Class of 2018 College Planning

Last week the guidance department hosted it’s annual College Planning Night for Juniors.  The purpose of this event is to provide valuable information to Lowell Catholic’s current juniors and their parents about what they should be thinking about now and as they head into summer regarding the college application process.

We understand that applying to college can be an overwhelming experience, or even just thinking about it can be.  Our goal is to try and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that can be associated with the college application process.  With that being our focus, we use the Junior College Planning night (and the Senior College Planning night in the fall) to break it down and keep the focus on information that is currently useful.

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So what should a Lowell Catholic junior be doing right now to prepare for the college application process?

  1. Decide if you want to take the SAT or ACT (and SAT Subject Tests) and sign up to take one in the spring.
    • We recommend taking one of these tests at least twice.  Use free practice tests to determine which one you are more comfortable with, or take one of each and take the one you prefer a second time in the fall.
  2. Begin the college search.  Ask yourself these simple questions to help determine what you are looking for in a college:
    • Academic program – You want to make sure it has your major or programs you are interested in!
    • Location – How far away from home do you want to be?  Do you prefer a city?
    • Size – How many students?  How far are you willing to walk to class?
    • Cost – How will you afford it?
    • Sports/clubs – How will you be involved and keep busy?
    • Support services – Do you want access to free tutoring?
  3. College visits – This is where you will be spending the next four years.  The best way to know if a college is the right fit is to tour the campus!
  4. Begin to narrow down a list of schools that you are strongly interested in.
    • Create a list of target, safety, and reach schools.  Have a balance of all 3 types with a list of about 5-7 schools.
  5. Request letters of recommendation.  You should ask two teachers.  Try to choose one from junior year.  Also, think about the program you want to go into and ask a teacher related to it.  For example, if you want engineering, you should have a math or science teacher write a letter.  Requesting is a two step process.
    • Ask in person
    • Submit a request on Naviance.
  6. Complete your resume on Naviance.  This is important for letters of recommendation!

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Please be sure to meet with your counselor if you have any questions about the process and what should be done right now!  We are here to help you!

6th Annual LC College Fair

October 19th marked Lowell Catholic’s 6th and largest college fair!  53 colleges and universities were on hand to answer questions from our eager students.

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Seniors, juniors, and even some sophomores spoke to admissions reps from schools such as Providence College, University of New England, Catholic University of America, and Sacred Heart University.

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The college fair is a unique opportunity for our students because they are able to get some one on one time with the representatives.  Wentworth Institute of Technology, Lasell  College, Emmanuel College, and Bryant University spoke to the students about different programs, what to expect on campus, and how to apply.

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The goal of this college fair is to give our students time to think ahead regarding college plans, learn about a school or program they may have not been familiar with, or to connect one more time with a school they are interested in.  We have found that the growth of the college fair over the past six years demonstrates the success of this day.  We look forward to seeing how it will grow for our 7th year!

Careers in Healthcare

When it comes to choosing a college, major, or career, it is always encouraged that students get some form of hands on experience or observation time.  For the past couple of years, Lowell Catholic has taken advantage of an opportunity that allows students interested in a career in healthcare to do this.

Lowell General Hospital runs a program called Careers in Healthcare.  Once a month, students are given a tour of various areas/departments of the hospital.  Just last month, 7 young ladies from the junior class got to explore the operating room, emergency room, maternity and labor & delivery, radiology, and the cardio vascular center.

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Hands-on learning in the emergency room!

The tour guide, who is a nurse in the emergency room, gave the students the inside scoop on what one can expect working in a hospital.  This included everything, such as schedules, what a typical day could be like, safety, and security.

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Participants listening to the guide provide information about what it’s like to work in a hospital.

One participant stated, “My favorite part of the LGH trip was visiting the Labor and Delivery Unit. It helped me to understand a little more about how genetics would possibly come in to play in certain situations. That part of the trip was my favorite because we also got to see cute babies.”  Also, “The people were very informative and it was a very hands-on experience. We got to experience a real life OR before a surgery which was very interesting.”

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Ready for the operating room!

The day spent at Lowell General Hospital gave the students  some insight on a future career in healthcare.  At the end of the day, the hope was that they got hands-on experience, learned about fields they didn’t know much about, and got a better idea of what they would like for a future career…and I think they did!