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Making post-secondary plans

Posted September 12, 2012 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

Fall is an exciting time for back to school. It is also a terrific time to create or revisit your student’s academic plan. Whether your child will one day pursue college or a skilled trade, post-secondary education requires planning, and it is never too early to start.

    • Course selection. Did you know that the classes a student takes in high school carry the most weight when it comes to college admissions? It’s true. Be sure your child is taking the courses she or he needs in order to pursue the post-secondary options you would like to have available. High school graduation requirements are often not the same as college entrance requirements.

    • Rigor. Taking rigorous classes should be a priority for any college-bound student. It is important that students are challenged and build their skills in order to be successful at the post-secondary level. Balance is equally important, however. Overloading on Advanced Placement courses, for example, may not be in your child’s best interest. Your child still needs to perform well academically in all classes, participate in extra-curricular activities and community service and often hold down a part-time job.

    • Talk about it now. No matter how old your child may be, it is never too early, nor too late, to discuss post-secondary plans. What do they see themselves “being” some day? Do they have colleges or trade schools in mind? What do they think it will take to get there? Once you begin the conversation, you can often find simple ways to support your child in working toward those goals.

Information provided by Heather Isaacson, director of academic planning and mentoring services, Home Remedies, a division of Optimae LifeServices,, 515-243-7810.

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