If you’re in high school and you’re thinking about going to college, now is a good time to create a list of the schools you might be interested in. After all, there’s a chance you won’t get into all of the colleges you apply to—especially if you’re looking at competitive schools—so it’s a good idea to apply to at least a few. But how can you narrow down the thousands of choices you have? The following tips should help you create a short list of colleges that should be a great fit for you.
This is a good time to answer the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Even if you don’t have it completely figured out, you probably have some idea of the type of career you want after college. In fact, you should know why you want to go to college before you even apply, since some careers are a better fit for a trade school certificate than a BA.
So make a list of the top careers you might want to go into, and then look up the educational requirements for them. If most of them require a four-year degree, then college is a wise idea. Just make sure the schools you’re interested in have the programs you will need for your top careers. For example, if you want to own your own business, pick a school with a great business program. And if you want to be a nurse, make sure the colleges on your list all have good nursing programs.
Now that you know which schools have the majors you’re interested in, it’s time to consider the acceptance rate, as well as the average GPA and SAT/ACT scores of accepted students. This can give you an idea of how likely you are to get in. While you can typically apply to any colleges you want to, the application process can be time consuming and costly if you don’t narrow down your focus—preferably to schools that are a good fit academically where your test scores and grades are at least in the average range.
For instance, top schools—such as those in the Ivy League—often have acceptance rates as low as 5%. So unless your GPA, test scores, and letters of recommendation are nearly perfect, you have a low chance of being accepted. If you still want to try applying to top schools, you can, but just make sure you also apply to a few colleges with higher acceptance rates—such as 80% or higher—to ensure you get accepted somewhere.
Another detail to look at is where you want to go to school—meaning which city and state you want to live in for at least four years. First, think about how far you want to be from home. Are you hoping to go home every weekend, or do you want to be a plane ride away from your parents?
If it’s the latter and you plan to move to another state entirely, make sure you consider the weather first. If it’s quite different from what you’re used to, think about if you’re ready to handle that kind of change.
In addition, look into the school’s surroundings. Is it a big city or a rural area? Are there lots of stores, restaurants, museums, etc. to go to, or is it a quiet area where you can see all the stars in the sky at night? Either way, make sure it’s the sort of environment you’ll be glad to have around you for a few years as you work on your degree!
The cost of college is a big concern for most students. Make sure you attend a school you can afford. Sure, you might not have to worry much if your financial aid package is made up entirely of scholarships and grants, making tuition basically free for you. But most people have to take out student loans at some point, in which case choosing the most expensive school could be a problem.
You should also look at cost of living in the city your chosen college is in, as this will affect you even as a temporary resident. After all, you’ll have to pay rent at your apartment or house, as well as buy groceries, pay utilities, shop for clothes, etc. So try to find a school where the cost of living is about the same as where you live now so you don’t experience sticker shock once you arrive.
Finally, choose a college where you know you can have fun. You’re not going to be in class all day, which means you’ll have time to join some clubs, play a sport, or get a part-time job. So look into the extracurricular options you’ll have at your college.
You should also get a feel for the atmosphere there. Is it intense or strict, with students who are stressed and never have time to let loose? Or is it more relaxed, with lots of unique clubs and friendly students? You can find out the answer by reading reviews, talking to current students, and visiting campus when you get a chance.
These tips should help guide you as you make a list of the colleges you want to attend. But before you can go off to college, you need a high school diploma. If you’re having trouble earning that, come to City View High School. We offer small class sizes, flexible schedules, and supportive teachers who can help you on your journey to graduating from high school and applying to college!
It’s August, and that means most Arizona high schoolers have already started the new school year, so they’re done with back-to-school shopping for school supplies and clothes. Now that the dust has settled and students are getting used to a new routine, it’s the perfect time to make some resolutions for the new school year. Here are a few ideas to get you started on ways to make this school year your best one yet!
1.Think About Your Plans for After High School
Even if you’re still an underclassman, it’s a good idea to have a plan for after you graduate. After all, you don’t want to wait until junior or senior year to find out you’re missing some classes or tests you need. Start by finding out which classes you need to take just to get your diploma.
Then look into which classes are encouraged for students who want to apply to college. If you have a few colleges in mind that you want to apply to, find out what the required courses are so you can make sure you take them in high school. You should also find out which tests you need to take—such as the ACT or SAT—so you can start studying for them long before the test date.
