Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
Communication, problem solving and critical thinking are much needed skills. This past year only 27 percent of students were enrolled in rigorous core courses in New Hampshire high schools. While this is a 7 percent increase from the previous year in NH Scholar high schools, the result still places students at a real disadvantage when seeking admission to college or trying to land their first job. Every student should aspire to take tougher courses and challenge themselves by completing the core subjects that will better prepare them for college and career.
New Hampshire is entering its fourth year as part of the State Scholars Initiative: a program that encourages all students to take a more rigorous course of study. Whether choosing electives, basic or upper level courses, it’s important to challenge yourself. New Hampshire Scholars partners local schools with business and community mentors to reinforce the need to learn necessary 21st century skills. These skills are attained through rigorous core courses, the same courses colleges and employers expect.
Shouldn’t I be taking these classes anyway? More than 70 percent of recent high school grads wish they had taken more rigorous courses in high school. (Source: Achieve, 2005) So, whether you plan to go to a four-year, two-year or technical school, there are certain subjects that are critical to your success. Keep in mind your high school graduation requirements may not demand all of these courses. Go above and beyond what you need to graduate. Patterned after the recommendations of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, the New Hampshire Scholars Core Course of Study includes no less than the following:
Both two-year and four-year colleges look for students who have taken this high school curriculum. Colleges expect incoming students to be able to excel in college-level courses. Students who don’t complete the New Hampshire Scholars core course of study find the transition to college-level work difficult and are generally less prepared. These students often find that they need to take several non-credit bearing classes (remedial courses) before the college allows them to begin their credit bearing curriculum.
Ask not what your community can do for you, but rather what you can do for your community. Ok, so John F. Kennedy’s speech was slightly different, but if you’ve been asked once, you’ve been asked a million times. What do you want to be when you grow up? What will your college major be? Before you can answer these questions, you need to best understand your skills and interests. Sure there are online questionnaires and personalized tests to help you, but the best way to learn what values and interests you truly have is by experiencing it yourself.
As a New Hampshire Scholar, local business partners may offer you the opportunity to tour various job sites, participate in job shadowing or informational interviews. These are all great ways to learn about specific career fields you may be interested in.
Some of the greatest learning opportunities come through community engagement. Giving back, helping others, lending a helping hand are ways to assist others, and will provide you an opportunity to learn about yourself. What skills do you possess? Do you enjoy working with others? Do you value working with children, the elderly, or those less fortunate? While getting involved in community projects will make a difference in the town you live in, it may also determine a few areas in which you’d like to pursue long-term.
Career exploration and choosing a college major requires more than simply enrolling in a challenging high school curriculum. It means networking with local community leaders, learning first-hand what your skills and interests are, and developing a well-rounded persona. Higher education institutions are looking for well-balanced students. And while the intensity of your high school curriculum is a predictor of college success, it is important to prove your ability to work in teams, be a leader, and immerse yourself in school and community activities. Become a well-rounded student by connecting classroom and community achievements.
So what should I do next?
Talk to your school counselor to develop a personalized education plan. Ensure that you are on track to graduate having completed a rigorous curriculum. Ask if your high school has signed on to be a State Scholar School. Go to www.NHscholars.org to learn more about the State Scholars program.
Remember, your future is largely what you will make of it. By getting involved and challenging yourself today you are taking the important next steps to your successful tomorrow.
Visit New Hampshire colleges
Do you offer my major? How many students go there? Are scholarships available?
How many times have you repeated these questions at college fairs? The fastest way for this information is online. With one click you have all of this at your fingertips and can visit all of the two- and four-year colleges in the state.
The site, www.VisitNHcolleges.org, offers details and links to every college and university in New Hampshire. Did you know that more than 73,000 students attend the public and private institutions in New Hampshire? Some of the best programs in the country are right in our own back yard.
Scott Power is the director of the New Hampshire Scholars Initiative, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated by Morgen Thiboult Jul 26, 2011.