UnMazed Magazine: Teen's Guide to Florida College Admissions (August 2019)

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August 2019

UnMazed Magazine

Teen's Guide to Florida College Admissions


C O N T E N T SÂ Teen's Guide to Florida College Admissions August 2019 Featured:


3 Steps to a Great College Application

10 R U Ready Webinars 11 4 College College Application Apps 12 Letters of Recommendations 14 Download: Teacher Recommendation Form 16

Jumping the Hurdle of College Tuition

18 College Application Types 20 The Importance of Nurturing a Growth Mindset 22 The Benefits of Thankfulness 24 Teens & The Importance of Job Shadowing 25 4 Ways to Find a Job Shadow Experience





Letter from the Editor By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine asterk@unmaze.me

This month’s theme of the College Process, includes articles on finding your fit, college visits, and college research, showcased the importance of asking the right questions to find where a student can be academically and personally successful. The contributors, several new to UnMazed, have given insightful information about the college process and some of the various questions or aspects that many families simply do not know to ask or look for. Tameka Lee gives some easy steps on the college process. Often students get bogged down by the "process" where it can actually be quite simple once you have found your college match. New author, Stephen Keck, gives some great insight on how to request and receive a great letter of recommendation, often used in both the college admissions and scholarship process. As well, Madelyn Gapko discusses a very pertinent and necessary topic- paying for college! Her tips and information will be sure to be a favorite of yours. UnMazed is always grateful to welcome back Rob Hicks and his insight as a school counselor who helps thousands through the process. While the college process can be stressful, it can be a beautiful journey for a family when given the right tools for success. After guiding thousands of families through this process myself and have written the book on the high school to college process, I see how invaluable early quality information can be. The best advice- do not be afraid to ask questions and ask them often until you get the right answer. And when you find a good resource (like UnMazed) SHARE IT!! We all have to be in this together, and it is why we have dedicated this month’s edition to helping you!


Magazine articles and more can be found at www.unmaze.me Your complete set of Florida resources for student success.

Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to asterk@unmaze.me. Or visit us online: www.unmaze.me 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 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, www.unmaze.me.Â


The only high school to college guidebook created exclusively for Florida students "Dr. Sterk has a gifted ability to understand the perspective of others which positions her as a true student advocate. College UnMazed will certainly guide the college applicant in a caring, confident, wise manner for their success." Nancy Jordan, Ed.D. Educator & Administrator

AVAILABLE NOW @ REDUCED PRICE Retails for $36.95 (Amazon & Barnes & Noble) On Sale at www.unmaze.me for $32.95

TOPICS THAT MATTER Topics include: 1. Academic & Career Planning 2. Developing a College List 3. Applying to Colleges & Universities 4. Scholarships & Financial Aid 5. Organizational Tools for Success

COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT College UnMazed provides you comprehensive support through the entire college application process. From detailed charts, infographics, student examples, and resources, this is the most comprehensive guidebook on the market.

College Admissions in 1, 2, 3 Research Students should research colleges by utilizing websites such as Big Future, Cappex, College Raptor to find schools that fit a student's personality, career interests, and academics. Visit multiple campuses and college fairs. Write out lists of pros and cons.

Documents Ensure you have all student documents edited and ready before starting the application process. Items often needed: High school resume, college essay, transcripts, ACT/ SAT scores, recommendations, residency documents, personal information

Apply & Follow-up As you apply, be sure you understand what is being asked in the application. Never send unless thoroughly edited and reviewed. Once a student applies, be sure to check the online portal to ensure everything has been submitted. Be sure to check email and portals for additional information.


Key Steps to a GREAT College Application By Tameka Lee, M.Ed. School Counselor The first day of school is fast approaching and students are gearing up for another productive school year. The beginning of the school year involves new course schedules, new teachers, new friends and overall new challenges. Starting the school year as a senior presents even more challenges. Seniors are preparing for a new journey after high school, whether it may be going to college, military or working full time. Students will spend their last year of high school deciding on their future. For the students that have decided to attend college, applying is a process but the earlier you begin the process the less likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. College admissions is a very competitive process. You are competing with students from all over the state and even the country to gain entrance into your first choice. How do you stand out? What will set you apart? A college application includes: the application itself, an essay/ personal statement, letters of recommendations and standardized test scores (ACT, SAT). Your application should highlight awards and accomplishments, extracurricular activities, leaderships positions held and community/ volunteer service. Let’s break down the different parts of a college application.