If you don’t plan on going to college, think about the career you want to start once you graduate. Then plan to take high school classes that will help you thrive in that position.
2.Try Something New This Year
Most high school students are still finding themselves, slowly discovering their likes and dislikes as they move from one grade to another. That’s why high school is a great time to try something new.
If you’ve never gotten involved in extracurricular activities, your resolution should be to change that! Clubs and sports are great ways to not only have fun learning a new activity, but also make new friends who already share a common interest with you.
So if your high school has any interesting activities—such as an elective cooking class, a soccer team, or a French club—try out at least one this year. You never know; you just might uncover a new interest or a hidden talent!
3.Be a Leader
If your high school doesn’t have any activities that interest you, why not make one? Most schools are open to creating new clubs, sports teams, or electives if students show interest. And if it gets approved, you should be able to add “founder” of a club or team to your resume!
So consider what kind of activity you want to see at your school. Maybe it’s a Spanish club, or a lacrosse team. Maybe it’s woodshop. Either way, you can bring your idea to fruition by first gauging if other students are interested, too.
If they are, talk to the principal at your school to get approval. You’ll likely need to find a teacher who will sponsor the club or teach the class. Then you’ll need to work with him or her to determine the location, day, and time of the new activity. Once these details are worked out, you’ll be able to say you started a new club, team, or class at your school, which is a great chance to show off your leadership abilities.
4.Work on Your Grades
There’s always room for improvement, so unless you got straight A’s last year, it’s a good idea to try to bring your grades up. This is especially important if you plan on getting into college. The higher your high school grades are, the more competitive your application will be.
If you find yourself struggling academically this fall, reach out for help as soon as you can, before your grades suffer. Most teachers are happy to help students get a better understanding of the material after class, or will at least recommend a tutor who can assist you.
5.Talk to Your School Guidance Counselor
If you need help with any of these back-to-school resolutions, there should be guidance available at school. More specifically, if you need assistance with your grades, post-graduation plans, college applications, or extracurricular activities, your school guidance counselor should be able to help.
You deserve all the support you need to make this school year successful. So don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your guidance counselor when you have questions or concerns about your current classes, college applications, and more.
Here in Arizona, most of us are anxiously awaiting the start of fall. Not only will it bring cooler temperatures and pumpkin-flavored treats, but we also have some special occasions to celebrate. Just one of them is the 25th anniversary of Arizona public charter schools! Whether you’ve been personally affected by a charter school or just enjoy having options when it comes to education in this state, we invite you to join the celebration, beginning by learning a few facts about how charter schools got their start in Arizona.
History of Arizona Charter Schools
In 1994, Arizona was the second US state to initiate a charter school law, and the following year, a whopping 67 charter schools opened. At the time, those charter schools had under 8,000 students enrolled in total. By 2008, charter school enrollment had risen to just over 100,000 students. And about a decade later, interest has doubled, as Arizona has more than 550 charter schools with a combined enrollment of over 200,000 students!
Why Choose a Charter School?
Charter schools are technically public schools, and as such, they’re free to attend. So why choose a charter school over the typical school in your public school district? One reason is that charter schools have more freedom than district schools do, so they’re free to be unique enough to meet the specific needs of their students. In fact, each charter school draws up its own charter that outlines its mission, program, goals, and assessment methods—which can vary from one school to another. This allows parents to look at different charter schools in their area and decide which school’s values, teaching methods, and goals are right for their child.
At the same time, charter schools are still accountable for their performance. So they might have more flexibility in how they run the school, but they’re held to high standards just like district schools are. After all, if charter schools don’t meet the goals they agreed to meet in their charter, they won’t receive funding and can even be shut down—meaning they have an incentive to meet or even exceed the goals they set! For this reason, you can pick a charter school knowing that the teachers there will do everything they can to ensure their students are fully prepared for tests, college, and life in general.
Arizona Charter School Facts
If you’re still not sold on charter schools, these important points from the Arizona Charter Schools Association might change your mind. Consider the following facts about Arizona charter schools:
- For the fourth straight year, charter school students scored higher than the Arizona state average on the AzMERIT test—and that applies to every subject area and grade level.
