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Introduction to College Planning

Kingsborough Community College
The City University of New York


SD 10: Introduction to College Planning - 1 credit, 1 hour

Course Coordinators: Ms. Marisa Joseph and Mr. Ted Timmins

Catalog Description: This course is designed to help junior and senior high school students who are participating in the College Now program make a smooth transition from high school to college and the "real" world. The course helps students realistically assess options upon graduating from high school. Topics include applying and adjusting to college, study habits, time management, financial planning, career exploration and decision making.

College Now Description: This course helps students realistically assess their academic and career options upon graduating from high school. Topics include applying and adjusting to college, selecting a major, study habits, time management and financial planning. This class meets at a number of high schools throughout the year and at Kingsborough in the summer.

SD 10 Core Competencies:

  • Self-Assessment
  • Decision Making
  • Communication Skills
  • Goal Setting
  • Cultural Competence
  • Independence
  • College Resources
  • Learning Styles
  • Study Skills
  • Time Management
  • Research Skills
  • Utilization of Technology

Course Objectives:

  1. Each student will feel ready to adjust to the college experience through a supportive environment where students develop and carry out college admissions plans, examine common academic and personal transitional concerns, and explore differences between high school and college by having questions and concerns addressed on a regular classroom basis.
  2. To provide students with college survival information by examining common academic and personal transitional concerns and advising on effective resources available.
  3. To help students understand potential obstacles to success by surveying current study habits and scholastic motivation, and planning appropriate corrective measures for identified problems.
  4. To help each student develop effective study skills by exploring effective methods for reading textbook assignments, taking lecture notes, writing themes and reports, applying time management, and passing examinations.
  5. To introduce students to the development of meaningful and realistic educational and career goals while examining the roles and responsibilities of college students.

Topical Course Outline: The above core competencies and objectives will be achieved by addressing the following content areas: Overview of the course, self-assessment, decision making and goal setting, planning for college, and important skills for college success. These topics, described below under course outline, are seen as essential to the SD 10 curriculum and thus coverage of these areas is required. In addition to the required topics, optional topics to be considered, as time permits, based on needs and interest of the particular group of students, may include:

Session I: Introduction to SD 10/Self Assessment

  • Course expectations and procedures are outlined.
  • Exploration of reasons for participating in College Now.
  • Introductory ice-breaking exercise.
  • Self-Assessment: interests, skills, values, strengths, challenges.
  • Differences between high school and college.

Session II: Decision Making and Goal Setting

  • Researching of potential colleges.
  • Decision-making and college choice: What does college mean to me?
  • Influence of family, friends and others on the decision-making process and choosing a college.
  • How to choose a major in college.
  • How college majors relate to career choices.
  • Setting short and long-term goals.

Session III: Planning for College

  • Financial Aid/Scholarships.
  • SAT vs. ACT.
  • Admissions Processes - Applications, Essays, Interviews.
  • College Vocabulary.
  • Living arrangements, family and home responsibilities.

Session IV: Important Skills for College Success

  • Time Management.
  • Study Skills and Test-Taking.
  • Listening Skills.
  • Note-taking Skills.
  • Writing reports.

Session V: Additional College Survival Skills

  • Learning styles and styles of teaching.
  • Managing test anxiety.
  • Acceptance of personal responsibility for success in college.
  • Utilizing college resources (e.g., tutoring, library, counseling).
  • Personal transition from high school to college.
  • College Life/Roommates/Friends.
  • Becoming a confident student.

Session VI: Evaluation and Final Examination

  • Integration of the course concepts, discussion of current plans for college, and reactions to course.
  • Final exam.
  • College Now exit survey.

Methods of Teaching: These sessions will be conducted in small groups led by a counselor utilizing exercises, assignments, experiential activities, role-playing and discussion. When appropriate, the instructor will utilize lecture mode.

Method of Evaluation: Students will be evaluated in terms of class work, written work, and a final examination. Attendance is crucial.

Textbook: Fraser, L. Making Your Mark. LDF Publishing, 9th Ed., 2009 (Canada) ISBN: 978-097352298-3-8

Resource Materials: Instructors' resource manual is the SD 10 College Now Teaching Guide prepared by Dr. Estelle Miller, Department of Student Development, 2000. This manual provides suggested teaching materials and sample assignments.

Required Reading: (available in KCC library)

  1. Effective Study and Test-Taking Techniques (select 1 or more)

    Gerow, Joshua R. and R. Douglas Lying. How to Succeed in College; a Student Guidebook. New York: Scribner, 1985, LB2395.G45.

    Johnson, Marcia K. How to Succeed in College. Los Altos, Ca.: W. Kaufman, 1982, LB3605.J54.

    Norman, Maxwell H., and Enid S. Kass Norman. How to Read and Study for Success in College. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1981, LB2395.N59.

    Pauk, Walter. How to Study in College. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983, LB2395.P3.

    Semones, James K. Effective Study Skills: A Step-By-Step System for Achieving Student Success. Fort Worth, Tx: Harcourt & Brace Jovanovich, 1991, LB1049.546

  2. College Guides

    Lovejoy's College Guide, Edited by Straughn II & Straughn NY: MacMillan, 1995, Ref. LA226-L6

    Cass & Birnbaum's Guide to American Colleges. NY: Haprer Perennial, 1994, Ref. L901.C819

    The College Handbook. NY: CEEB, 1990, Ref. LB2351.A1C6.


  9. http://www.collegenet.comB-Financial Aid