Letters of recommendations: Colleges usually require at least two or three letters of recommendations. The best way to ask for someone to write a letter is via email. Keep in mind people tend to be busy and an email seems less intrusive. The person you ask should know you and be able to write on your behalf but be sure to provide the person with information that you want highlighted in the letter. Also make sure to give them enough time to write the letter, preferably two to three weeks. Test Scores: This is probably the least favorite part of the application. Most students dislike taking the SAT and/or the ACT, but it must be done. Ideally, it would benefit students to begin testing the summer going into junior year. This way you have an idea of how these tests are structured and a better idea of what and how to study. Some students hire tutors, however, this can be costly. There are plenty of websites that offer study guides. Check out Collegeboard.org and ACTstudent.org for study guides, practice tests and dates of testing.

It is also a positive to add any awards, accomplishments, extra – curricular activities, volunteering and community service to your application. It will help you stand out. College applications usually have deadlines in early spring but as I mentioned The essay: Writing a personal essay is a great way for earlier, the admissions process is very competitive, so the admissions committee to get know you on a more the sooner you start the application process the better. personal level.When writing your essay, give yourself Ideally, it is best to begin working on college enough time to brainstorm, draft and revise it. Some applications at the end of junior year. You should give colleges may provide a writing prompt and others may yourself time to work on the application, the personal ask to write on a topic important to you. Two important statement, plenty of time to complete the college things to remember when preparing your essay, do not entrance exams and enough time to ask the right wait last minute and make sure to proofread. people that can be provide a reference for you. with the Hillsborough County School District. Tameka has Tameka Lee is a school counselor and currently works

worked as a counselor since 2011 and has worked with students of all ages. Tameka attended Florida State University for her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Troy University for her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. One of the reasons she enjoys working with students is the fact that she gets to engage students on a personal level and assist with immediate and future needs.


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EVENT DETAILS: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:00 pm Join us each month for an informative live video webinar where numerous higher education and community organizations discuss topics that are important to families navigating the high school to college process.


Registration provides you access to the live webinars to ask your questions or to access the replay at your convenience. www.unmaze.me/webinars


#stayready September 10th Testing: How 2 Prepare 4 ACT, SAT & PERT October 15th College Applications: What U Need 2 Know November 12th FAFSA: Accessing Free College Money December 10th Scholarships: Tips & Tricks on Local, State & National January 14th Mental Health: Living Your Best Life February 11th Career Pathways: Finding Your Career March 10th Academic Planning: Determine Your High School Options April 14th Award Letters & Budgeting: How 2 Fund Your College Experience


College Application Apps


C'Reer App

The C'reer app matches students with their college choice by taking a quick 5-7 minute personality test which indicates what career they would be best at. From there, the app shows universities and colleges that have the majors to obtain the career, and then connects students to admission representatives from that school.


Prep4ACT (SAT)


Scholly App


The Prep4ACT & Prep4SAT app helps study for the ACT/ SAT on their own time. Their lessons and practice sets makes studying manageable for busy students. It also contains analytics to see the student's improvement over the course of the app. This app gives over 60 lessons, 1,000 flashcards, and 1,000 practice questions. After a brief diagnostic, the app customizes a course for each student's needs.

Without fail, every parent and student conversation I have asks the question, "Where do I look for scholarships?". The Scholly app, as shown on Shark Tank, asks a series of questions and formulates what scholarships are worth applying for. For the few dollar charge, it does not "sell" your information and you are not bombarded with ads.

Common App App Common App onTrack is a companion tool to the Common Application, a application that is used by over 700 colleges throughout the United States. Common App onTrack helps you stay on track with what you need to successfully complete your college applications. You can view each deadline and submission status, add and invite recommenders, and create your own list of reminders and task.



Letters of Recommendations By Stephen Keck, FGCU Graduate Student

Letters of recommendation are a vital component

That shows the student’s strengths or what

to obtain for someone at any point in their career.

skills college/job are looking for in their

For high school students, it may be a new


requirement for them to investigate. Many post-

The student has known for some time.

secondary options, including colleges, vocational

That each know or see the student from a

schools, and employment require some form of a

different perspective; from school, a job,

recommendation letter. How can students learn to

service learning‌etc.

obtain a proper recommendation? There are several important factors. For example, obtaining a letter of recommendation involves professionalism and some etiquette. Students will want to find out first what they need the recommendation





necessary. This will allow the students to tailor

Types of people the student can ask: Teachers (current or former) High school administrators Service Learning supervisors Extracurricular (clubs, sports) supervisors Employment supervisors or managers

who they ask for a letter. Once they figure out who the letters are for, they can begin the task of

People to try and avoid asking for a letter of

finding professionals in their life to ask.


