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February 2019


A Teen's Guide to High School Academic Programs

School Choice Collegiate Private Home School & Other Options

C O N T E N T S Teen's Guide to Academic Programs February 2019 Featured: 8   Education Our Way 13  Creating a Healing Home 16   Taco Tuesdays 18  Your Guide to High School Acceleration 20  Ask the Expert: School Options 23  Homeschool Hybrid 26  Counselor's Corner: International Baccalaureate 28  Student Voice: My Journey from IB to a Full Ride 30  So You Want to Dual Enroll? 32  Stretching the Educational Box 34  Educational Research: Dual Enrollment 36  High School Program Terminology




Letter from the Editor

By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine

This has to be one of my favorite topics to share with

unbiased assessment of how your student learns, what

parents and teens. Every day I am honored to be part of

their academic and career goals are, and what extra-

families lives as they make decisions about a student’s

curricular activities connect them to the school and

academic and career path. As I read all the articles sent


in, it reminds me how many opportunities there are for students today to find their own path to success. These

2)         How can my student make the most of their

multiple pathways can often be confusing to parents

educational opportunity to reach their goal? No matter

and teens as each program seems to state theirs is

what your student’s goal is in life, a world-renowned

better or will get the student farther. The Teen’s Guide

scientist, a physical therapist, a welder, or business

to Academic Programs provides many perspectives

owner, there are multiple opportunities to start

from educators, parents, and students.

exploring those careers in high school. Take advantage of courses that engage your student’s and sets them up

From the articles on Dual Enrollment and an Early

to be successful after high school graduation. Be sure to



ask early and often what academic programs exists to be

Baccalaureate programs, each program has its own

sure nothing is missed (deadlines, testing, new programs,

strengths and weaknesses. As you go through the





process there are some key things to ask yourself; 3)         Be involved! Working together and having 1)          Where is my student going to excel both

authentic conversations about current and future goals

academically and personally? Each student is  unique,

is important. Often students do not know what

and just because a sibling or friend did one program and

questions to ask or go along with what friends are doing.

thrived, it does not mean your student will. Do an

Be sure to ask questions of both your student and the school to make sure your questions are answered.  


Magazine articles and more can be found at Where Florida experts meet for teen success.

Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to Or visit us online: Do you want to collaborate? This magazine is designed for educators across the state to share their expertise on a variety of topics. We welcome those who would like to participate in creating this resource.


UnMazed Where Experts Meet for Teen Success


Amanda Sterk, Ed.D., is CEO of Florida Center for Educational Planning and author of College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College & University System. She currently works at Florida SouthWestern State College as Director of Accelerated Programs.. Dr. Sterk has been an educator for 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. She is founder of the Florida teen resource,Â

Contributing Writers 13


20 23 26



Aimee Carlson, Healing Homes, Walk with Aimee as an accidental opportunity yields the best discoveries of her life. From successful franchise owner to Network Marketing Professional.   Aimee has spent the last 4 years improving her health naturally and empowering families to do the same.   You matter, Your family matters.  

Gabriella Baltodano is a striving Music Therapist and seeks out positivity for other people. With her life, she yearns to make the world better little by little and cause a "butterfly effect". Her motto is "a smile makes someone's day better." One of Gabi's long term goals is to travel  and learn about different cultures while bring  her knowledge with her to make the lives of others better. 

Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at and writes about local history.

Keisha Wright, is the principal at Crosspointe Academy and is passionate about student's educational journeys. She seeks to enrich the lives of the students and parents she serves every day.

Katelyn Uhler, graduated from FGCU in 2007 with a BA in Psychology and in 2010 with a MA in Counseling. She has been a school counselor at Cape Coral High School for 5 years and transitioned into the role of IB coordinator in the fall of 2018.  Katelyn is passionate about the IB diploma program and working with students to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Mary Brady is a senior in Cape Coral, Florida. She excels  s in the International Baccalaureate program, with a focus on STEM where she wants to pursue a degree in medical technology. Mary is active in Model United Nations, lacrosse, and is part of the Science National Honor Society ad multiple volunteering organizations. She will be attending Rice University post-secondary. 

Leigh Shein performs, directs and teaches improv to all ages including kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. He previously consulted internationally and served in the Federal Government. 

Do you have a passion for teen success? Would you like to write for an innovative magazine written by educators across the state? Connect with us today!



Education Our Way How the #1 Public High School in the State Does Things Differently By: Amanda Sterk, EdD, Senior Editor of UnMazed Magazine In Building T on the Florida SouthWestern State

Student success comes at the intersection of what

College, you will find a high school that is not like

the parents want with the student’s idea of I want

any other high school in state. Florida SouthWestern

to be successful’ states Dr. Botts. We believe in a

Collegiate High School-Lee (FSWC-Lee) has decided

growth and grades mindset. It’s too shallow of a

to do education their way, and it is working with a

goal to simply strive for the A’s or the B’s but not

number one ranking according to the Florida

willing to grow academically and personally. If I had

Department of Education. Dr. Brian Botts, principal

to pick a focus, it would be on getting students to

of FSWC-Lee, states, We believe we are the on-

grow as young academics….If a student trusts and

ramp to a student’s academic future. We take that

invests in our process and allows the growth to

very seriously.

happen, the grades will come.

Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) has two

Written on the walls of the school is the school’s

early college high schools, one located on their

slogan of Work to Learn; Learn to Lead which is a

Charlotte campus and Lee campus. Both schools

cornerstone to what they do every day from their

were designed as an early college experience where

physical education class to world history. By

students learn the requisite skills in a small school

creating a rich interconnected curriculum that is

setting for their ninth and tenth grade, and

data driven and evidence-based, teachers are able

matriculate to FSW for a full-time early admission


college program where students can earn an

instruction. In an open enrollment system where

associate of arts degree before they graduate high

anyone can apply, we need to know what types of


Within the state, early admissions or

support our students will need; as an example, One

collegiate programs are on the rise but programs

of our teachers went through and pulled all data for

like FSWC - Lee take this concept to another level.

students who completed our program with an AA

Just a few minutes of chatting with a student,

degree. This process helped us know and plan for

teacher, or staff member will help one see that they

the reality that students who didn’t have a 3 or

are deliberately creating an environment that

higher on their seventh-grade math end-of-course

supports students who are naturally inquisitive, pay

exam will need extra support to succeed. Besides

attention to detail, and wants to ask and answer

looking at this large-scale type of data for

compelling questions to excel.

programmatic decisions, they do the same thing








Dr. Brian Botts, Principal of Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School in Fort Myers, Fl. when looking at student learning outcomes in a

Besides a number one ranking in the state, the school’s

course or grade level. Our teachers analyze and

focus on college-readiness skills is working and paying off

discuss daily where students are weak and need

in big ways. Recently, Florida Gulf Coast announced that



students who graduate from one of the FSW Collegiate

instruction or provide additional peer tutoring

High Schools with their AA degree will receive a $5,000 a

support to hone in on the needed skills so the

year scholarship for up to three years. Last year the two

students are successful, explains Dr. Botts on how

schools had a combined $10 million worth of scholarships

their teachers approach instructional decisions

and alumni have attended top Ivy League schools and

differently. Unlike large schools, we are able to be

many in-state and out-of-state colleges. In the end, what

flexible to individual student needs and provide

makes us unique is that we believe in the 3 C’s; Critical

tasks that they are ready for, not what some

thinking, Communication, and Collaboration. With those,

standardized curriculum demands.

our students will be successful in and out of school.






FSW Collegiate is a small school of choice school that focuses on a rigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) curriculum for 9th and 10th grade year to prepare students for an early admission college program at Florida SouthWestern State College to obtain an associates of arts degree while still in high school. FSWC-Lee uses an open enrollment, lottery system.

Key Terminology: Early Admissions, collegiate, public, charter, small school of choice (see page 38 for more)

Finding Your Path to Success Wednesday, February 27th 6:00-8:00 pm SW Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory 2031 Jackson Street, Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL




Talk with local area high schools and programs about academic programs that promote student success.

Hear from educational experts on how to be college and career ready. Topics include; Test Prep, Financial Planning for College, Scholarships, College Fit, Admissions, and more!

30+ colleges, technical schools, and educational experts on hand to answer you questions about the college process.



Girl Safety: Educating Parents and Students on Situational Awareness (Link)

AIMEE CARLSON 13 We’ve all been there, that central calendar looks like a carefully color-coded military mission control center! As a mom, trying to keep everything running like a well-


oiled machine, this is a never-ending, daunting mostly thankless job!! Who’s got time to focus on healthy snacks, preventing illness and what’s sleep??? But let’s look at the facts.  It’s staggering the overall physical and emotional health of our kids these days.  We are a society of what ever is easiest, and I personally feel this is hurting us and our future generations. Here are just some of the sobering facts.    We as a society are overweight.  In a recent study, since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the average American

By: Aimee Carlson, Healing Homes

has put on 15 or more additional pounds without getting any taller. Being overweight increases chances of type 2 diabetes, coronary disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and the list goes on.   How about our mental state?  5.1 million children have a current diagnosis of ADHD.  That’s one in 11 in the age group 4-17 years old, according to the A.D.D Resource Center.  According to the Medical Press, the percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD has nearly doubled, with the US significantly higher than other developed countries.    From the American Cancer Society, 10,590 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018.  The rate of increase in children is 24% since the 1970’s.    These







grandparents should scare us, and put us into action!! I know for me, I want better for my kids and grandkids. So what do we do?  How can we make a change within the four walls of our home?  The first thing I would recommend is to start reading labels.  I’m not just talking about the food labels here, you need to know what is in the products in your home.  Some of our everyday products are actually contributing to these statistics!! 

14 UNMAZED MAGAZINE: FEATURED I made a change in our home over 3 years ago. When I

A healing home starts with us and understanding how

switched my laundry detergent and what I cleaned my

we can make better choices. You can check out my

home with, I stopped having headaches. I made a lot of

website at and sign up for my

changes that took almost 2 years to get our homes

FREE monthly newsletter where I share tips and recipes

harmful chemical free. The difference is night and day.

on creating a healing home. I’m happy to help you take

We have increased energy, better sleep, we aren’t sick

control of you and your family’s health and wellness. It

like we used to be. Today we are proactive about our

all starts with one step!

health instead of responding to a symptom. It started

with one step and continued to embrace what we put on

our bodies as well as in them.

Walk with Aimee as an accidental opportunity yields the best discoveries of her life. From successful franchise

I am passionate about empowering families with not just

owner to Network Marketing Professional. Aimee has

knowledge, but simple effective strategies to create a

spent the last 4 years improving her health naturally and

healthy healing home that our families can thrive in.

empowering families to do the same. You matter, Your family matters.  

