessary to effect the pupil’s exemption from compulsory public school enrollment and attendance. By filing an affidavit you are showing intent to establish a private school, and informing the state, as required by law. Parents have been legally using this provision for many years to conduct their own home-based private schools.

Parent support groups and networks are a terrific way to get started by collectively facing challenging situations, the beneficial offerings of encouragement from other parents, the sharing of ideas, socialization and generally a way to reduce the overall stress of getting started.

If your student is into to sports, he or she may be able to participate at certain schools without actually attending. I have a personal friend that attends a charter school in Oakland, CA. His son is the leading scorer on the varsity basketball team at the public school in his local district. His dad often jokes stating that, “he shows up at games and no one in the home stands has any idea who he is”.

The California Virtual Academies  web site has plenty of free quality information and is a very good place to start your search. They are actually funded by the state of California and use the K¹² curriculum to offer California students in grades K-12 an exceptional online learning experience. With individualized learning approaches, the California Virtual Academies provide the tools kids need to succeed—in school and beyond into their college years.  Here is a news video report describing California Virtual Academies.

Below is an overview of the California Virtual Academies program:

  • Our experienced, California-credentialed teachers, who are available online, by phone, and during face-to-face meetings.
  • The individualized, engaging K¹² curriculum, which covers both the core subject areas and electives. Based on decades of education research, this curriculum packages high-quality lessons with mastery-based assessments that ensure students achieve success at each and every level. Find out more about K¹².
  • The online planning and assessment tools, resources, and hands-on materials ranging from textbooks to microscopes, rocks and dirt to beautifully illustrated classic children’s stories, and much more. 
  • Our active, supportive school community, which organizes fun and informative monthly activities where CAVA parents, students, and staff share their successes, helpful hints, and more. 
  • The high-quality, tuition-free public education that enables a learning experience that is individualized for each child.
  • We’re fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for all academies, grades K-12.

the-college-pros17

For more information on a distance based home school program please visit Laurel Springs School. Laurel Springs School is an accredited, college prep private school offering distance learning programs and teacher services for students in grades K-12. Laurel Springs uses web-based communication tools, a standards-based curriculum, and personalized instruction to offer students the highest quality home education experience based on your child’s learning style.

In conclusion, there are many many available options if home-schooling is of interest to your family. There are also many support groups, school affiliations and internet based organizations to assist in getting you started and also to guide families through the maze of of their newly discovered educational freedom. But first do the necessary research by Googling “Home School Organizations” in your City and State to gather as much information as possible.

Local San Francisco Bay Area home schooling parents should plan a visit to the upcoming 23rd Annual Christian Home Educators Bay Area Convention April 24-25, 2009. This event will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Stop by the Bay Area College Planning Specialists booth for additional information concerning financial aid and scholarships for home-schooled students.

So, whether or not you are a parent who home schools your child, the next time you hear someone make a negative remark about parents educating their children at home, keep some of these points in mind. Consider all the benefits that a home school program offers parents, and their children. You might be pleasantly surprised at the many available options that exist for  families and that of their students future in education.

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Filed under: Bay Area, Career Path, Career Search, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Consultants, Home Schooling, Parental Guidance, Public Service, Scholarship, Social Networking, Students, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ivy League admissions: a unique way to set yourself apart and

By John Dorian Chang

Are you interested in the internet? Technology? Business? Are you simply looking to standout in college admissions? Challenge yourself to a new opportunity?

Here’s an out of the box idea that will help your quest to get into Stanford: offer to be an intern at a startup!

It’s easier than you think – it requires leg-work and initiative on your part, but it looks great on college applications and can help you move your careers and professional interests to the next level.

Here are two examples of how it can be done:

1) Search for local startups through Google. Email them with a brief description of your background, and tell them you’re interested in an unpaid part-time or summer internship.

The key here is local – these will give you the best shot since it’s convenient for you and them, and there’s greater overlap in interests, backgrounds, etc

2) Browse through the online services that you use the most and love – such as Facebook, Myspace, Imeem, and so on. Look through their websites and get in touch with human resources staff or recruiters. Explain your story. Again, offer to work in an unpaid position or any position they have available

Startups are always looking for more help, especially if it’s free. Showing initiative like that in high school will impress any company. Even if they say no, you have nothing to lose.

An internship will strengthen your college application – it will bolster your work experience and leadership/initiative-taking. It will also be one helluva story to tell in college essays or alumni interviews.

Finally – and here’s the best part – it could lead to a unique and outstanding recommendation. Everyone else just has recs from teachers – what if you got one from your CEO? Win-win-win. Harvard here we come.

This is just one example of great out-of-the-box thinking. What unique ideas do you have? Share them with me by emailing john AT hopelesstoharvard.com and I’ll give you feedback!

Unique risk-taking is a surefire way to help your chances of getting into Ivy League schools. Start today.

About the author:
Are you an average student who wants to go to Harvard? Hopeless To Harvard is the story of how a B+ student got into Harvard,
Stanford, and Princeton
. Click here to learn his strategies for admissions success. Get into Stanford now!

Filed under: Admissions, AP Courses, Applications, College Planning, Internships, Ivy League Schools, Mentoring, Social Networking, Students, Universities, , , , , , , , , ,

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