- 68% of charter schools that got a letter grade in 2018 got an A or B rating.
- 56% of Arizona charter school students identify as non-white, meaning these schools have a majority-minority enrollment—which is important if you value diversity at school.
- Charter school enrollment has grown by about 16% every year since the first one in Arizona debuted.
As you can see, Arizona charter schools have a lot to celebrate this year! If you’re trying to choose the right high school for your child and are considering a Phoenix charter school, take a look at City View High School. Classes just started last week, but we’re still enrolling students, so please contact us for a tour today!
Entering high school can be an exciting time in any student’s life, but it can also be stressful—especially if you’re not sure which school to choose. After all, you can typically pick between the local public school that is reserved for students in your area, and various charter and private schools in your city. If you’re not sure which high school is right for your child, take a look at some of the most important factors to consider.
Among the most crucial details to think about is the typical class size. This is because many studies show that smaller class sizes can improve outcomes for students, especially for those who need a little extra help from teachers. So ask about the student:teacher ratio before you choose a high school. If you’re not sure what the best ratio is, note that the national average is 16:1, and Arizona’s average is 20:1. If you can find a lower ratio than that, your student will likely benefit, particularly if he or she already struggles in school.
2.Your Child’s Specific Needs
Think about what kind of environment your child excels in. Does he or she do well in a strict, structured class, or is there a preference for a setting where the students have control over the learning process? And does your child do great in groups, or is he or she better in a classroom that emphasizes individuals doing their own work? Think about these questions as you talk to staff at the high school you’re considering. You should also find out what the policies are on homework, testing, and disciplinary steps, and then consider how these would work for your child. Additionally, if your child has a disability—such as dyslexia, ADHD, or autism—it’s important to ask what kinds of accommodations are available to help.
Some of the most critical details to consider are the most basic ones, like location. It doesn’t matter how perfect a school is if your child couldn’t realistically get there every day. So make sure it’s in a location that’s convenient for your family, especially considering your mode of transportation. Think about how your child will get to and from school before you decide. If he or she will be walking or riding a bike, it’s best to choose a school near your neighborhood. You can pick a school a little farther, such as across town, if there’s a bus or if you or your student can drive to the school every day.
4.Graduation and College Attendance Rates
As you talk to the staff, find out what kinds of outcomes the average student has there. For example, how many students graduate from the high school, and how many go on to college? Graduation and college attendance rates aren’t the whole story, but they’re certainly part of it, since they can give you an idea of student success. Many high schools also keep track of where alumni go to college or which companies they end up working for after graduation, so ask about this if you’re interested.
5.Extracurricular Activities and Electives
It’s not always all about the academics. If you want your child to be well rounded, you should encourage participation in fun activities, such as sports and the arts. So find out what each high school offers. Most schools give students access to several sports teams, as well as choir, theater, art, and different languages. These might range from after-school clubs or teams you have to try out for, to classes built into the school day. Either way, make sure the school you choose has at least a few activities your child will enjoy. Even if the school is too small to have lots of clubs, it should provide opportunities for students to socialize during or after school, whether by having sports courts, community service projects, or fundraisers that encourage students to get involved.
The staff can answer all your questions, but you still won’t have a true feel for the high school until you walk the halls. This is why it’s important for you and your child to tour every school you’re considering. Some schools look nearly perfect on paper, but the overall feel is just off. Maybe the school has excellent test scores and good alumni outcomes, but the atmosphere isn’t friendly or encouraging at all. Or perhaps the setting is a little too relaxed, leaving you wondering if your child will learn anything new there. So schedule a tour where you can talk one-on-one with the staff, get familiar with the buildings, and see for yourself what kind of attitude the students have.
These tips should help get you started on your search for a high school for your child. If you happen to be located in Phoenix, we invite you to begin your search at City View High School. We offer small class sizes and a convenient location downtown that’s close to both city bus stops and light rail stops. Plus, we offer students the individualized help they need for success. Please contact us today to learn more about City View High School.
If you’re a teenager or young adult in Phoenix who dropped out of high school, and you’d like to get your GED, it may be time to enroll in ACYR’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) program. Not only will this program prepare you to pass the GED test, but it will also help provide you with the skills you’ll need to become a proud member of the workforce in the near future. It can even help you if you have your diploma and want to boost your academic skills before you take placement tests for college. So if you need guidance to reach your educational and career goals, take a look at how our Adult Basic Education program can help you.
