I was on Facebook the other day when my friend Jen, who occasionally writes about gifted issues (not to be confused with my other friend Jen who also writes about gifted issues), dropped me a note regarding thinking ahead to college for her middle school-aged son. On the one hand, I warned her that making college admissions a 6-8 year process would be crazymaking. On the other hand, I know when 8th graders in our district meet with their high school counselors to select freshman year classes, the school already wants to hear about college plans. Yes, from 8th graders.
And in fact, when I recently asked the counselor a question about classes my current sophomore plans to take during his junior year, I felt like I hadn’t done my homework because we don’t yet know what colleges he’s going to apply to. In fact, he struggles with the most basic questions: big school or small? I dunno? City school or college town? I dunno. I can’t blame him; did you know at that age?
Here’s the deal:
You don’t want your kid to apply to engineering schools without ever having taken an engineering class. Right? Take the pre-engineering route in high school!
You’ve got a future medical student in your hands? Be sure to sign up for the STEM research classes!
Future computer science major? There’s a (less robust) track for that, too!
And don’t forget to fit in every AP class possible! And be sure they get A’s in them even though teacher will tell you (and your student) that getting a C in such a hard class isn’t so bad. 0_0
Oh, and fit in extracurriculars and tell your child to strive for leadership roles in everything they do!
Nor pressure, though.
Who are they kidding? Quick let me take a Xanax before I start to even consider college costs!
Argh! Breathe deep with me for a minute.
Gifted kids or not, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to college. Remember when it seemed like these high ability kids would be headed to highly selective schools? Maybe they still are. Getting into top schools is a whole other messy ball of wax and as Jen and I started talking about it, I realized I knew someone who could help. Help us. Help you. Help us help you.
Admittedly, I only internet-know that person.
Back in 2005 when I was a brand-new blogger, I wrote about an op-ed piece on No Child Left Behind by Susan Goodkin. (In that same post, I also gave a shout-out to FairTest. Clearly I was ahead of my time.) I must have contacted her after that because I’ve been on her mailing list for some time.
Susan is the executive director of the California Learning Strategies Center. They provide tools and resources for parents of gifted children. I know from her newsletter that college admissions is a popular topic, so I asked if she’ been willing to join Jen and I for a Google+ Hangout On Air to talk about this.
She said yes!
We’re going to virtually meet up on Thursday March 6 at 2:00 Eastern/1:00 Central/11:00 Pacific for about 25 minutes. Anyone is welcome to join us on Google+ (details below), but (assuming all goes according to plan), our chat will be archived on my YouTube Channel available for watching or viewing at your leisure.
Are you on Google Plus? If you have a gmail account, you’re just a click away from activating your G+ account. G+ is sort of Google’s answer to Facebook. It’s another way to network, socialize and share information. The ability to interact and then archive the discussion is something I’ve been wanting to play with for quite some time. In fact, in late March, I’m going to host my first STEMchatOnAir (details coming soon).
But for now…
Jen and I are brainstorming questions we’d like to ask her, and I’m wondering if you do have a few, too. Of course, you might have the opportunity to ask during the chat, but it’d be helpful if you can ask here, so we can better plan our hangout.
Keep in mind our audience is parents of middle and high schools students and the focus is on gifted students and selective colleges (if you have a question about a 2E child and how that affects admissions, that fits the bill, too).
Ask away (here, please, not on Facebook)!
I’ll create an official event on my G+ page soon.Click here for the official event invitation.