Resources

Organized below by category, the following links will support high school and college learners as well as college applicants.

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High School Curricular Resources

Academic Content Standards, from the Oregon Department of Education

Academic Content Standards are statements of what Oregon students in K-12 are expected to know and be able to do at specified grade levels. These standards are organized by subject, including English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences, Health, Library/Media Education, and the Arts.

Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessment

Aligned with the Academic Content Standards, this end of year Assessment is taken by all Oregon students in grades 3-8 as well as in junior year of high school.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and Exams

The AP courses as listed on the College Board website.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) Curriculum

This curriculum is taught at a number of high schools in Oregon, including International School of Beaverton High School, Lincoln High School, St. Mary’s Academy, and South Eugene High School.

Reading Skills Resources–for High School or College

The Critical Reader’s Toolkit

Without strong critical reading skills, you will struggle in college. There are good online tools that teach you the practices of close reading. Check out this series of short videos designed by the English department at the University of Texas at Austin. The well-produced videos model how to read closely, how to annotate a text, how to consider the context of a given literary work, and how to use the Oxford English Dictionary when reading, in each instance walking you step by step through the reading process.

Writing Resources—for High School or College

If you’re writing a paper or presenting research, you could benefit from these useful online resources.

Purdue OWL

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, provide these as a free service to help with writing projects.

MLA Guide 8th Edition

Learnhow to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format style; also includes other MLA resources.

APA Guide, 7th Edition

Learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style; also includes other APA resources.

Zotero

A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research. You must learn how to use it! I can help you.

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers.

Need a great book that will begin to teach you how to be a researcher? This one is a classic. By working with me, you will learn the fundamental research skills: how to choose a topic, formulate a precise research question, evaluate sources, take notes, synthesize information, and present your results in the form of an argument.

Study and Self-Management Skills Resources—for High School or College

The below links support students with ADHD and offer approaches for Executive Function skill development.

Getting Organized and Good Work Habits from All Kinds of Minds

Includes tables of important aspects of executive functioning, common problems, clickable links to deeper discussion of what’s going on, and strategies for both parents and teachers to support someone who is struggling with that specific issue.

from Edutopia– by Judy Willis, MD

Brain-based teaching strategies for supporting executive function

Sarah Ward’s Executive Functioning Website

360 Thinking Academic Planner
If you are in high school and looking for an excellent academic planner, one designed to guide your learning and develop executive function skills, check out this one, created by Cognitive Connections.

Applying to College Resources

Information on the SAT from College Board website.

Information on the ACT from the ACT website.

The Common Application (informally known as The Common App) is an online platform which most applicants use to apply for undergraduate admission to any of more than 900 member colleges and universities in the U.S., as well as in Canada, China, Japan, and many European countries. The Common App is free to use–you need only create an account. Once you do, you can use the toolbar to search for colleges, plan your application process, and apply to your selected colleges. The Common App provides the application requirements of each college you select and enables you to use and reuse application materials common to all your colleges such as the Common App Essay. The Applicant Solutions Center offers videos explaining how to use all platform tools.

The Coalition, which is short for The Coalition for College Access, is a second important online application platform which many students use. The mission of the Coalition is to improve the college application process, particularly for those students from historically under-represented groups. The Coalition platform can be used to apply to more than 150 Coalition member schools, including the University of Washington and the nine undergraduate campuses in the University of California system. To create a Coalition account, follow the easy prompts.

Among many helpful online tools, the Coalition platform includes My Coalition Counselor, which offers college planning tools, how-to articles, and other resources.

Both the Common App and the Coalition platforms offer tools that help you calculate the cost of an education at the colleges of your choice while familiarizing you with financial aid options. The U.S. Department of Education website offers a comprehensive introduction to the financial aid application process. You must also consult individual college websites—and perhaps contact college admissions departments directly–to learn full details of the possible financial aid packages available to accepted applicants.

College Navigator, a college search tool created by the U.S. Department of Education, is useful for helping you find colleges and career schools that suit your needs.  You can search for schools by location, degrees offered, programs and majors, tuition and fees, setting, size, and much more. College Navigator allows you to compare schools, save your session, and export your results into a spreadsheet.

College Greenlight is another useful online college search platform, this one set up specifically to assist first generation and underrepresented college applicants.

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is a valuable resource for learning about different colleges. NACAC’s website features a very informative podcast called “College Admissions Decoded.”

And how about some excellent advice on the application process from a College Admissions insider that helps to demystify the entire undertaking? Check out this video by Ryan Hargraves, the Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Vermont. Ryan gives his Top 5 tips for application success—and throws in a lively rap. Worth watching!

College Application Essay Resources

The Common Application Essay

It’s almost certain that you’ll be writing this essay as part of your application process. As mentioned above, The Common Application (informally known as The Common App) is an online platform which most applicants use to apply for undergraduate admission to any of more than 900 member colleges and universities in the U.S., as well as abroad. Odds are that at least some of the colleges to which you’ll apply are member institutions of the Common App. For every college to which you apply via the Common App, you’ll thus be submitting the Common App Essay, which is required. In writing this essay, you’re asked to choose from eight prompts provided you by the Common App. Making a choice is not optional. These are the Common App essay prompts for 2019-2020. The essay has a lower word limit of 250 and an upper word limit of 650. Always be sure to check the Admissions website of each college to which you’re applying to see if that college requires supplementary essays in addition to the Common App essay. Most colleges do, and you’ll need to complete those supplementary essays to complete your application to that institution.

Before you start writing your Common App Essay, it will help you to read some essays written by successful college applicants. The following two links take you to examples of compelling Common App essays, several by successful applicants to Johns Hopkins, and then others from successful applicants to Connecticut College. Take a little time and read some of these essays, noting how they’re structured and detailed—and, most importantly, how each writer comes across to the reader. The link to Connecticut College’s site also includes some essay tips from the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.

As also mentioned above, The Coalition, which is short for The Coalition for College Access, is asecond important online application platform which many students use to apply to more than 150 Coalition member schools. The Coalition application features its own essay, which you will submit with all your applications to Coalition schools. For this essay, the Coalition provides its own prompts, from which you choose to write your Coalition Application Essay. The recommended essay length is 500-550 words.

If you’re interested in reading some great advice on writing the college essay, both from College Admissions Officers and also from a recent college applicant, click here for a pdf with their reflections.