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«A Resource Guide for Parents and Teens Developed and Compiled by the Youth Council of the DuPage Workforce Board A Letter to Parents: Your teen’s ...»

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Sometimes, a child’s personality may clash with that of the teacher or another student. Meet  directly with the teacher to determine if there is a problem or if there has been a misunderstanding. In some cases, it may benefit everyone if you request that your child be transferred to a different classroom.

Monitor your child’s attendance and school performance. Periodically check in with your child’s  teachers to find out how things are going.

Concentrate on your child’s goals. Instead of focusing on why he/she is unsuccessful in  school, have your child identify his/her future goals; develop a list of school, home, and personal barriers to reaching those goals; and devise strategies to address the barriers.

If you think your child may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, contact the school guidance  counselor or a substance abuse counselor, help line, or organization for information and advice.

Consider alternative school settings. If you, your child, and the IEP team conclude that the IEP  goals cannot be reached in the current school environment, ask for help identifying appropriate alternative settings. Options include magnet schools, alternative schools, charter schools, work-based learning programs, career academies, and general educational development (GED) programs. Include your child in all discussions with school personnel and the IEP team.

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National Dropout Prevention Center: www.dropoutprevention.org  Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk  (CRESPAR): www.csos.jhu.edu/crespar PACER Center: www.pacer.org  U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, Parent Power: Build the Bridge to Success Washington DC Teens and learning disabilities Help your teen overcome obstacles with schoolwork. By Christine Langlois Learning strategies Students with learning disabilities will find that these tips help them cope. All students who are in transition from integrated studies in one classroom with one or few teachers to distinct subject classes with several teachers will find these suggestions helpful. Use an agenda book or a small lined calendar book to organize your time and list your homework and assignments.

 Sit near the front, close to the teacher and away from the distractions out the windows.

 Use an expanding file folder or one large binder with dividers and a three-hole punch to organize handouts and homework papers in subject categories.

 Enroll in classes to acquire skills in computer use, particularly keyboarding and word processing.

 Computer programs offer real help for students with learning disabilities in writing and mathematics.

 Consider acquiring a home computer and word processing software for use in writing and research. A laptop computer would allow a teen with a learning disability to take notes during classes or at the library.

 Learn to use the spell checker in the word-processing program on the computer; if you don't have a computer, use school or public library computers.

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 Record notes about the research you've been doing so that you can input them later.

 Try to enroll in classes with teachers who adapt their instructional style to the needs of their students.

 Focus on developing skills in self-evaluation and self-editing.

 Write information in notebooks in a way that reflects your personal learning style.

Arrange material in hierarchical format with headings and subheadings, using ruled note paper; use blank note paper to sketch out some kinds of information graphically.

–  –  –

 Keep a vocabulary notebook to list the words you most often misuse or misspell (for example, who's, whose) and note details or examples of their proper use.

 Learn the techniques of brainstorming and outlining plans for a project before beginning your first draft of a writing assignment. Be prepared to edit, get a peer review, and revise what you write through two to six more drafts before printing out the final version.

 Use stick-on notes or tabs to mark book pages temporarily during research; use them to write brief notes to be consolidated later.

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Developing social skills Some kids with learning disabilities need specific instruction in socially acceptable behavior. The adults in their lives can help by describing social behaviors, modeling those behaviors, and roleplaying with them to provide practice. Some schools may offer classes, or the guidance counsellors may have information about such classes in the community. There are summer day-camp programs that are designed for kids with learning disabilities and that teach social skills in an engaging setting.

Your local Y or Boys and Girls Club is likely to offer something similar.

Kids who fear failure are reluctant to join group activities. Parents can help by asking the coach or instructor if their teen can attend a couple of sessions or practices as an observer or helper to give him a chance to overcome his reluctance. Encouraging your teen to sign up for a sports team or another group activity gives him the chance to interact casually with peers. Alternatively, your teen might offer her own skills to coach or tutor a younger child.

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What is Dual Enrollment?

Broadly defined as any situation in which an individual is concurrently enrolled at both a secondary (high school) and post-secondary (college or university) institution. However, the term is frequently used to distinguish from dual credit courses and used to identify situations in which a high school student enrolls in a college course for college credit only.

What is Dual Credit?

A dual credit course is a college course taken by a high school student for which the student is awarded both college and high school credit.

How are Dual Credit courses organized or offered?

Some courses are taught by qualified college faculty on the high school campus during regular school hours and are recognized by the college as meeting college requirements.

Others are taught on the college campus by regular college faculty and are recognized by the high school district as meeting high school requirements.

Do all Dual Credit courses transfer for credit to all colleges and universities?

Current dual credit courses offered through cooperative agreements with Illinois community colleges generally fall into two broad categories: Career and Technical Education (CTE) or General Education (GE). General Education courses must be approved for credit under the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). Such courses are accepted for credit by all IAI participating schools, which includes all Illinois public universities and some 94 other Illinois colleges and universities. CTE courses may or may not be accepted in transfer credit.

