777. Expert Interview: How to Prepare Your Student to Apply to College
“I’ve tried to convince them that we should be spending more time on figuring out what their child’s talents are and go that way instead of spending that amount of time trying to get your SAT or ACT scores better. Because that is only going to be a onetime shot.”
Dr. Carolyn Jerdan has been in the educational field for over 20 years, serving as a teacher, counselor and schools administrator. She’s worked in private and public school ranging from preschool to adults. After completing a BA and MBA at Northwestern University, she earned a Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Maryland. She’s presently teaching Latin and Bible classes at Johnson Ferry Christian Academy, and also serves as the college counselor and guides the students through the college search and application process. She’s excited to be working with students as they mature and develop intellectually and spiritually. Her passion is to help students realize their uniqueness and God-given talents so they can better plan for their future.
How to Prepare Your Student to Apply to College
“I have found that when the kids are applying to college—often in their senior year—they have not really thought about what they want to do with their life. They are just picking a college. Maybe their parents went there and their friends are there, or something on that order. But they have not even considered what majors are offered at the college they choose, or what they are really interested in. So, I have been trying to work with them to help them learn more about themselves first.”
Why Is This Important?
”Often, when students are in high school, they just start thinking about a job: how much money it is going to pay, what their working hours are going to be. And that is about as far as they go. At this point, on their own, they just are not connecting the dots. They have not thought about how they would fit into the job or the college or whatever. Without guidance, there are just a lot of pieces missing. They do not even know where to go to discover themselves.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
“There are a lot of self-inventories student can take. In particular, I’m familiar with the Highlands Program—which includes a battery of self-discovery tests—that has really helped a lot of kids. This tool actually sharpens their understanding of what they are naturally good at. The problem is, when they come out of school, they have only done academic work, so they do not really know some of their hidden talents, and may not have explored their interests and innate abilities. While it is true there are a lot of assessments available, the key is getting students to be willing to try an assessment and then to talk about it. This kind of self-knowledge is immensely valuable at this point in their lives.”
Connecting With Carolyn Jerdan
Website: Johnson Ferry Christian Academy https://www.jfca.org
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