Ask people:

Friends Family

The students have a professional not personal relationship with.


4 STEPS TO A GREAT RECOMMENDATION 1 Think of counselors, teachers, and other professionals that can attest to your academic and personal character. Follow guidelines on which recommendations to submit.




Create a well-written resume that details your high school career, including academic achievements, extracurriculars, and other important factors that may useful when talking about you.

Allow your recommenders plenty of time to write the recommendation. Provide a copy of your resume, schools you are applying to, and all documents needed..

These letters take considerable time. Follow up before deadline with a small token of appreciation to show your gratitude in their extra effort.

Infographic from: College UnMazed: Your Guide to the Florida College & University System

professional and student. Understanding the

Process for asking the person: Give the chosen person a specific deadline

process to ask for one, and who to ask, are

when the letter needs to be completed.

important skills for students as it is something

Tell the person what you need the letter of

they will need most of their lives. In addition, it is a

recommendation for: college requirement,

necessity whether they plan to attend graduate or


post-graduate school or continue working in a



career of their choice.

employment. Give copy of resume. Ask







reference. Once they have given the student the completed letter, send a thank you note. Â Most places ask for more than one. Thus, it is more well-rounded for students to ask different professionals in their life that see them using various skills they will need at their college or employment. A good rule of thumb for how long a student can use a letter of recommendation for is about 3-4 years. At that point, they can find a new one which is an update on their skills as a

Stephen Keck is a graduate student in School Counseling at Florida Gulf Coast University in my final year. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Film at The Ohio State University. His goal is to advocate and help students achieve their goals.


TEACHER RECOMMENDATION Teacher’s Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________ Student Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Course(s) with this Teacher (i.e., English 2): __________________________________________________________________ Date of Request: ___________________________

Date Needed: ________________________________________________

Thank you so much for agreeing to write this letter of recommendation for me. I asked you because I think you are a teacher who knows me well and who can accurately evaluate my potential for academic success in college. This information may be helpful to you as you write the recommendation. 1. I think my academic strengths are…

2. I think my personal strengths are…

3. I am considering the following college majors because…

4. Some of the things I want the college admission and/or scholarship committee to know about me…

5. The specific things I hope you discuss in this letter…

6. What I remember most about your class…

7. Additional information that might be helpful…

Name of colleges I am applying to: Again, thank you. I know this is a big time commitment, and I appreciate your help. Sincerely,

Excerpt from College UnMazed: Your Guide to the Florida College & University System




Jumping the Hurdle of College Tuition by. Madelyn Gapko, FGCU Graduate student in School Counseling

Searching and applying for scholarships can be a daunting task. Once discovering a possible scholarship, you may be surprised at what it takes to apply. Another way to fund your college tuition is through loans. Loans are often misunderstood though they could be vital to your future. Allow me to give you an inside view into what you can do to ease into this process. How to Apply for a Scholarship There is a scholarship for almost everything. This process also takes time, some research, and you may have to write quite a few essays. Scholarships and financial aid information can be found on the website of the colleges you are applying to or through various websites. Here are some key points.

Madelyn Gapko, a School Counseling graduate student at Florida Gulf Coast University, writes about student success and the process of entering college. She is also interested in working with high school students and their families in the areas of career, technical schools, military, and college. She is a member of ASCA and the Lee County Medical Reserve Corps. Madelyn enjoys family genealogy research in her off time along with reading fantasy/adventure novels.

What to Expect When applying for a scholarship, there are usually some criteria that needs to be met. For example, the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship requires high school students to complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA). This is different than the FAFSA. In addition, students must be a Florida resident, a U.S. citizen, acquire a Florida high school diploma or its equivalent along with a few more requirements. Once meeting the general requirements, there are also specific requirements for each scholarship. This may mean accruing a certain number of community service hours, establishing a specific GPA or achieving a particular score on the SAT/ACT. Finally, there may be a written portion to submit within a certain word count. This may range from 50 words to a onepage essay and this will differ depending on the prompt that is given.