Top Household Ingredients to Avoid 1.    Synthetic Colors - found in foods and cosmetics 2.    Fragrance - found in personal care, laundry and household cleaning products. 3.    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)- causes products to suds.  4.    Toluene - found in nail polish, hair color/treatments, stain removers. 5.    Propylene Glycol - found in moisturizers, sunscreen, make up, conditioners, shampoo, hairspray, mouthwash & deodorants. 6.    Phthalates - found in deodorants, perfumes, hair spray, moisturizers, air fresheners, laundry detergent.

What is UnMazed: 40+



Monthly Readers

Articles, Videos & Webinars


UnMazed ( started as one school counselor's mission to bring quality, expert resources to high school students and parents across Florida for teen success in academics, college and career, and social/ emotional needs. After launching UnMazed Magazine, a digital publication that reaches over 4,000 school counselors monthly, it has grown to over 40+ expert contributors across the state and nationally. In it's first month of publication, it was read and shared over 18,000 times and is continuing to grow daily.

COMMUNITY RESOURCE DIRECTORY Teen Resources - Academic Support   - Personal/ Social Support   - Volunteering/ Internships   - Programs & Clubs College & Career Resources   - High School Planning   - College & Career Planning   - Scholarships & Financial Aid   - Colleges & Universities   - Career & Technical Programs Community Resources   - Family Support   - Educational   - Teen Event Planning   - Organizational Support


UnMazed is your Community Resource for Florida teen issues.



TACO Tuesdays Aren't Always About Food By: Gabriella Baltodano, Andrew's Anthem


Eventually you can branch this into a daily habit, maybe use it whenever you need a little pick me up because your emotions are being too much of a hassle that specific day. Recently, I have started trying to get into the habit of

odd, gives me a different perspective on the world around

taking care of myself (I assure you this blog isn't about

me. I can feel the soft breeze, the sun on my skin, and the

having a junk food day). I've realized that taking care of

sounds of nature's beauty fills me. Sitting on my roof or on

your mental health and loving yourself should be a priority.

my hammock outside is the most relaxing for me.

There are many ways to do this, some that take no more than 5 minutes. Taking a day to simply take care of

The next 5 minute break you can get, go sit outside and

yourself, unwind, and step away from your everyday

look at the trees, listen to the cars pass, feel the texture of

routine is important.

everything around you, feel the temperature as it passes

across your skin. Take deep breaths, relax your shoulders

My therapist and I created this idea called TACO Tuesdays.

and just let go of the burdens that have been bothering

This would make any regular person think of eating tacos

you all day/week. Slip into your senses and away from the

for dinner every Tuesday evening, but it is quite different.

billions of things on your mind.









Comforting Opportunities". It may not be the best title, but

Think about the day of the week that is the most stress

you have to give me some slack as I thought of it in less

filled for you. Make a silly acronym for it that only you'll

than 30 seconds. We created this in order to get me into a

understand, it doesn't have to take much of your brain

habit of taking time out of my stressful day and unwinding.

power. Make it a priority, a habit, to take care of yourself

Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually problem days for

on that day for a little bit. Eventually you can branch this

me when it comes to my motivation. I tire myself out

into a daily habit, maybe use it whenever you need a little

completely on the first two days of the school week and do

pick me up because your emotions are being too much of

not give myself enough time to take care of myself. This

a hassle that specific day. This will make you a happier

causes me to not want to get out of bed the rest of the

person-- knowing to take care of yourself is a wonderful

school days afterwards. So, we created TACO Tuesdays to

trait. Do what works for you, that helps you step away

combat this.

from the stress of the outside world for a couple of minutes. When you go back to the "real world" you will

A few things I have done on past TACO Tuesdays include:

feel much more refreshed.

reading a book, making tea, listening to relaxing music,

playing instruments, coloring, taking baths, and sitting on

Writing of the Week: A Day Away by Maya Angelou

my roof. I often combine many of these. I try to do as many as I can-- depending on how much work I have. For

If this was even slightly eye-opening to you, feel free to

example, when I read I usually always have music playing

share with your friends or people who need it. You can

softly in the background and have a tea or hot chocolate to

contact me at

drink. Sitting on my roof, though it sounds dangerous and


Your Guide to High School Acceleration High school students have great opportunities to obtain free college credits even before graduating high school! Today, Florida provides many opportunities for students to accelerate their learning through various high school programming. Earning college credit in high school is beneficial for multiple reasons.

Career Focus Time Savings In Florida, it was found that less than 67 percent of Florida college students graduate in six years, according to the Florida Board of Governor’s Accountability Rate. While not widely discussed, college is taking longer to get through as students change their degrees, have trouble meeting prerequisites, or enter programs that change their requirements. Having a student be able to focus on the generalized core courses or electives to determine their major, these credits can save students a substantial amount of time and stress.

Rigor & Independence Acceleration courses allow students to be treated as college-students. Students learn to better navigate the academic skills, such as time management, study skills, test preparation, and note taking, to be a more successful student. Having both rigor and independence can be highly motivating for students to excel.

The college course work allows students to see how they might enjoy specific career fields. Advanced lab reports, research, hands-on projects, and indepth teaching provides more opportunities for exploration into various career fields. DualEnrollment often offers industry certifications that can be directly employable after high school or with additional semester or two.

