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©2008

Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Unit Four – Getting Organized – Chapter Four Goals and Objectives: •

Help students organize and plan for their senior portfolio

Update resume

Learn about financial organization and the impact of credit scores

Relate personal organizational skills to effective work habits

Reading Comprehension Checkpoints: These questions are designed to help you facilitate a powerful in-class discussion based on student reading assignments. The answers are included.

Q: How can you learn to lead now (page 70)? A: by effectively managing yourself and prioritizing your schedule

Q: What tips does Chapter Four suggest to help manage the application process? A: start researching colleges your junior year, visit colleges, write essays/resume the summer after your junior year, stay organized, apply early

Q: What is a senior portfolio? What questions can you can ask when deciding what to include in it? A: The portfolio is a compilation of paperwork intended to present your best self. You can ask…What have I learned in high school, What have I learned about myself? Which experiences caused me to grow? Which accomplishments am I proudest of and why?

Q: Name two pieces, aside from a senior portfolio, contained in most college applications. A: letters of recommendation, transcripts

Q: How have Bill and Melinda Gates used their wealth to make a global impact? How do these contributions model the importance of globalization? A: They founded the largest charitable foundation in the world They have used their wealth to save lives, stir hope and better the world.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Powerful Coaching Questions for Chapter Review: Use to initiate discussion after the chapter is read and activities from the book are completed. 1. This chapter opens with a quote that begins, “When you are in a position of leadership, it’s important to listen and work with people when bringing them around to your point of view…” Do you believe that effective listening skills are critical for good leadership? How can you enhance your listening skills? 2. How do you think the political climate Dr. Olivares faced in Chile shaped his life? How does it differ from the political climate you face and the decisions you are free to make for your future? 3. Alexis Lopez discusses her involvement with the El Pomar Foundation in her essay “Your Life Can Change.” Do you believe the power of giving is healing? Why or why not? Do you have other examples of people’s lives shifting when they made the effort to get involved and give to others? 4. There existed ancient cultures whose most powerful citizens were not the ones who accumulated the greatest wealth but the people who gave the most away. What does this mean to you?

Journal Topics: Below are topics from Junior Guide to Senior Year Success to be used for student journaling. The objective here is for the students to write as freely and openly as possible. It is not about punctuation, grammar and style. 1. The book cites an admissions counselor from University of Wisconsin saying that they look at applicants’ leadership experiences. Write about a leadership experience you’ve had and how it has shaped you. 2. Journal about a time when you’ve been resourceful and asked for help. What did you learn? 3. Do you agree with Bill and Melinda Gates motto, “All lives – no matter where they are being led – have equal value?” Write about how this motto is relevant to your life.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

EXPLORATORY Activities: These activities can be used for cursory exploration and to expand upon chapter content. 1. Senior Year Portfolio Checklist Benefits: • Help students plan ahead for building their senior year portfolio • Offer an outline for materials to be developed and collected • Encourage students to decide what an excellent portfolio should contain Materials needed: Copies of Handout #6 Ask students to collect initial samples or lists for each category on the checklist. Review with class the following points: what makes papers effective for a portfolio; who are your best resources for recommendations; which extracurricular activities stand out the most; how to present job skills most effectively, etc. Students can take turns presenting outlines of their portfolio to small groups in the class.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

2. Updating Your Resume Benefits: • Help students update and refine resumes Materials needed: Copies of Handout #7 Students should complete the resume worksheet and then compose on official resume on the computer. Explain that this resume will become part of the senior portfolio but may need updating as they accumulate new experiences, awards, job skills, etc.

Once completed, divide the class into pairs. Have students review one another’s resumes, offering feedback when appropriate. Then choose one or two examples that use wording effectively and share these with the class.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

RIGOR AND RELEVANCE Activities: These activities encourage students to further explore textbook concepts while allowing for more in-depth classroom discussion. 1. Staying Organized in the Real World: Managing Your Credit Score Benefits: • Introduce personal credit scores and why they are important • Teach students the importance of being organized • Illustrate the pitfalls of financial irresponsibility Materials needed: None This lesson is based on a classroom discussion introducing credit scores and their importance and impact on young adults. Use the following questions/answers to discuss this important topic. What is a credit score? There are many different types of credit scores, the most common being the FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation). It is a mathematically generated three-digit number based on how you handle your credit (credit cards, car loans and any other officially documented loans). Companies and banks use this number to predict how you will behave financially, meaning, will you make your payments on time, are you financially responsible, etc.? What many people don’t realize is that potential employers can look at your FICO score to gain insight on your character. Why is it important? Because your ability to borrow money (for a house, car, education, etc.) is dependent on your credit score, it is imperative that you keep it as high as you can – a high FICO score is a good score, a low FICO score is not. Because potential employers can use this number as a determining factor for your ability to succeed on a job, you need to make sure this area in your life is in tip-top shape. Why does it matter to you now? Many credit card companies market to young people, especially college students. Even if your parents have co-signed on a credit card with you, your credit score is in your name and will reflect your financial behavior. It is difficult to raise a bad credit score, so it’s best to keep it high from the beginning. How do I keep my credit score high? The most important thing you can do to maintain a high credit score is to pay your bills on time. Even one late payment can affect your score. The best thing you can do as a student to build a good credit rating (when you feel mature enough to assume this responsibility) is to have a credit card in your name that you pay off each month. Remember; make your payments on time!