How It Works
The ABE program is focused on ensuring Phoenix youth have the resources they need to pass the GED test so they can receive their high school equivalency. If necessary, they can also use our program to achieve English proficiency. Our staff can help students determine the right path to take once they enroll, as we’ll assist in evaluating students and setting appropriate goals before they begin the program. This starts with the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to determine where the student’s skills are when it comes to math, reading, and language.
As students continue the ABE program, our staff will carefully monitor their progress by giving more TABE testing after every 40 hours of class. This close monitoring allows us to adjust the program as needed so can we can continue to provide personalized instruction that will help each student meet his or her goal.
Keep in mind that we tend to go above and beyond the objective of helping students simply pass the GED test. We want to ensure they actually understand and retain the information they learn, so our educational strategies emphasize practical applications of what they’re learning. Our goal is to help students get not only the education they deserve, but also the preparation to contribute to society as they enter the workforce!
Who Can Benefit from Adult Basic Education?
Our ABE program is open to any Phoenix residents between the ages of 16 and 24. More specifically, we strive to help local youth who are interested in earning the High School Equivalency diploma through passing the GED test. But we also help high school graduates who want to improve their academic skills before taking college placement tests, reducing the chances of being placed into remedial classes at the start of college.
So if you want to get your GED rather than go back to high school for your diploma, and you’re worried about being able to pass the test, we can help you improve your skills in writing, reading, math, and more. In particular, we offer instruction centering on Science, Civics, Social Studies, Reasoning Through Language Arts, and Mathematical Reasoning.
Why Choose ACYR for Adult Basic Education?
You can pick from a few organizations for help getting ready to take the GED test. But when you choose ACYR specifically, you’ll get more than just some tips on studying for the exams. Thanks to our small class sizes and caring staff, you’ll get the attention of knowledgeable instructors who truly care about ensuring you understand the material before you take your GED tests or college placement exams.
And not only that, but you’ll also get assistance preparing to become employed or get further education. We teach both career and college readiness skills throughout the ABE program, and every student who participates is eligible to join our Workforce Development Program. This program has numerous benefits, including guidance on developing career skills, applying for jobs, finding internships, and more.
We strive to make it possible for all interested Phoenix youth to reach their career and educational goals, which is why we offer the ABE blended learning program. This combines traditional classroom learning with online instruction to keep the program flexible enough to fit nearly any schedule. Plus, we provide English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) for Phoenix youth who need to improve their English language skills while working toward their educational and career objectives.
Whether you want to start working on getting your GED or need to enroll in English language learning classes, we encourage you to find out more about our Adult Basic Education program. You can fill out our interest form to get started today!
Whether you’re considering dropping out of high school, or want to know if it’s worth going back after dropping out, it’s important to know the true value of a diploma. Sure, everyone says finishing high school is the right decision, but what exactly does that mean? How will having a diploma affect you personally? If you’re unsure about why finishing high school is so important, here are four benefits to know before you make a decision.
You Can Go on to College After You Graduate
Maybe you don’t think you’re going to attend college. But you never know when you might change your mind, even if it takes a few years. What if you find out your dream job requires a college degree? Then you’re going to have to return to high school before you can even apply to college, as most universities require you to have a high school diploma. Even if you’re able to find a college that doesn’t require a diploma, you’ll need one to qualify for federal financial aid. Save yourself some time and trouble by earning your diploma now so you have the option to go to college if you’d like.
Have a Better Chance of Being Hired
Even if you choose not to attend college after high school graduation, your diploma will still help you, because you’ll need it for a chance at most jobs. More specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 28 percent of jobs don’t require a diploma. Those types of jobs are usually in retail stores and restaurants, and may be perfect as a summer job while you work toward your diploma. But if you finish high school, you’ll have access to more positions, since about 36 percent of jobs require a diploma. And that requirement will be even more widespread in the future, as Georgetown University found that by 2020, about 13 million jobs will require a diploma, and only 7 million will not. So if you want to nearly double the jobs available to you, it’s a good idea to get a diploma.
