Looking Ahead: Preparing Next Year

When summer comes, students swap the three R's of learning with a new set—relaxation, revenue and recreation. While these things are important, students also need to stay focused on their college education by taking time to plan ahead. Your student can benefit from using the next few months to address career-related initiatives, co-curricular involvement as well as experiential learning opportunities. These efforts will help him/her next year as well as in years to come. In talking with your student, you may want to share the following tips.

Career Preparation

Whether or not your student has declared a major, he/she can benefit from reading reference materials and web-based articles about career interests. Pertinent information on educational requirements, job trends and employment opportunities can help your student make decisions about college coursework, internships and post-graduation plans.

For assistance, he/she can visit BW's Career Services, which is open during the summer, to meet with a counselor as well as do research through the CareerPlace Library.

Likewise, your student can update his/her resume as well as write plans, goals and strategies for the years ahead. This can help your student better manage time and financial resources, as well as stay on track with academics, extracurricular activities, internships and studying abroad.

Co-curricular Involvement

With over 100 campus activities and 21 varsity sports available to students, it is easy to see how a student might become over-scheduled. Yet other students may have participated infrequently in college activities.

Somewhere in between is the right amount. An overstressed student is not likely to fully enjoy his/her experiences while a disassociated student is missing opportunities to engage in college life and to boost his/her resume. Students should strive to balance studies with social activities, sports and service initiatives that will allow a comfortable schedule that includes time for learning, exercise, relaxation and fun.

Summer is a good time for your student to review college activities to be sure he/she isn't over scheduled. Likewise, he/she should be sure co-curricular involvement includes at least one organization that is focused on leadership, another that promotes service, as well as a third that represents academics.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

While freshman year is often a time of acclimation and exploration, the next few years offer your student myriad opportunities to engage in learning. Dynamic and useful, experiential learning activities can provide your student with meaningful, practical experiences in which knowledge gained from coursework and classroom studies can be transferred to real-world applications and vice versa.

During the next few months, your student can use the BW website to review the many opportunities available to him/her and begin planning ahead. In looking at these activities, your student may want to consider the value they will bring to his/her college experience as well as to career and graduate school preparation.

BW experiential learning opportunities include internships, field experiences, research studies, service learning,explorations/study abroad opportunities and more.

Grad Plan and Eval Help Students

The Academic Program Evaluation (Eval) is an online record-keeping tool benefiting students. It helps them track which courses they completed to fulfill core and major/minor requirements. The Eval works in conjunction with the Graduation Plan, an online scheduling program. With it, students can plan courses for the next term as well as for their entire college tenure.