Options after High School
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Options after High School
Our son's in his senior year. He's not a particularly good
student, doesn't test well, and is not motivated as an
individual learner. However, he just came home from a
fantastic summer experience in Asia with a group of teens,
traveling, living in a village, doing community service
work. It was (by his own admission) the best thing he's
ever done and is now sad to be returning to ''normal.'' I'm
looking for programs/colleges that can duplicate that group
experience and experiential learning, as well as counselors
who can assess our son's strengths and suggest some good
post-high school choices for him to consider.
We've explored leapnow.org for our son, and we're very impressed with the
staff. We've dropped this possibility for a host of reasons, but it's
well worth checking out for your son. Leapnow.org has hundreds of internships for
young people as well as two programs that offer college credit in cooperation
with New College - one for a semester and another for a year, and both
integrate internships abroad.
We had our son take a series of aptitude tests at the
Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation, Inc. www.jocrf.org.
There are 2 days of testing, I think it was about 2 or 3
hours of testing each day. Located in San Francisco (near
BART). Then a week or so later parents and teenager go in
for the results. Receive scores on a number of aptitudes
(NOT intelligence testing...but what your natural skills and
abilities are). You also get a booklet describing the
various aptitudes and a 150 page book ''learning to use your
aptitudes.'' The testing is pricey ($600), but I thought
well worth it. It confirmed and clearly defined some things
we ''fuzzily'' knew about our 18 year old son. The counselor
gives examples of types of jobs/careers in which the
''testee'' may be happy, AND those which would be a bad fit.
This organization has been around for a long time. My
husband and his siblings were tested by them in 1970. Good
a concerned parent
This is in response to the parent seeking advice about
Alternative colleges and counselors. I know of some great
alternatives to the normal colleges. These include: The
Evergreen State College, Reed College, Antioch, Hampshire,
The New College, and the New School of Social Research.
These schools often stress experiential learning,
international travel, and putting theory into practice.
Many students with labels such as ADD or ADHD often find
their learning differences greatly reduced - or even
completely gone - when they find school environments which
work well with how they learn. It's all about context.
In response to the above, may I say that Reed College,
where I just
dropped off my Albany High graduate daughter, is not
"alternative college", but rather is an old-style school
emphasis is on academic achievement. The classes are
(maximum 14 students) and the academic program is
rigorous, but the
atmosphere is very supportive for the kids and the
curriculum caters to a
love of learning.
BTW, there are many of us who do not accept ADD/ADHD
and who feel that such problems are related to students
who, for whatever reason,
are not being adequately stimulated by their learning
activities. A place like
Reed College is often a solution to this problem, and does
not require drugs!
Does anyone have recommendations for private college counselors.
Hate to have to pay for something I feel the school should offer but it
might be money well spent. (We're not Harvard bound, we may be DVC
bound, but would like someone able to discuss the options.)
Is your son or daughter 4-year bound eventually? What are his/her
interests? Both DVC and College of Alameda have a very high transfer rate
to the four-year system. Students can also take courses at multiple
community colleges and they will appear on one transcript.
If your son or daughter is going to community college for general
requirements, then the place they feel most comfortable will work well.
Beyond that, different community colleges have excellent programs that have
a specific focus, i.e. Alameda for fashion design, Merritt for
horticulture, SF City College for culinary, etc. A few years ago, quite a
few students went to Chabot (Hayward) and Ohlone (Fremont) as well as the
Peralta District Schools (Vista, Laney, Merritt and Alamenda) and DVC in
Pleasant Hill and CCC in Richmond, both which have excellent drama programs.
The nice thing that Vista does in their course schedule that I haven't seen
at any other school is letting you know whether a course is acceptable for
the UC system or the CSU (Cal State University) system. Their spring
schedule can be picked up at 2020 Milvia.
Flora Russ, Berkeley High School
Computer Technologies Department
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