Earn More Money
Another reason to get a diploma is to get a good chance of earning a higher income than you would without it. The U.S Census Bureau reported that the average high school dropout has an annual income of about $20,000, which is about $10,000 less than the average high school graduate. In other words, high school graduates tend to earn about $192 more per week than those who don’t graduate! So if you want to maximize your earnings, you need a diploma…and of course, you can increase your income even more if you follow that with a college degree after high school.
Be More Likely to Stay Employed
Finally, another reason to stay in school is that you’ll decrease your chances of unemployment in the long run. That’s because the Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered that in 2017, the unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma was 7.7 percent. Compare that to 5.3 percent unemployment for high school graduates, and you can see why graduating is a pretty big deal if you want to improve your chance of remaining employed long term.
If you’ve already dropped out of high school and want to re-enroll, or if your current high school just isn’t working for you, we invite you to look into City View High School. This way, you can get all the benefits of a diploma while enjoying small class sizes and flexible schedules. Take a look at how to enroll in City View High School, and then contact us to learn more about how we can help.
Whether you’re in college or simply a young adult trying to figure out what kind of career to get into after high school, you should look into internships. This type of work experience can be instrumental in helping you find a job you love. If you’re not sure it’s worth your time, take a look at the five benefits you can expect when you get an internship.
1.Build Your Resume
It’s not uncommon for young adults—especially current students—to have very little work experience on their resume. This can the job search intimidating, since you won’t have much at all to add to the work experience section. But an internship can change that, as you’ll have at least one solid example of work you’ve done for a company.
In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers discovered that almost 91 percent of employers it surveyed prefer job applicants to have work experience, and 56 percent prefer that the work experience come from internships. So just having one or two internships on your resume can greatly help you when it’s time to look for that dream job once you’re done with school!
2.Start Developing Your Professional Skills
If you’re new to the workforce, you need to start learning professional skills as soon as possible in order to excel in your career after school. When you’re an intern, you have the chance to start improving important skills, such as time management, communication, and conflict management.
Then there’s the fact that you’ll learn certain skills that are specific to the career you’re interested in. So, if you want to be a teacher, your internship should get you experience using certain teaching methods and technology—such as software or apps—that you’ll need to use in the classroom. If your intended field is science, your internship should get you time in the lab using the equipment you’ll be expected to be familiar with when you get a job. This way, you’ll have an advantage over the applicants who have no idea what to expect on the job.
3.Decide Which Career Is Right for You
One of the most important advantages of an internship is the chance to find out firsthand if you really want to stay in the field you’re interested in. You might think you want to be in a job where you’ll help people every day, but then realize that exhausts you and you’d rather be in an office behind a desk on a regular basis. Or maybe you think you want to be in an office environment, but find you get bored and want to interact with customers more.
These are facts you won’t find out about yourself just by studying a subject in school. You’ll have to truly experience the job to determine if it’s right for you. It’s better to do this while you’re still in school so you can switch your focus as soon as possible and end up with a job that works well for you!
4.Make Helpful Connections
Another benefit of an internship is that you get to meet plenty of people in your field. This can help you in the long run. After all, if you get hired at the company, the people you met during the internship could be your coworkers and bosses, so you already have a head start before you officially accept the job.
Even if you’re not hired at the company after the internship, you should stay in touch with the connections you made. If they know you’re a hard worker and a pleasant person to work with, they might send you job opportunities and even recommend you for a role in the future. In fact, one study found that 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking, so it’s definitely worth it to stay in touch with professional connections from your internship!
5.Get Compensated for Your Time
Many internships are paid, which means you’ll see a direct financial benefit for the time you spend working. Furthermore, you might even end up with a job after the internship, since many employers recruit their best interns for full-time positions. In fact, a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that paid internships result in job offers 65 percent of the time, and unpaid internships result in jobs about 39 percent of the time.
But even if you get an unpaid internship or don’t end up with a job from this experience, you’ll typically get college credit from approved internships. So if you’re in school, check with your career center or academic advisor to find out how much credit you’ll get from internships with local businesses. This way, you’re still getting some type of compensation for your time, aside from the other rewards you’ll reap from your internship.
If you need help getting an internship, check out our guide to get started: 6 Steps for Youth to Take to Get an Internship. And if you’re between the ages of 16 and 24 and live in Phoenix, you should look into our Workforce Development Program for help getting an internship, learning job seeking skills, and more!