Spring into Action: A To-Do List for Juniors

A UNHS Staff Article Collaboration

Attention all high school juniors! Spring has arrived, and before you know it, so will your senior year! It may seem far away, but now is the time to buckle down and take steps to ensure your success down the road. Below are some tips we’ve compiled for you to help you prepare.

(Re)take the ACT/SAT

Most students take the ACT, SAT or both during their junior year. Don’t be afraid to register early! Free resources are provided by both the SAT and ACT to help you study and prepare to perform your best when it comes to test day. If you’ve already taken one of these exams, review your score report to see what areas may need improvement. If you don’t reach your goal the first time, that’s completely normal! You can retake the exams multiple times.

Plan your senior year schedule

Work with your high school counselor or adviser to create a senior schedule that works for you. It may be tempting to take it easy your senior year, but continue to take courses that interest and challenge you. You never know where your interests may lead you!

Start exploring options for after high school

There are infinite paths for you to pursue after high school graduation – don’t wait until your senior year to consider these options! Many students pursue higher education by attending a 4-year institution after high school, but this isn’t the only path. Community college, technical school, apprenticeships, military and gap years are other viable options. Some students also consider entering the workforce right away. This isn’t an easy decision to make and it’s important to talk to your support system of guardians, advisers, coaches, mentors, and other trusted individuals to help make the decision that’s right for you.

Tour college and university campuses

If you plan on attending a college or university after graduation, now is the perfect time to start exploring campuses. If you can’t tour in-person, many institutions also offer virtual open houses, tours, and Q+A panels to help you learn more about their programs. Take advantage of these opportunities and don’t limit yourself; you can achieve whatever you put your mind to!

Register for AP® exams in early fall

If you’re planning on taking AP® exams in the spring, you’ll need to register in the fall. Deadlines vary by school, so make sure to contact AP® Services for a list of local AP® coordinators and approved test sites. For information on how to register for AP® exams, visit the College Board.

Start your scholarship search

Higher education is an investment, and it’s important to recognize that paying for it can be challenging. Make it easier for yourself by applying for as many scholarships as possible. Reach out to the financial aid office at your college of choice to inquire about scholarships. The U.S. Department of Education has also compiled scholarship resources for you to explore as you start your scholarship search. While it can seem daunting, the hard work often pays off!

Continue to get involved in extracurricular activities

Finally, it’s important to stay involved in extracurricular activities. These can vary from participating in sports, music, theatre, and clubs, to volunteering in your community or working at a part-time job. Higher education institutions love to see students exploring their passions outside of academics. Beyond this, building these relationships and experiences is vital to learning who you are and what you enjoy in life. Don’t miss this opportunity while you have it!

Dual Enrollment Examined

A UNHS Staff Article Collaboration

You may have heard the term “dual enrollment” before, but what does it mean? Dual enrollment, at its core, is a program that allows students to earn both high school credit and college credit for completing qualified courses. There are many advantages to taking dual enrollment courses, but there are a few things that are important to consider before signing up. Let’s take a closer look and examine these factors:

Advantages

Save time and money

By taking courses in high school that count for both high school and college credit, you save yourself from having to take that same course (or a similar requirement) again in college. Dual enrollment high school courses are also very cost effective since these courses are generally a fraction of the cost of a typical college course!

Explore other interests

Dual enrollment courses can help students satisfy general education requirements before heading to college, which means more time in your schedule to explore other interesting subject areas, join extracurricular activities, study abroad or participate in internships.

Get ahead, graduate early

If you decide to take several dual enrollment courses during high school, you can get ahead with enough credit to graduate early with your postsecondary degree and begin working on your life plans. This could mean starting your career, attending graduate school, or any other number of paths.

Complete college courses online

Many dual enrollment courses can be completed physically in a high school classroom or on a college campus. However, like the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS), other schools offer dual enrollment online, providing flexible college-level coursework to students no matter their location or circumstance.

Considerations

Check to make sure credit will transfer

While many colleges and universities accept dual enrollment credit, the requirements vary from institution to institution. Students should check to make sure that the college they intend to apply to will accept credit earned through dual enrollment.

You will need to meet your high school’s requirements

Most high schools require dual enrollment students to meet a particular standard. Often this involves a certain class standing (junior or senior) and a minimum GPA. Always double-check to see if you meet the necessary requirements before enrolling in a dual enrollment program.

NCAA status can be affected

NCAA policies on accepting dual enrollment transfer credit may vary based on many different factors and circumstances. In some cases, taking college courses in high school can start eligibility clocks early. Though some student athletes experience no problems participating in dual enrollment, students are encouraged to work with academic advisers and the NCAA to make sure that dual enrollment will not negatively affect their future NCAA participation.

Dual enrollment is a great opportunity for motivated high school students to earn college credit while also saving time and money on future college expenses. Are you considering dual enrollment? UNHS currently offers 10 dual enrollment courses in partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). For details on approved courses, eligibility requirements, application instructions and registration deadlines, visit the UNHS website.

If you have any questions, contact a UNHS academic adviser to discuss if dual enrollment would best fit your needs.


Productive Study Strategies for Homeschool Families

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A UNHS Staff Article Collaboration

Whether you’re a seasoned homeschooler or got your first experience with homeschool through the COVID-19 pandemic, you can always create a more productive home study environment for your family.

At the University of Nebraska High School, we have been developing distance learning curriculum for over 90 years. The academic success of each student is our top priority, and an important part of that success is productive, healthy home study strategies.

Read on to give your study routine a boost before the new school year.

1. Establish a schedule and stick with it.

One of the nice things about homeschooling high school is the flexibility you can have with your child’s schedule. You can build in time for extracurricular activities, rehearsals, and practices beyond the regular curriculum with a lower risk of burnout. UNHS courses can be completed at your student’s pace and at any time of day, so you have plenty of freedom to build the ideal schedule.