Tip #1: Apply EARLY. This goes for any grant or scholarship. Once the money is gone, it is gone. Tip #2: Take your time reading the prompt and answer each part. A maximum word count of 150 words may be something that you can accomplish in 20 minutes, but this is your time to shine! Make each point matter. It is ok to talk about that “C” in science or why your grades dropped during the last semester. The reviewing committee wants to know how you overcame these challenges and what precautions you will take in the future to prevent further difficulties. Tip #3: Focus on scholarships that are local in county, city, or state. These scholarships usually want to see you give back to the community and will invest in your education to do so. Below is a helpful link with a wealth of information on further requirements: https://blog.prepscholar.com/florida-bright-futuresrequirements-sat-act-and-more The Deal on Student Loans Currently, 1.569 trillion is owed in student loans in the United States (Goldy-Brown, 2019). Nervous yet? It goes without saying that this should be the last option on your list. Although loans are something to use with caution, they can also be quite helpful. So, sit back and let me give you the lowdown on student loans so this option for funding college tuition won’t seem so scary. What to Expect Loans are money that will need to be paid back. Federal student loans come in three forms: - Direct Subsidized Loans: These are based on need and given to undergraduate students. - Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are not based on need and are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

- Direct PLUS Loans: These are not based on need but will require a credit check. This loan is available to graduate and professional students along with parents of dependent undergraduate students. You also have the option to take out a private loan on your own and ask a parent/guardian to co-sign. Student loans become particularly useful if you have a long-term plan to attend graduate school. At this point, it becomes more difficult to balance, work, school, and a personal life. The extra money can help add stability in these areas so that you can focus on your studies more. Once accepted for a loan, you will go through Entrance Counseling. This is usually online and is helpful in explaining what kind of loan you are taking out, how you can pay it back, how interest accrues depending on the loan, along with anything else you may need to know. Loans will also attach to your credit, but here is the good news! Loans will raise your credit score as it is seen as good debt, until it isn’t. It is important to monitor your loans, any changes made, and to keep up with the payments before or after your graduate. Lastly, you will also sign your Master Promissory Note which is a legal document in which you promise to repay the loan. Tip #1: Pay the interest while you are in college Tip #2: Take only what you need. That large amount will be tempting but it will not be fun watching the debt accrue and paying it all back. Tip #3: Get organized and track your loan Funding your education is not an easy task but as long as you do your research and stay on top of your responsibilities, it is possible to have a rewarding experience without drowning in debt. References https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/studentloans/student-debt-statistics/



Excerpt from College UnMazed: Your Guide to the Florida College & University System

COLLEGE APPLICATION TYPES You will find three types of applications; Common Application, Coalition Application, and Institutional Applications. Many colleges allow you to choose which application to use, while others give you no choice. Once your college list is completed, finding which colleges use the same application can make applying much easier and reduce unnecessary time rewriting all your documents.

COMMON APPLICATION The Common Application is used by over 800 colleges and universities around the world. The Common Application also provides students a variety of resources to a virtual counselor, videos, and advice.

Essay Recommendations* (Counselor & 1-2 Teachers) Transcript/ SSAR Resume Application Fee www.commonapp.org


Documents Needed

Typically schools using the Common Application are a holistic/ selective admissions approach with the essay and letters of recommendation having considerable weight. Ava University Barry University Eckerd College Flagler College Florida Atlantic University Florida Gulf Coast University Florida Institute of Technology Florida Polytechnic University Florida Southern College Florida State University Jacksonville University Johnson & Wales University Keiser University

Lynn University New College of Florida Nova Southeastern University Ringling College of Art & Design Rollins College Saint Leo University St. Thomas University Stetson University University of Central Florida University of Miami University of North Florida University of Tampa University of West Florida



The Coalition Application is still relatively new to Florida, but is used by over 140 colleges and universities across the United States. The application provides students a set of free, online college planning tools, articles, and resources. It also allows students to share their work with others.

Some colleges and universities have their own institutional applications that you can complete. They vary in what is asked and how information is presented. Depending on the school they can either be relatively short or lengthy. Many colleges have "Free Application Week" or provide waivers when you visit.

Documents Needed Essay Transcript/ SSAR Resume Application Fee http://www.coalitionf orcollegeaccess.org/

Universities Florida State University Florida Southern College Rollins College Stetson University University of Florida University of South Florida

Documents Needed Transcript Resume Essay* Recommendations* Application Fee Website- see each college's website

Universities University of Central Florida University of Miami University of North Florida University of Tampa University of West Florida All state colleges

*depends on college * The Self-Reported Student Academic Record (SSAR) is being used by more universities. Students enter in their academic record and the program recalculates student's GPA based on each of the college's admission requirements. It is imperative that this is thoroughly checked, particularly if you have taken Dual Enrollment as some semester courses equal more high school credit. Entering incorrectly can disqualify you from admissions and scholarships.