Cost Savings School districts often pick up the tab for tuition and books. Sometimes there are some small fees, but at a fraction of the cost what a student would pay after graduating high school, including room and board, tuition, fees, books, and other expenses.

Smaller Classes Taking these courses in high school or on a state college's campus guarantees small numbers and more personalized attention.

Ad anced Placement- implemented ) the College Boa d, a e standa d cu iculum cou ses taught ) high school teache s. Students a e gi en an end-of-the- ea test, that p o ides them a sco e f om - . Based on this sco e, colleges and uni e sities dete mine if college c edit can )e ea ned.. O e . million students o ld ide a e e pected to take up to million e ams this ea .


a.      St engths- AP is one the la gest and oldest accele ation methods. It gi es oppo tunities fo all t pes of students to take singleton cou ses fo potential college c edits. College c edits a e often gi en fo ce tain sco es, )ut not all uni e sities accept AP c edits. Students can take cou ses the a e st onge in athe than a hole p og am. ).      Weaknesses- While the student ma do ell in the class oom en i onment, some students st uggle on the e tensi e standa dized test. As ell, colleges ha e diffe ing sco es needed to o)tain college c edit. Fo mo e info mation a)out AP options- isit CollegeBoa d

Cam) idge AICE and Inte national Baccalau eate- 0he AICE and IB p og ams a e simila in cu iculum st uctu e ith an emphasis on intellectual igo , high academic standa ds, and st ong emphasis on citizenship. Students often appl in th g ade ith standa dized test sco es, application, and possi)le inte ie .


a.      St engths- Cou ses taught in the high school setting, )ut )ecomes a schoolithin-a-school setting as onl a select num)e of students ma ente the p og am. Students ma ea n up to c edits th ough passage of the final, standa dized test. 0he p og ams a e inte nationall ecognized. Cu entl students ho ea n the AICE o IB diploma a e eligi)le fo the B ight Futu es Flo ida Academic Schola s full-tuition schola ship. ).      Weaknesses- AICE and IB a e e t emel igo ous, st uctu ed, iting intensi e p og ams. Some students do not th i e academicall in this t pe of en i onment, some do.

DE cou ses a e college cou ses that can )e utilized in th ee a s; on a high school campus ith a c edentialed p ofesso , online th ough the college, o at the college campus. 7nlike the othe p og ams, dual en ollment students ha e to meet state e ui ements of a . un eighted g ade point a e age and specific test sco es on standa dized tests like the PER0, AC0, o SA0 https:// .fs .edu/dualen ollment .


a.      St engths- Flo ida statute e ui es all c edits ith passing g ades to t ansfe to a fou - ea uni e sit o college. Coupled ith the same cou se num)e s stem th oughout Flo ida, t ansfe a)ilit is simple. College cou ses a e also ) semeste , so students can ea n c edits at a faste ate than othe accele ation methods that a e ea long, such as AP, AICE, and IB. DE students ha e full access to the college’s esou ces, such as the li) a , academic esou ce cente s, tuto ing, acti ities, and Hono ’s P og am. ).      Weaknesses-Students a e t eated as a college student and a e e pected to ha e academic independence. Student’s a e c eating thei college official t ansc ipt.


Ask the Expert By Rob Hicks, School Counselor at Fernandina Beach High School, Author of

I am looking at different school opportunities to teach my student. I need help figuring out what to do.

ROB HICKS In today’s educational landscape there are many different options through which one can attend school. Understanding these options can be a daunting task for a parent as their differences can be slight and vocabulary unfamiliar. The difference in a program a family chooses to use can carry slightly different names but vary greatly in result. So, let’s take a close look at some of the different programs available and some of their key differences.

private and public online schools. Some of the public ones are run by the district. In today’s educational landscape there are many different options through which one can attend school. Understanding these options can be a , some by the state, some by the school, and some by third party vendors. The biggest difference here is that these institutions






attending an online school do not have the same

Perhaps, the most confusing term related to school choice relates to home school. That is because students and parents often use that term to describe any time spent enrolled at a school that doesn’t

autonomy that a homeschooled might have in choosing their curriculum, but they do have considerable flexibility in when and where they attend class.

"There is a lot more to consider and a lot more in ol ed hen choosing to become homeschooled or taking school online." happen at a school. However, families are often using this term too generically. This is sort of like someone saying I’ll have a coke when they really mean they’re going to have any type of soda, not necessarily a Coca-Cola that comes in the bright red can. To be precise, the term home school means the parent is controlling what is taught to the student. If they want to spend 6 hours a day teaching about the cultivation of fig trees, well they can do that. And if they want to, they could call their cultivation of fig tree class United States Government. I should note that I’m not suggesting that any homeschooled family has done anything like this. I’m just trying to make the point that the family is fully in control here. Homeschooled students must also be registered as such with their local school district and document in one of a few ways that they are progressing in their education. Another very important note on home school is that it doesn’t







accredited one at least. Many other students will not come to a physical school but will receive their education online. There are







homeschooling can become blurry when a family chooses to use an online school provider to supply their homeschool curriculum. This a common practice especially at the high school level because few families feel qualified to teach a variety of more complicated subjects that one typically finds in high school. Ultimately what this means is that students and parents need to be careful with the terminology they use. Don’t order a coke if what you really want is a Dr. Pepper. There is a lot more to consider and a lot more involved when choosing to become homeschooled or taking school online. Both of these courses of study take self-discipline from the student and parent and neither typically entirely cut out public school districts. As you meet with school officials be certain you understand the terminology you are using and do not be afraid to ask lots of questions.   