What are the benefits of Dual Credit courses?

Facilitates the transition between high school and college Reduces the cost of a college education Reduces the time needed to complete a degree program Reduces high school drop out rates Prepares students for college work Reduces remediation Raises student motivation and aspiration Offers greater advanced credit opportunities in rural areas Increases post-secondary enrollment

Are there concerns about Dual Credit courses?

Costs involved in programs and potential funding uncertainty Requires cooperation across sectors Questions of quality and rigor Capacity of high school faculty to provide college-level instruction Capacity of college faculty to adequately serve the needs of high school aged students Limited access for low-income and the academically underprepared student Little or no data to support claims of success

How does Dual Credit differ from Advanced Placement (AP)?

Both courses are taught at the college level. However, college credit is awarded for advanced placement courses only upon completion of a single assessment test. In addition, different cut scores are required by different institutions for credit in these courses. Dual credit courses earn college credit in the same manner as any other college course – through satisfactory performance on such assessments as quizzes, tests, and homework assignments.

In addition, dual credit courses are taught by qualified college faculty who hold the appropriate credentials in the subject matter. For instance, faculty teaching general education courses must hold at least a Master’s degree in the subject area. High school AP courses do not have this requirement.

Who is eligible to take part in Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit programs?

In order to enroll in dual credit courses currently offered through cooperative agreements with Illinois community colleges, students must meet all admission requirements that would be applied to a student enrolling for the same course at the college.

What does it cost to enroll in a dual credit course?

To the student: Current dual credit opportunities are offered through cooperative agreements between individual high school and college districts. The agreements vary as to how much of the tuition and fees normally charged for the college course are passed on to the high school student.

To the high school: Although there is variation between institutions, funding primarily comes from state FTE reimbursements, and from Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) grant funds.

To the college: Variation exists, but colleges primarily receive funding through state funds based on student enrollments, Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) grant funds, and student tuition. Colleges may significantly reduce or waive tuition for these courses.

Does Illinois have any regulations in place concerning Dual Credit / Dual Enrollment?

Dual credit programs at community colleges follow administrative rules established by the Illinois Community College Board. Even under these rules, substantial variation exists as institutions have the flexibility to respond to local demands. Dual credit offered by private or proprietary institutions does not fall under these regulations.

Helping Your Teen Decide What to do After High School Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you'll have as a parent. Although it can be difficult to imagine your baby as an adult, with the right approach, helping your teen make the transition into adulthood can be rewarding.

Going to college, getting a job, or taking time off are the common choices your teen will likely face.

Here's how you can help your adult-to-be make the best decision.

College or Technical School Although you may remember starting your own college search in the fall of your senior year, many teens these days need to get started earlier because of the extensive research involved and the deadlines for early admissions programs to competitive programs. In fact, many students begin as early as the fall of their junior year.

A good preparation for your teen is to sit down and start writing — this is great practice for the application process. Teens should list their goals as well as their accomplishments, even if they

haven't yet decided on a field of study. Ask your teen to write down a list of:

–  –  –

Next, teens should think about and list the qualities they're looking for in a college: do they want to go away to school, stay close to home, or take online courses, for example?

Armed with this preliminary information, it's time to begin the research. Guidebooks, the Internet, and counselors at school are particularly helpful resources. As your teen chooses potential schools, start visiting campuses and talking with students who go there. Experts suggest narrowing the choices to a diverse mix of about six to 10 schools where the odds range from low to high for gaining admission.

Applications should be filled out completely and neatly, including the essay, which your teen should revise until confident that it's his or her best work. Many schools offer help in these areas.

And don't cross college off the list because you're afraid the tuition will be too steep. Many kids can

receive financial help. For info about scholarships and other programs that may help, ask:

 the school counselor  the colleges' financial aid offices  your employer, who might offer scholarship programs Federal aid programs are also available and can be researched online.

Job Options If college isn't an option or your teen needs extra time to earn money for tuition, going directly into the work force offers many choices and benefits, such as health insurance and tuition reimbursement programs.

Entering the military can be an excellent choice for a teen who feels uncertain about the future.

Discipline, earning money, saving for college, learning a trade — all of this is often possible in the armed forces. Veterans are also entitled to many benefits both while in the service and after.

However, your teen should carefully explore all the pros and cons of a military career. After all, if teens don't like the service or if the thought of going to war seems too scary, they can't easily drop out. If your teen wants specific training through the military, make sure the contract he or she signs includes that.

Getting a job immediately after high school remains a good choice. Teens who go this route need to learn how to search for employment, write a resume, and develop interviewing skills.

Many companies reimburse their employees for continuing education in areas related to their employment. Your teen should ask about this benefit through the human resources departments of potential employers.

Another option is an internship. Over the course of a year, your teen could potentially participate in two or three internships to explore career choices. But most internships are unpaid, so planning ahead is crucial if your teen needs to save money for living expenses.

Internships provide participants with the opportunity to learn about many facets of a particular career.

They're also a great way to make contacts and develop mentoring relationships.

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