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, included in the tuition, 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.
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 interests and personal values assessments, goal setting, course planning, college searches, and an electronic portfolio of extracurricular, community service activities and awards creation. Grade 9 students also take the PSAT 9 exam.
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. Grade 10 students complete the PSAT exam.
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/NMSQT exam, and register for the ACT/SAT exams. Students are prepared and assisted in preparing for these exams.
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.
What is Naviance?
Naviance allows students to research scholarships, universities, careers, take personality inventories, resume building and more. Students in Grades 9 - 12 receive training to use the secure, online Naviance/Family Connection tool to plan for their college and career roadmap.
An important element: Parent involvement
Throughout the academic year, ISM keeps 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.