Of course, what you expect from a college prep school, is an education that sets your student up for success in college or university and then in today’s global world. The college counseling framework at ISM is utterly unique. This carefully crafted program combines professional, personal attention, a customized technology platform, and four years of focused content. ISM’s college counseling program is behind our students’ acceptance into top colleges and universities within the U.S. and around the world.
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Our complete College Counseling program is included in your tuition.
Creating an individual journey for your child
At The International School of Minnesota (ISM), students are engaged early in the College Counseling program with age-appropriate exploration and goal-setting. Starting in Grade 9 and continuing to graduation, ISM’s College Navigation Program is a highly personalized roadmap. Students are guided through self-exploration, investigation and research, the all-important application/interview process, and even transition planning for college.
Our licensed school counselor and staff also work closely with colleges and universities around the U.S. and beyond to develop awareness of our school. As a result, admissions offices recognize ISM as a premier college-preparatory school and consider ISM students to be among their finest candidates.
Our four-year program involves families and students with group activities and individual attention. The program’s focus during these years is:
Grade 9: Self-Awareness (Who Am I?)
Activities include career interest and personal values assessments, course planning, college searches, and creating an electronic portfolio of extracurricular activities, awards, and community service activities.
Grade 10: Exploring Options (Where Am I Going?)
Students dive deeper into career exploration, linking careers to college majors and identifying colleges offering those majors. They also complete a PSAT practice test in Grade 10.
Grade 11: The Action Plan (How Do I Get There?)
Plan development is all about the real logistics of financial aid and scholarships, admission timing options, and mastery of the Common Application. Students start to contact and tour colleges and practice college interview basics. They begin writing their Common Application essay and supplemental personal essays with the full support of staff and faculty. Students create an academic essay, complete the PSAT test, and register for the ACT/SAT tests. Test support is determined and planned. Students and families use weekends, breaks, and other free time to visit colleges and universities from coast to coast.
Grade 12: Taking Action & Transitioning from ISM (What Do I Need to Do?)
In the fall of their senior year, students complete their college applications and turn their attention to financial aid, including completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) and researching and applying for scholarships. Our college counseling staff is available to help students and parents review financial aid offers.
Superior technology supports college planning
Students in Grades 8 - 11 receive training to use the secure, online Naviance/Family Connection tool to plan their courses for the next years. Naviance measures academic rigor of courses selected to help ensure your student’s course load matches individualized postsecondary goals. Naviance also helps students track that they have the required courses for admission to specific colleges.
An important element: Parent involvement
We keep Upper School student parents connected with information about upcoming college planning activities. We encourage participation and meetings with staff at key points in the college planning process. The Naviance/Family Connection tool helps parents oversee course selection, explore college requirements, and review their student’s Career Summary Report generated in Grade 10.