Homeschool Hybrid Ability to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

By: Keisha Wright, Principal at Crosspointe Academy Many families today are looking for educational

an ideal fit for their family.

One such school,

flexibility when it comes to their student’s learning for a

Crosspointe Academy in Fort Myers, Florida, has offered

variety of reasons. While many are interested in

this unique educational program to their community for

homeschooling their students, they can quickly become

several years.

intimidated by certain subject topics, keeping their child

school, we found the school that he fit in and felt

busy, or ensuring they have the college-readiness skills

comfortable at. He has flourished in all aspects of his

to be successful in their post-secondary endeavors.

development. The hybrid school model and small

After several years of struggling in

school environment is perfect for him, reviewed Mrs. Many parents are finding the hybrid homeschool model

Miles, a current Crosspointe family member.

84,000 students estimated home education students in Florida

Mike McShane, education contributor to, believes hybrid homeschools are becoming the wave of the






interesting for two reasons. First, they blur the lines around what we consider a school. According to one of Crosspointe middle schooler

I don’t go to school, I

homeschool with my friends. With the proliferation of new technologies and resources, it is much easier for

58,000 families choose home education for their child(ren)

families to get high-quality materials and instruction for their children in a wide range of subjects. It is also easier for families to network with each other and find opportunities to collaborate," McShane reported in his May 21, 2018 Forbes article.   In keeping with the highest of educational standards, Crosspointe is registered with the Florida Department of Education and accredited through the Florida Christian Coalition of Private Schools Association. Their volunteer

Resources Lee County

board of directors, a group of dedicated visionaries comprised of business professionals, parents, school administrators and a church pastor, provides guidance and assistance to ensure the institution delivers an affordable, private, Christian school education in a structured,

Florida Department of Education McKay Scholarship Florida Parent Educators Association






students. Mrs. Coe, Founder and Crosspointe Principal has a heart to shepherd each child. 

I want to meet a

child where they are educationally and prepare each student for what God intends for them. Future plans include partnerships with the community of southwest Florida to bring programs that will further benefit the families, indicates Mrs. Keisha Wright, High School





Programs such as fine arts through Creative Theater Workshop, vocational/technical, an online academy option, and scholarships for those who may need assistance will enhance our educational model and provide more opportunities for quality education with

Seton Testing

excellence and Godly character for all children.  


Whethe is man ea s a a o sta ing ou ight in the fa“e…. e a e he e to HELP! At Flo idian College Planning Resou “es ou goal is to edu“ate, e aluate, and e e“ute a plan fo ou famil that na igates ou th ough the unfamilia o ld of finan“ial aid, ationalizes “ollege and “a ee sele“tion, and ans e s the daunting uestion Ho on ea th am I going to PAY fo this? As “ollege planning SPECIALISTS, e ha e lea ned that man families, ithout guidan“e, make “ostl mistakes hen planning o not planning fo “ollege. Thousands of dolla s ma be SAVED b p ope planning. This is impe ati e “onside ing ou ma be spending the la gest amount of mone in the sho test amount of time than ou e e ha e o e e ill in ou enti e life. It is ou passion to utilize a holisti“ app oa“h to de elop an indi idualized plan fo ou and ou famil that integ ates ALL ou finan“ial needs. Please pe use ou site, attend one of ou f ee o kshops and lea n ho e ma be able to help ou de elop a su““essful st ateg to not onl PLAN and PAY fo “ollege but also to PRESERVE ou eti ement.


l a n o i t a n r e t In e t a e r u a l a c c a B By : Katelyn Uhler, IB Coordinator at Cape Coral High School What makes the IB program different? The IB program is a

CAS, students must develop plans to meet goals in the areas of

comprehensive program in that it requires students to study

creativity, activity, and service. Students in the diploma

courses in 6 subject areas over the course of the 2

program have made plans such as learning how to cook,

year diploma program.  Students take courses in language and

crochet, run a 5K, reach a PR in their sport, volunteer at a

literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies,

nursing home, and raise a certain amount of money for a

sciences, mathematics, and the arts. They are also required to

charity. CAS often requires them to go out of their comfort

complete the IB diploma core which consists of the extended

zones and have experiences they wouldn't have otherwise

essay (a 3,000 to 4,000 word  research paper),  theory  of


knowledge, and creativity, activity, and service (CAS).   What also stands out about the IB program is the way students The IB program is designed to develop students into more

are assessed. In other  programs  students take a single final

than learners. Throughout the program students are taught to

exam and that is what determines whether they pass and could

embrace all of the IB learner profile traits (see image). They


are encouraged to be well-balanced as they complete

Diploma Program  each subject area has at least a few

their creativity, activity, service (CAS) portfolios.  To complete

different components that are factored  in to  the final subject






area score. For example, in English Literature, over the two


Example of IB Progression Plan at Cape Coral High School

years of the course  the students have a written assignment (essay), oral presentation, individual oral commentary, and two written exams.  These four scores make up the final English Literature score on a scale of 1 to 7.  The IB assessments are designed to give students multiple ways to express what they have learned.  

What are the benefits of IB?  Is it worth it?  Students have consistently returned to say it was hard, but it was most definitely worth it. 