A mindset is defined as an attitude, inclination or disposition. You’ve probably heard the term “mindset” used in the context of having a good attitude, or as an encouragement to players to get in a winning frame of mind. Author Carol Dweck thinks that mindsets are more important than a good attitude or winning a game. In her book Mindset: The Psychology of Success, Dweck explains how crucial the right mindset is for success— for children as well as adults. A renowned Stanford University psychologist, Dweck researched her theory for decades. What she discovered is that there are two basic mindsets: a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset.”

Fixed Mindset In a fixed mindset, the world is very black and white. For a fixed mindset person, you have whatever intelligence or talent you’re born with and that doesn’t change. In this mindset, you can only grow so far, achieve so much, or learn a certain amount. Fixed mindset people equate failing at something with being a failure. Since you’re either a winner or loser, if you don’t do well at something then you didn’t just fail, you are a failure. Unfortunately, having this fixed mindset fear of failure encourages people to avoid making an effort. Fixed mindset people believe either you’re smart or talented enough to just be able to do it, or not. And why risk stretching yourself if you might fail? Then, you’d be a failure.


How does this type of thinking impact children? It makes them think that they are limited in their success. And, it keeps them from even making an effort. Fixed mindsets can limit our children’s achievements, make effort seem disagreeable, and lead to using inferior learning strategies. Fortunately, there is another mindset: the growth mindset. In a growth mindset, the focus is on process more than on outcome. In a growth mindset, people believe that their intelligence and skills can grow anytime they want them to. They just have to be willing to work at it. Growth Mindset In the growth mindset, failure isn’t something that defines you. On the contrary, growth mindset people see failure as something to learn from. For these people, the effort is its own reward, because regardless of failure or success, there is always something to be learned. Nurturing the Growth Mindset The good news is that, according to Dweck, people can change their mindsets. And, parents can encourage a growth mindset in their children. How can parents do this? • Model the growth mindset yourself. Dweck suggests that parents can help their children change their mindset by modeling growth mindsets themselves. For example, in front of the kids, parents can discuss things like what they learned that day, what mistakes they

made that they learned from, and what things they tried hard at — all growth mindset thinking. Soon, the children wind up joining in the discussion and, before they know it, adopting a growth mindset themselves. • Praise effort not ability. According to Dweck, when praising a child, telling them how smart or talented they are can put them in a fixed mindset. Instead, focus on the effort. You can compliment the work they did and the strategies they used. • Help your child reframe their thinking. Instead of asking “can I” do something, growth mindset people ask “how can I.” Try encouraging your child to focus on the process. • Be honest about failure. When your child fails at something, praise their effort and then help them figure out what they can improve for next time. That may mean trying a different strategy, rehearsing/practicing more, or refining their goals. But by acknowledging the failure and then learning from it, you turn a mistake into an advantage, changing a negative to a positive. This creates a mindset that is actually encouraged by failure rather than demoralized. Most people have a mix of fixed and growth mindsets, including our children. In fact, most people have fixed mindsets in one area, while they have growth mindsets in another. Dweck’s research suggests that by steering their children more toward growth mindsets, parents can help their children to have fuller, more content lives with greater success in both school and life.

By Sylvan Learning Center in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs Website



Benefits of Thankfulness

Increases sleep quality

Reduces depression

Increases productivity

Eat healthier

Build deeper connections

Increases our energy




By: Rob Hicks, School Counselor at Fernadina Beach High School As teens start to narrow in on career choices, very few of them undertake a process that can be most meaningful in their career research. That is job shadowing. Through this, a young person can have the opportunity to see and experience what happens on a day to day basis within a given career path and use that information to help determine if this is something they want to do every day for most of the rest of their lives. The fact is few of our jobs are all that exciting. Let’s take fire fighting for example. It sounds thrilling, right? There’s an apartment building on fire, and you get to rush in with all your equipment and extract a young family and save their lives. Now, I’m not a firefighter, but something tells me that’s not an everyday occurrence. Instead, I think firefighters spend a lot of time at the station where they might work to maintain equipment, complete paperwork, or educate the community on fire safety. When they do get a call, it’s probably much more likely to be a small car crash or some minor medical emergency. In fact, most firefighters are also EMTs and it’s not unusual for 70% of their emergency calls to be medically related rather than fire related.

