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 instrumental in 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
Students begin their journey during weekly advising classes by examining themselves as a person, student, and community member. Activities include setting goals, exploring possible careers, creating a four year high school course plan, developing interpersonal skills, applying character education at ISM, and creating an electronic portfolio to showcase their extracurricular activities, awards, and community service activities.
Grade 10: Exploring Options
Students dive deeper into career exploration during their scheduled advising classes. A personalized career summary report is created for each student by the college counselor and is used to identify potential career options. Students learn how to research careers, link those careers to college majors, and the identify colleges that offer those majors. Students also take the ACT’s ASPIRE and College Board’s PSAT tests to determine college readiness. Other topics covered include problem-solving, professional behavior, and self-advocacy.
Grade 11: The Action Plan
College planning preparation continues with extensive individual college research, financial aid and scholarship review, college admission options, and the Common Application overview during their weekly advising classes. Student activities include utilizing college guides and websites for research, contacting college admissions counselors, practicing college interview basics, writing a college admissions essay, creating an academic resume and electronic portfolio, completing the PSAT test, and registering for the ACT and SAT. Students and parents are encouraged to tour college campuses during school breaks and on weekends. Topics such as social responsibility, mental health, and organizational skills are also discussed.
Grade 12: Taking Action & Transitioning from ISM
In the fall of their senior year, students spend most of their time in advising classes completing their college application with the assistance of the college counselor. Additionally, students will complete the College Board’s CSS and/or FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). For the remainder of the school year seniors learn how to transition from high school to college by learning about money management, choosing college classes, researching college activities to join, understanding roommate conflicts, and more.
What is Naviance?
Naviance enables 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.