Once you find a schedule that works, develop it into a routine for optimal results. A reliable schedule makes it easier to consistently study, and regular, predictable studying habits help students retain information better than occasional bursts of studying.

2. Rely on your teachers and advisers.

Just because your family has chosen to homeschool, doesn’t mean you have to manage your child’s entire education alone. UNHS teachers, advisers and customer support staff can be contacted during weekdays and are happy to help you and your student solve problems.

By the time a student reaches high school, he or she should be equipped to independently study for periods of time. However, during independent study, it can be useful for your student to have an expert resource like a teacher to briefly discuss a problem with. UNHS staff members are friendly and passionate about elevating students to new levels of success.

3. Create concrete goals.

Measurable goals with reasonable benchmarks are a simple and fun way to motivate students to achieve more. You and your child can set an overarching goal for each course, then break down that goal into smaller objectives that he or she can accomplish in each unit or lesson.

Be sure to write down each goal and the steps your student needs to take to achieve them, then display the list in a visible place. A physical reminder of a goal makes it easier to reach. Work with your student to monitor progress and feel free to adjust goals to better fit your student’s learning needs. Developing productive study strategies is an evolving process, so don’t be afraid to change direction and try something else.

UNHS is an accredited online high school that prepares students for college and beyond with a wide variety of challenging courses. Visit our website, browse our courses, or contact us today to learn more!

How UNHS Courses Promote Student Success

 

Debby
Debby Bartz, UNHS Academic Adviser

All UNHS courses are designed with a gating and sequencing component.

Gating

Gating means only one assignment per course can be submitted per day. If students are enrolled in five courses, they may submit one assignment from each course. Gating ensures that students study at a pace that helps them understand the subject matter before moving forward with the coursework. The purpose of gating is not to delay learning but to allow students to study at a pace that sets them up for academic success and increases content retention.

Students may always move forward and explore the next lesson in a course. Parents should expect their student to complete all reading and activities within a course and textbook assignments. Although some course activities are not graded, they will help students expand their knowledge and ability to answer questions of higher order thinking and problem solving. Doing everything that is offered within a course is important for success.

By monitoring study sessions and assignments, and making certain their student has a dedicated place to study, parents can emphasize that they value education and believe in being proactive in UNHS’ academic expectations. Gating in courses is appreciated by parents as it helps students get a better learning experience while preparing them for college-level coursework.

Steps students can take toward their own success

  1. It is important to invest in note-taking that will support course, unit and lesson objectives. All Unit Evaluation and Progress Test questions are written to the objectives. Students will be better prepared for the Progress Tests if they can discuss their knowledge thoroughly and answer the objectives.
  2. Wise students will read the maps, charts, and diagrams offered throughout a course and look for patterns, variables, rates of increase or decrease, and expand the chart to predict future outcomes. Important information is missed by the scholar when these reading opportunities are skipped.
  3. Students are advised to look up unknown vocabulary that impedes understanding. Flash cards are an important tool so that students gain the ability to accurately apply the learned terms to future assignments.

Sequencing

Sequencing means all Teacher Connect Activities, Unit Evaluations, Projects and Progress Tests within a UNHS course must be completed in the order they are presented. All UNHS courses are presented in a progressive manner (step-by-step) and this helps students with both retention and understanding. Students can achieve a higher level of understanding if they go through a course correctly. Sequencing is like a map for success, and taking shortcuts may hinder the students’ intellectual development.

Gating and sequencing are tools designed to help students be successful and ensure that the love of learning will be sustained throughout their lifetime. At UNHS we believe that success in academic life is a collaborative effort involving parents, teachers, and advisers as well as the support staff who work together to ensure students always have access to a world-class education.

Advice to My Younger Self

Catherine BrackettThis post has been written by Catherine Brackett, a former student intern with the University of Nebraska High School. She offers advice to students about to begin their lives as freshmen and what she wished she could have told herself before she began her journey through college.

There are many tidbits of advice I wish I had known when I was younger–even just a couple years ago. I’m sure many of us replay events that could’ve gone differently if we had just known what the outcome would be. Although we are unable to rewind and give ourselves the advice that we thought we needed, mistakes and trials help us become the people we come to be proud of presently–flaws and all. If I can’t go back and change little mistakes that I had made when I was a fresh face in the university dorms, I hope I can provide future students with knowledge that I wish I would have known as a spunky 18-year-old.

I first advise all of my younger peers not to take courses too lightly. I was astounded when I found that many of my high school peers were flunking and were punished to academic probation–even brainiacs who did well in school. Never think that it couldn’t happen to you, because that’s when you let your guard down and assignments fall behind.

This brings me to my next point–don’t let your mistakes define you as a person. It isn’t the end of the world, even flunking out of university isn’t the end of the world. The most important thing to keep in mind if you are ever in a situation where you think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, is to keep moving forward. These mistakes are just that–mistakes. They’re usually fixable and they are meant to be left in the past.

You might not have had to study in high school, but now is the time to pick up a good habit. I never studied my freshman year, and I got a huge wake-up call my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to get by that long without hitting the library, but now, the library is one of my favorite places on campus. Find a good study spot with no distractions and make it a “home-y” place for you to enjoy on those late nights of hitting the books. Also, just because your friends may be taking the same class doesn’t mean they may be the best study tools for you. Know when to cut your friends out of the study equation if they start to become a distraction.

With all of that being said, don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to let loose sometimes and enjoy yourself. Many people may tell you that the best years of your life were in high school, but I disagree–college is. Be active and involved and you’re sure to have the best experience possible!