As parents, we want our children to have a bright, successful future. In a world that changes quickly, it can be a challenge to understand the ways we can help our children prepare for college and a career. Below are some general tips for helping your child plan for college and/or a career. You can also visit ODE Web pages on Supporting Your High School Student and Your Child's Development: the High School Years to learn more about ways to support your child during their teens.
Helping your child think and talk about going to college or what kind of career they want to explore at a young age helps communicate your belief and expectation that they will be successful. Research has shown that parents' expectations for their children, regardless of their own job or educational attainment, are some of the most powerful influences in whether a student pursues higher education. You can also never start saving too early for their education.
Click here for more information on financial aid and saving for college.
Click here for tips on talking with your child about college and career planning.
Talk with your child's guidance counselor.
The guidance counselor at your child's school is usually the school's main resource person on college and career planning. They will be able to provide you and your child with information on colleges and career colleges, college entrance tests, academic summer camps and other programs and services that may be available to your child.
Click here for a list of questions to ask your child's guidance counselor about college and career planning.
Talk with your child's teachers.
As our children enter middle and high school, we may find it even more challenging to find out from them how they're doing in school. Often, young adults who are struggling may be reluctant to discuss these issues. High achieving students that need more of a challenge may not communicate this to parents. By talking with your child's teacher, you can find out whether they need more support or excel in a certain subject. When you know what he or she needs, you can advocate for resources on behalf of your child.
Click here for tips on making the most of your parent-teacher conferences.
Encourage your child's interests.
A simple way to do this is to talk to your child about their interests and spend some time together researching related careers. Make it a game to see how many related jobs each of you can think of. Academic summer camps are another great way to help inspire your child. These camps are focused on a wide range of topics and are available across the state. Many camps offer scholarships or financial assistance. Attending camp can be a great way for your child to explore an interest in depth or get a taste of what college is like.
Click here for a list of career planning Web sites.
Click here for information on academic summer camps.
Get involved in your child's learning.
Parents and families can be involved in their high school students' education by helping them plan for college or a career. Teens can be overwhelmed during the college application process or when they are making plans for their life after graduation. Parents can help their teen by working with them to make a calendar of college and financial aid application deadlines.
Click here for checklists, timelines and activities for college and career planning.