They have been accepted into

competitive univerisities  such as Harvard, MIT, University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins, and West Point.  The program is

Who are IB students?   IB students are motivated by rigorous coursework.  They enjoy taking on new challenges.  IB students don't give up when things get hard, they are resilient and determined to succeed.  IB students are independent and collaborative workers.  They are effective time managers who enjoy being involved in and out of school. 

constantly reflective and always striving for better.  

IB students

are passionate about learning not just factual knowledge, but knowledge of themselves and those around them.  They are 

internationally standardized and recognized. Students can earn college credit based on their individual subject area scores.  Students who earn their IB diploma have the ACT and SAT test scores waived for the Florida Bright Futures scholarship program.  The program has proven to strengthen time management skills and build research and essay writing skills.  At Cape Coral High School the program has student and family supports such as: student socials, study sessions, family potlucks,







My Journey from IB to a Full Ride By: Mary Brady, Cape Coral High School IB student

I have to admit, I was hesitant to join IB. I started high school at a different school, so joining IB meant having to switch schools a year through high school. Despite my concerns, I made the switch to Cape High and joined IB, and it’s safe to say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I joined IB because I knew of its recognition in the global community for how it prepares students for college, and I was not disappointed. I’ve always been interested in STEM and had my sights set on becoming an engineer, and IB has allowed me to prepare myself for a career in STEM based on the classes I have available to me. I’ve taken biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and physics, just to name a few. I love the classes that I take, and I look forward to go to school because of what I learn each day. I know what I learn will help me to do well in college. I also love how IB earns me college credit at some schools, so my hard work now will allow me to have more room in my schedule for other classes in college.

Mary Brady at her fly-in for Rice University, where she will become an Owl for the 2019-2020 school year. STEM, it also opened my eyes to career paths in International

One unique aspect of IB is having to take college level

Relations, which I will consider as a possible career. The IB

courses in all subject areas, not just the ones you like,

curriculum has turned me into the best student I can be. The

unlike AP or AICE. By taking IB history, english, and

prestige of IB and the knowledge I have gained during my

foreign language courses, I have learned more about

time in this program has also helped me get into my top choice

myself and my aspirations. Prior to joining IB, I had my

school, Rice University, which I will be attending on a full ride

heart set on STEM and never really considered any

scholarship beginning in fall of 2019. I can confidently say that

other career path. Since IB allows students to learn

I would not have achieved my dreams without my experiences

about so many different subjects, my aspirations

in IB.

have evolved. While IB has cultivated my love for


72 Florida Association of IB World Schools

High schools in Florida participate in the IB Programme

While the IB curriculum itself is unmatched, the teachers and

and talented group of peers. The people I met that day made

support staff really make it special at our school. None of us

me feel so welcome, from helping me find my classes to just

could succeed without the amazing educators, counselors,

starting a conversation. Today, these people are some of my

and coordinators that we are surrounded by each day at

closest friends. That’s one of the things I love about IB. All of

school. Any of my teachers are willing to do almost anything

us are going through the same thing, and we are all here to

to help me succeed. Whether it be offering tutoring after

help each other. We have become a family, and I’m so glad to

school or sponsoring an activity that we might want to start,

be a part of it. IB has done so much for me as a student and as

the support that surrounds me in IB makes all the difference.

a person, and I can’t wait to continue to use my knowledge and values gained from my experience in this program as I

From my first day in IB, I was surrounded by the most amazing

chase my dreams in college.


So You Want to Dual Enroll? Student questions answered As director of a dual enrollment program for a Florida state college and a former school counselor for an early college/ collegiate program, I receive a lot of questions from parents and students interested about the dual enrollment process. Every state college has unique processes and policies regarding dual enrollment. I would suggest to speak with your school counselor and check your local college's website on more specific details.

Why should I do dual enrollment? The top reasons I hear why students do dual enrollment is that is saves them time and money. With college costs continuing to rise, dual enrollment is fast becoming a great way to access college at no cost. The Florida Department of Education also found that students who dual enrolled completed college 1.4 years sooner than non-DE students. There are also other reasons that students dual enroll. Students often take on dual enrollment want to be challenged





conversations and tasks that engage the student as a critical thinker and problem solver.

What classes will be helpful for dual enrollment? If you are considering dual enrollment, it is important to have a strong emphasis in your core classes, such as mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies. Particularly, I see students who have been successful in Algebra 2 have some of the greatest success at transitioning to some of the courses. As well, your English coursework

AMANDA STERK should have introduced you to concepts such as MLA

How many years do you recommend being dual enrolled

format and the essay writing process. There also is a need



Every student is different on this. Traditionally, students







management, organization, and independent studying.

begin with one or two classes their sophomore year, and increase their dual enrollment load their junior and senior year. We are finding more students choosing the early

What is a typical workload for dual enrolled students?

admission program, where students can go full-time to

The difference I see with the workload is that students have

college for their junior and senior year with the possibility of

more independent studying that needs to take place versus

earning an associate of arts degree by the time they

a traditional high school course. College professors expect

graduate high school. Last year, we had 181 students

you to take quality notes, seek assistance when there are

graduate with their AA degrees.

questions, and to actually read the assigned textbook/ readings. Most professors state that for every credit taken in dual enrollment, three hours of studying is required a

What do I need to become dual enrolled after the end of

week. So, a typical 3 credit course is approximately 9 hours

next year?

a week of studying course material.

