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College Awareness Month Resources: 2011

The College Awareness Month theme of “Early Preparation + Smart College Selection = College Success” inspired the creation of numerous tools and resources for students.

In addition to the resources listed below, check out:

All of these resurces are designed to help students become informed consumers of college success opportunities available to them. They are designed as standalone tools but can be used together to deliver a powerful sequence of college readiness experiences for students.

Early Preparation

A focus group with high school students highlighted their deep desire to receive information to begin preparing for college much earlier than 12th grade. Their request is consistent with research and the DTN vision of ensuring that students know what colleges expect and what steps to take to succeed in college and other postsecondary pursuits.

To meet this request, DTN has prepared the 2011 College Awareness Month Resource and Activity Guide: Grades 9 & 10, a PowerPoint tool that includes:

  • Grades 9 & 10: Are You Watching the Signals? This tool highlights smart steps 9th and 10th graders need to take to prepare for college, as well as the activities they need to think about doing to be more prepared and competitive college applicants. The tool also highlights the behaviors that undermine students’ college readiness.
  • Things I Wished I Did & Did Not Do in Grades 9 and 10 To Get Ready for College. DTN leveraged the wisdom of local high school and college students who reflected on what they wished they did and did not do to prepare for college in these important years of high school. DTN has created this as a peer-to-peer mentoring tool.
  • Scholarships, College Tours, and Community Service. Consistent with students’ request, DTN delved deeper into community service, college tours, and scholarships, providing tips from experts and quality resources to enrich the college preparation process. Notable this year is a list of fly-in college tours, which allow accepted students to visit these colleges at no cost or a fraction of the cost. These resources are for grades 9–12.
  • Roster of College Access Programs. DTN also created a roster of college access programs in the District that help 9th and 10th graders prepare for college.

Additional engaging materials targeted at students in grades 9 and 10 include:

  • Word Search Puzzle. Students can have fun with a word search puzzle, specially created for grades 9–10, to test and increase their knowledge of the college experience.


Smart College Selection

In the same focus groups mentioned earlier, students also shared that they are the “show me generation” — meaning that adults have no credibility with them without the facts. They asked to be given statistics and other information to inform their decisions about college and careers.

In response to their request, DTN has prepared the 2011 College Awareness Month Resource and Activity Guide: Grades 11 & 12, a PowerPoint tool that includes:

  • Grades 11 & 12: Are You Watching The Signals? This tool highlights specific steps 11th and 12th graders need to take to prepare for college, as well as the activities they need to think about doing to be more prepared and competitive college applicants. The tool also highlights the behaviors that undermine students’ college readiness.
  • Advice to You from DC Students in College. In this peer mentoring tool, DC college students offer their advice to students who want to do well in college.
  • Scholarships, College Tours, and Community Service. Students requested more information on each of these items. DTN compiled a list of resources for each, some of which are more extensive than others. Most of the resource lists are accompanied by tips from experts in the field on how students can best prepare for their college education. These resources are for grades 9–12.
  • Roster of College Access Programs. DTN also created a roster of college access programs in the District that help 11th and 12th graders maximize their college preparation time.

Additional engaging materials for 11th and 12th grade students to increase smart college selection include:

  • Jobs and Education. This simple set of PowerPoint slides highlights the link between education and employment. College access providers and others can use this presentation to lead discussions on the importance of smart college selection to college success. Upcoming versions of the presntation will include data on college access and completion.
  • My Best College Fit. This tool, originally created for the 2010 College Awareness Month, is designed to help students become better consumers of educational opportunities. It allows them to compare retention and persistence rates, costs, academic and social supports, and the locations of the colleges they are considering so they can more objectively select colleges they have a good chance of graduating from.
  • Word Search Puzzle. Students can have fun with a word search puzzle, specially created for grades 11–12, to test and increase their knowledge of the college experience.

View resources from College Awareness Month 2010, 2009 and 2008.


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