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

What will a low credit score cost you? A low credit score will cost you more money when you attempt to take out a loan. Lenders use your score to determine the risk they’ll assume by lending you money. If you have a low score, they’ll be inclined to charge you a higher interest rate just because you pose a greater risk to them. Why do you need to protect your identity? If someone “steals” your identity by gaining access to your social security card or your credit cards, they can accumulate debt under your name. If accounts that you are unaware of go unpaid, your credit score will plummet. It is important to always stay on top of your accounts to make sure no one has assumed your identity.

Below is a chart showing how different FICO scores affect interest rates available to you for the purchase of a car. Observe how these different rates affect the amount you’ll pay each month for a 60 month, $25,000 car loan.

FICO Score

Interest Rate

Car Payment

720-850 700-719 675-699 620-674 560-619 500-559

7.142% 7.947% 9.467% 11.101% 14.486% 15.128%

$497 $506 $525 $545 $588 $596

By keeping your credit score in top shape, you’d pay $100 less a month on this type of car loan than a person with bad credit would pay.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Preparing for the Work Force 1. Getting Organized for the Job Benefits: • Demonstrate how organization will develop effective work habits • Help students understand personal qualities critical for work success • Allow for self-expression and critical thinking Materials needed: None Begin this activity by discussing the six effective work habits listed below. Now divide the class into six groups. Assign each group one of the following effective work habits. Ask each group to create a scenario where an employee is unorganized (either at work or in their personal life) and therefore fails to demonstrate the given effective work habit. Have each group role-play their created scenario in front of the class. After each group performs, discuss why being organized in one’s personal life leads to more effective work habits. Being On Time Promptness is critical for work place success. In fact, make a rule to arrive to work 15 minutes early. This strategy will help you if you come up against unforeseen circumstances such as traffic or not finding a parking spot. And if you don’t need the extra time for an emergency, having 15 minutes to collect your thoughts before starting work is a great way to begin the day. Nothing demonstrates a lack of professionalism and regard for a job than habitual tardiness. Make the effort, be on time! Having a Positive Attitude Demonstrating a positive attitude throughout the day is one of the best tools you can have to make a difference and stand out to your employer. Every job is going to present problems. It is the attitude you use to face these problems that will set you apart. Staying positive helps you remain on top of your game! Being Flexible Employers value employees who adapt to change and go with the flow. Treasured is the employee who says, “I can change my routine and make this work!” Being flexible not only means chipping in by staying late once in a while to finish a project, it also means being able to prioritize on a daily basis. If you have several duties to accomplish each day, there may be times you’ll have to forgo your routine to deal with a crisis or new challenge. Demonstrating the ability to prioritize and be flexible requires maturity and judgment, both valuable assets in the work place.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Keeping Personal and Work Lives Separate Successful employees know how to deal with personal issues during their off hours and work issues during their work hours. Keeping these boundaries clear is critical for professional success, as well as for maintaining your integrity both in and out of the work place. Remember that your employer is not paying you to settle disputes with your boyfriend or girlfriend over the telephone during business hours. Keep your personal life to yourself during the workday and your boss will respect your professionalism and maturity. Using Work Resources and Privileges Appropriately Be careful not to take advantage of privileges granted in your work place. If you’re employed at a fast food restaurant, don’t give out free food to friends. If you work in an office, make sure long-distance calls are placed on your dime. Many work places have resources at your disposal – computers, supplies, etc. Make sure you distinguish the fine line between what is appropriate use and what is not. When in doubt, ask a manager. Making sure to not take advantage of work resources and privileges is absolutely critical for succeeding on the job. Being Dependable Every employer wants to hire someone they can depend on; someone who will take the job seriously. In fact, most employers hope to find people who they can groom for more responsibility and will grow with the company. Being dependable by producing high-quality work, demonstrating a level of emotional intelligence and remaining committed to timeliness and follow through will help you shine as a star employee.

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Handout #6 Senior Year Portfolio Checklist

Section 2: Section 1: Personal profile/statement Resume

Updated transcript High school attendance record Section 3: Reference letters of recommendation

Section 4: Major paper or senior thesis Approximately three informal written samples Creative projects with unique expression

Section 5: Career exploration Job shadow reflection Test scores/aptitudes (ASVAB results, SAT, ACT, etc) Section 6: Awards/certificates and extra-curricular activities Lists and documents Source: http://www.collegesummit.org

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum

Handout #7 RESUME WORK SHEET Name ________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address ________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ________________________________________________________________________ Education or Career Objective: ________________________________________________________________________ Education Background: High School____________________________________ Intended Graduation _____________________________ Interests: Choose strongest five. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Supporting Activities: Present in the same sequence as your interests. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Skills: Choose strongest five. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Supporting Activities: Present in the same sequence as your skills. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Leadership Experiences: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Awards and Honors: ________________________________________________________________________ References: Available upon request. (List three to five people you can use as a reference and/or ask for letters of recommendation.)

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Junior Guide to Senior Year Success Curriculum