Submitted by Valley View School District:
More than five dozen Valley View School District 365U high school students spent time in the classroom this month learning how to best prepare for life after high school.
The two-week College and Career Readiness Workshop, co-sponsored by VVSD and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), featured everything from tips on how to assimilate into high school life for incoming freshmen to information on financial aid and scholarships and writing essays and completing college applications for incoming seniors.
Classes were divided by grade level with activities ranging from large group “icebreakers” to one-on-one and small group encounters, all lead by ISAC representatives.
"You need to get involved in extra-curricular activities,” ISAC’s Zoe Kudla told freshmen and sophomores in a session Thursday. “You will develop skills that will enable you to be successful in later years.”
Kudla indicated studies have shown being involved at school leads to better grades, higher standardized tests scores, and higher self esteem. Involved students, she added, have better time management skills, and are better communicators and leaders.
“You are more likely to be hired if you have these skills,” she said. “If you know your future career path, develop skills specific to your career path. If you don’t know what you want to do right now, that’s OK.”
Throughout the two weeks, the freshman-sophomore track students also received basic information on the types of colleges, degrees offered, campus life and admissions standards. They also learned about goal setting and how to create a career profile.
Juniors received more specific information about financial aid and scholarships, college admissions criteria and campus life. They created an ACT study plan and learned how to create a professional resume.
Seniors obtained very detailed information on how to search for financial aid and scholarships; examined timelines for, and learned how to complete, college applications, wrote personal statements and created a personalized college-going calendar.
ISAC was created in 1957 by Illinois lawmakers to ensure that financial considerations did not prevent Illinois students from realizing their postsecondary educational goals. ISAC acts as a centralized source of information and guidance with a high priority placed on making postsecondary education accessible and affordable for the students and families of Illinois.