My point here is that the “romantic” or stereo-typed version of what we believe happens within in career is usually on a tiny piece or represents a fraction of the time really spent on a job. Young people are especially less likely to be aware of the mundane aspects all jobs can have. Since these tasks often comprise the most time spent in a career, it’s important for them to see these things in action and the best way to do that is through job shadowing. So, how do you set up a job shadowing experience? There are apprenticeships offered by some organizations like trade unions out there, but it doesn’t need to be that formal. Students simply need to approach people they might know that work in a career field and ask if they can hang out with them for a day. I believe that people intrinsically like talking about themselves. In many ways, our careers are what define us, or at least a significant part of us, so the opportunity to talk about what we do is something most people relish. You just have to ask. If circumstances are such that a young person is unable to really shadow and follow someone around, at least find a way to have a conversation with


4 Ways to Find a Job Shadow Experience



You could start out by checking online resources for job shadowing opportunities. There are many different job shadowing websites out there that will list available opportunities for teenagers. You can scroll through all of the different job shadowing options that you have and request more information about the ones that sound interesting. This can be a very easy way to find out about opportunities in your area.

If you live in an area that has several large companies, you might be able to work directly with them as part of a job shadowing program. Start by checking out the website of a large company that you are interested in. Many times, they will have a page dedicated to information about job shadowing opportunities. You can contact the company directly and let them know that you are interested in pursuing a job shadowing opportunity with them.



Most high schools have access a school counselor. The school counselor is often in charge of helping students find a specific career path. Many times, this can be done through a job shadowing program. They work to put together a job shadowing program that can be utilized by their students. You will need to set up a meeting with the guidance counselor in order to find out more about the program.

a person in a career you are interested in. In this case, I think it’s still important to ask questions that lead you to an understanding of what the day to day version of a job looks like, not the Hollywood version. A career is something you’ll spend most of your life doing. It’s a big decision and before it is made, a person would do well to know what they

Some of the best job shadows are with people you already know. Your parents' friends, neighbors, community members and other people you may know is a great place to start. Many people are excited to have a teen wanting to be involved and are happy to share their knowledge with you. Just ask.

are getting into. Teens need to do research and have some experience in what really happens in a job and doing so can make all their days just a little bit 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 guidey.blogspot.com and writes about local history.



ROLLINS A medium-sized, 4-year, private liberal arts college. This coed college is located in a large town in a suburban setting and is primarily a residential campus. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. 2,034 total undergrads 549 degree-seeking freshmen 74% graduate within six years $41,451 average financial aid package

Interesting Major: Environmental Studies Popular Courses Classes are small—usually fewer than 18 students—and focus on interactive experiences. Many provide context for field-study opportunities, and all offer a unique angle on the moral imperative of environmental citizenship. ENV 353 National Parks and Protected Areas ENV 323 Conservation of Biodiversity ENV 390 Culture and Landscape ENV 189 Environmental Crisis ENV 330 Women and the Environment ENV 413 Senior Seminar Why Study Environmental Studies at Rollins Want to save the world? At Rollins, environmental studies majors are primed to do just that. By examining humanity’s greatest challenges—such as preserving natural resources, planning sustainable cities, protecting critical species—our students help create real solutions. With the support of expert faculty, you’ll explore environmental issues from all relevant lenses: ecological, economic, geographical, historical, ethical, and political. This comprehensive experience will not only give you the foundation you need to pursue a career, but will broaden your perspective and shape you into a global citizen. Prime Location Florida is at the forefront of environmental issues. With a variety of ecosystems and globally significant initiatives right in Rollins’ backyard, you’ll have endless opportunities to engage real-world examples and get hands-on experience. On-the-Ground Learning Our environmental studies program is known for its innovative field-study opportunities—many of which involve travel. From a cloud forest in Costa Rica to an urban farm in Portland, Oregon, new locations provide new perspectives. The Freedom to Explore We intentionally designed this major with just 10 course requirements, so you can choose how to deepen your experience. Whatever your passion—art, politics, science—you’ll be empowered to combine it with environmental studies.


Beyond the Classroom First-Year Faculty-Led Field Study Every August, a group of first-year students travel to Costa Rica before ever stepping foot on campus. This crash course in sustainability is a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded students, spark an interest in global affairs, and to see firsthand how a country’s focus on conservation can define its economy and culture. Genius Reserve A property owned by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation of Winter Park, this working restoration project is a living example of Old Florida where Rollins students can conduct research, intern, and perform fieldwork. Sustainability Program This student-led initiative gives students an outlet to implement real change on campus. Among other projects, they run a bike-share program for students and faculty as well as a 900-square-foot working farm that provides organic produce for area restaurants.


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