You will first need to put in an application to the college as a dual enrolled student. Next, you need to submit your test scores (PERT, ACT, or SAT) to qualify. You will then work

What is the difference between online and in person dual

with your school counselor to register for dual enrollment


courses. Students have to maintain a 3.0 high school grade

Online gives students more flexibility to meet their needs.

point average to stay eligible (3.5 for sophomore and

Many students are limited to taking dual enrollment


because of transportation issues. However, online courses allow students access to college courses they would not normally have. Several high schools have assigned study hall

Will I be able to handle the workload of dual enrollment

periods that only online dual enrollment students take. The

and afternoon activities?

biggest difference is the student has to be sure to

The one nice thing about being a college student is your

thoroughly go through the Learning Management System

schedule is flexible and you can pick the days and times of

(for us Canvas) for readings, discussion posts, and

classes that work best for you. More students are choosing

assignment submission. Note with it being electronic, there

a combination of on-campus and online courses. I would

is a time stamp for everything. So professors can easily see

caution taking on too much work because college

when you logged into the course, how much time you spent

coursework can quickly catch up to you and I have asked

in the course, when you submitted your materials, and how

students, “Why did you fail?” and often the response is, “I

you compare to all the other students. So there is no, “My

took on too many hours at work (or activity) and got

computer had trouble and I could not submit.”

behind.” Because of the money being saved by taking these college courses, i would focus on academic success first.

What kind of testing is involved in dual enrollment? Required testing scores are set by the state and for certain

When is it best to take the PERT test?

courses you need different scores. For state colleges, we

It truly depends on what your academic goals are. I typically

allow students to take the Post Educational Readiness Test

see 10th graders taking the PERT test to be prepared for

(PERT) which is an online, untimed test; the ACT test; or the

dual enrollment. Fortunately, the test is given daily and

SAT. We even allow students to SuperScore between all

throughout the year, unlike the ACT or SAT which run on

three tests.

specific days throughout the year and is more limited.




LEIGH SHEIN 33 Our daughter never really fit in the standard educational

set by the school. As a home education student, we, the

box. It started in when we had to move her from a

parents, act as our daughter’s advisors and approve her

traditional preschool to one that focused less on “pre” and

curriculum. This allows us to loosely follow a standard

more on “school”. Her kindergarten teacher identified her

high school curriculum, but not be bound by many

as gifted, a supportive principal provided her with

standard requirements.     Our focus is on courses that

advanced work, and ultimately she was able to skip first

engage her interest and create a solid foundation for

and third grade. Many believe that grade acceleration

future work. For example, as a possible art major, she has

causes social issues. In our daughter’s case, it resolved the

been able to follow the advice from art schools to take as

social issues caused by being so far ahead of her age

many college level art classes as possible. Rather than

peers. She did well and enjoyed school through eighth

take the required Introduction to Literature class she

grade. Well, eighth grade was a little rough.

took a literature class on graphic novels, which happens

to be her focus in art. Not wanting to take the required

Since our daughter was so far ahead, we decided to take a

Composition I and II courses, she took advantage of the

bit of a break from the intensity of school. By starting

CLEP test and received credit for both.

home education freshman year, she was able to stay on

grade working with a tutor for math and science but also

When I asked my daughter what she thought about home

have more time to be a kid. Taking the Lee County End of

education and dual enrollment, she said, “I was

Course exams allowed her to begin building a transcript

apprehensive at first because I enjoyed most of my public

with her first two high school credits. Luckily, the Home

school, and I wasn’t sure what to expect with

Education Coordinator for Lee County asked about our

homeschooling. Now that I’m in my fourth semester as a

plans for the following year, and after we realized we had

dual enrolled home education student at FSW, I think it’s



been a really good decision. I’ve had so many

Southwestern State College (FSW). Our daughter could

opportunities that I never expected were available. Most

start as a high school sophomore, there would be no

importantly, I can make my own educational plan.”

minimum number of classes, no required major and no

In addition, she will already know the ins and outs of

cost. We thought, “Why not?”

college classes wherever she goes from here.

We found the college easy to navigate, and everyone was

So far, this plan has served her well. Of course, this route

helpful and friendly. Although she is younger than the

might not be right for everyone. It requires very active

average student, there are a lot of dual enrolled high

participation by parents and students, working together,

school kids. Getting used to the routine took some effort

in academic planning and logistics, often without much

and there were some bumps in the road keeping on track

outside advice. It’s important, but not easy, to

with the workload. However, academic supports such as

differentiate when you are talking to your student as

multiple tutoring options and professor availability make

their academic advisor and when you are talking to them

it hard to fail. To us, as parents it seems less stressful than

as a parent. Understanding what a subsequent academic

the average high school.   The biggest disadvantage for

institution will look for in a non-traditional student is

our family is the lack of a transportation system. Since

required in order to make course and activity choices

she is too young to drive, it does mean transporting our


daughter to and from school.






Ultimately, I think the combination of a dual enrollment Now in her second year, she has been taking 3 or 4 classes

and home education may be the secret weapon for those

per semester. Dual enrolled students attending brick-

students wanting to control their future and go beyond

and-mortar schools follow guidelines

the educational box.


NATIONAL DATA ON DUAL ENROLLMENT Columbia University (Karp, Calcagno, Hughes, Jeong & Bailey, 2007)

National data from 200,000 dual enrollment students

researched 300,000 dual enrollment students from Florida and New York and found students who took dual enrollment courses in high school were more likely to: Graduate from high school, Enroll in college,


Start college in a 4-year institution, Enroll in college full-time and Stay in college at least two years.

growth in 10 years

Three years after high school graduation, students who had participated in dual enrollment courses in high school had earned


attended college after high school

higher college GPAs and more post-secondary credits than their peers. According to Kilgore and Wagner’s (2017) Research in Brief, dual enrollment has been found to provide students with a wide range of potential benefits including; Helping prepare students for the academic rigors of college; Improving students’ motivation by offering interesting


attended their DE college after high school graduation

courses and high expectations; Promoting relationships between colleges and high schools; Providing a college course experience to populations traditionally underserved by higher education; Contributing to a college-going culture in the school district; Enabling students to become accustomed to the college environment; Increasing the likelihood that high school students will graduate from high school and enroll in college; Building college awareness among students who typically would not consider enrolling in college.



FLORIDA DATA Â Florida is leading the way in dual enrollment, providing increased programming initiatives to save valuable time and money for students. Current state data shows that dual enrollment students are more likely to continue in the Florida College System or State University System as well as graduate earlier than non-DE peers.

Dual Enrollment Enrollment Continues to Rise for Florida Students 65,000


60,000 55,000 50,054













Florida DE Students Complete College Faster than Non-DE Peers 5 4.5






4.5 2.8




2011-12 DE








Terminology: ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) AP courses are college-level classes taught in high school, following guidelines and covering material that should prepare them to take Advanced Placement tests offered by The College Board. AP courses have a final AP exam that students need to take. College credit is dependent on the score of the exam and the university they are attending. ADVANCED STANDING CREDIT Credit for previously completed college-level work or demonstrated knowledge of a subject granted by taking advanced standing exams, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, and other similar programs. CAMBRIDGE AICE PROGRAM The Cambridge AICE program is based on an international curriculum and examination system that emphasizes in-depth understanding of a variety of subjects and a broad range of critical thinking skills. Similar to the IB program, course exams determined college credit. CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students with the academic and technical skills and knowledge to be career ready.Many CTE courses are taught in the high school setting through Academies or at a local community college. Some typical programs include Firefighting, Culinary Arts, Automotive Technology, Medical Welding, and Automotive. COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP) The CLEP is a set of tests that can be administered to students who desire to obtain college credit by taking proficiency tests in selected courses. If the student scores high enough on the test, college credit can be awarded. There is a charge for each test taken. Information concerning an individual institution’s policies toward CLEP Tests can be found in the institution’s catalog. DUAL ENROLLMENT A process allowing high school students to take college-level courses that can be transferred to a college or university for credit. It may also be called Concurrent Enrollment. The credits may be available both for college and high school credits. There are different requirements to take dual-enrollment, such as a specific grade point average or standardized test scores. EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL Early College is a high school program that combines the high school curriculum with the first two years of college. When a student finishes the early college high school, he or she has a high school diploma and possibly an associate’s degree or two year’s equivalent of college credit to transfer to a four-year college. This approach especially targets students who will be first in their family to attend college, and/or of lower income means, as it makes earning college credits more affordable and more accessible.


High School Programs GPA (GRADE POINT AVERAGE) Quantitative measure of a student's grades. The GPA is figured by averaging the numerical value of a student's grades. It is cumulative, starting freshman year: grades count every year. A poor GPA in ninth grade can drag down the overall average, despite, for example, good grades junior year. Some schools weight their GPA’s by adding points to more rigorous courses like honors and college-level courses. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS High school graduation requirements are the classes (or units) needed to receive a high school diploma. Every state has different requirements so it is important you are not missing any requirements or you are not able to receive a standardized diploma.  INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) The International Baccalaureate program provides participating high schools a challenging academic course load and additional learning projects. IB challenges students to excel in their studies and encourages both personal and academic achievement. The IB program lasts two years and requires students to take a relatively prescribed academic program. Typically, students apply in 8th grade and enter into pre-IB courses for the 9th and 10th grade.

NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY National Honor Society is an organization at participating high schools that recognizes students for academics, service, leadership and character. Each Honor Society chapter establishes rules for membership that are based upon a student's outstanding performance in the areas of: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. Students in grades 10 through 12 in a school with both an official charter of the National Honor Society and an active affiliation with the national office are eligible for consideration for membership in NHS. PLAN TEST This test is usually taken in the sophomore year to prepare the student for the ACT. PSAT PSAT is shorthand for Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. This standardized test is practice for the SAT and covers reading, math and writing. It is typically taken during a student's Sophomore or Junior years (grades 10 or 11). This test is offered for a fee at high schools. A fee waiver is often available for students from low-income families. The PSAT also qualifies the 50,000 top scoring students across the United States for the National Merit Scholarship. More information and the official student guide to the PSAT can be found here. SMALL SCHOOL OF CHOICE Small Schools of Choice (SSCs) are schools that are deliberately small, to allow a more personalized experience to students. They often incorporate principles of academic rigor, personalized relationships, and relevance to the world of work.








A parent and student's guide through high school to college. "This is guidebook is so exciting! You have done wonderful things for our students and now for our community. I am glad that you have written a book to help all high school students and parents out" Kathleen, Parent

Profile for UnMazed

UnMazed Magazine- Teen's Guide to Academic Programs  

UnMazed Magazine is a parent and teen magazine written by educational experts for Florida high school students.

UnMazed Magazine- Teen's Guide to Academic Programs  

UnMazed Magazine is a parent and teen magazine written by educational experts for Florida high school students.