I am sharing a series of seven thoughts from the Making Caring Common (MCC) report, “Turning the Tide II” that addresses character in college admissions. This is specifically for parents.
As a recap here are the first five points:
 Keep the focus on your teen.
 Follow your ethical GPS.
 Use the admissions process as an opportunity for ethical education.
 Be authentic.
 Encourage your teen to contribute to others in meaningful ways.
 Advocate for elevating ethical character and reducing achievement related distress.
Before you read any further, answer the following: who is responsible for raising ethical students? Here are three possible responses.
🤷🏿♀️Why do think parents are responsible?
The bible says that “children are a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). As parents, we are instructed to discipline our children (Proverbs 29:17), “impress” God’s commandments on them (Deuteronomy 6:6-7), train them up because they don’t know the way to go (Proverbs 22:6), and not provoke them to anger (Ephesians 6:4).
🤷🏼♂️Why do you think the local education system is responsible?
We know that Moses was “educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22).
Remember the response of a certain teenager when Superintendent Asphenaz was directed by his boss to teach the young Israelites “the language and literature of the Babylonians” for three years (Daniel 1:3-5)?
Without overlooking Christians who are called to serve God through the public education system, this is one reason why parents are deciding to homeschool their children.
🏫What about the community or the church?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
If parents are ultimately responsible for influencing the classroom and community to reinforce those values, what could they do?
👉🏼Parents could enroll their children in a character-driven charter school or classical Christian private school.
👉🏼Parents could advocate and support character-based education by getting involved in the PTA/PTO, All Pro Dads, and other mentorship programs in the local school district.
👉🏼Parents could encourage educators to emphasize “collaboration rather than competition among students.” This also includes how college information is shared with students.
Equal access to college means that we are sharing and exposing all students to the types of colleges and the pathways to graduation to reduce college planning stress.
👉🏼Parents could question how colleges admit students. While academic entrance exams are the norm, they should ask if they are admitting students that have a “concern for others and the common good.”
The authors write that “parents need to step up—respectfully but firmly—to advance a very different vision of high schools and the college admissions process. They can press for prioritizing not just academic achievement but ethical character, take a zero-tolerance stance on achievement-related distress, and advocate for greater equity and fairness.”
The MCC Team offers four action points for parents:
1. Encourage your child to take action against problems that affect them, such as cyberbullying or an unsafe street corner.
2. Provide opportunities for your child to join causes that interest them.
3. Encourage your child not just to “do for” others but to "do with" others, working with diverse groups of students to respond to community problems.
4. Think out loud with your child. For example, start a conversation about ethical dilemmas that arise on TV shows.
Last week, I wrote about the anticipation of receiving a college admission decision.
Once your applications (college, scholarship, financial aid) are submitted, you are now waiting for the college to make its decision.
With over 4,000 college options, there are about eight possible admissions outcomes.
👉🏻Here are the first six possible college application outcomes.
These are specifically from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, Georgia) based on their email to students. The terms are universal among universities.
🍂Fall Admit: Admitted first-years for fall have until May to choose whether or not to attend Tech. Last year, 21 percent of students were accepted through Early Admission.
🏖Summer Admit: Each year a limited number of students are admitted to the summer term. Students admitted to the fall class may opt-in to the summer term if they choose. About 20 percent choose this route.
✋🏽Defer: Students who apply for Early Action may have their application deferred to our Regular Decision round. Now you have to wait until March for a decision!
📃Waitlist: A limited number of students will be offered a place on Tech's waitlist. If waitlisted, look on the college website for data that explains your chances. For example, 3,800 students were offered a place on the GT waitlist and 2,623 accepted their place on the waitlist.
🚫Deny: First-year applicants who receive this decision are denied admission to Georgia Tech. If a student is denied in Early Action, they may not reapply in Regular Decision.
🔁Transfer Pathway: Some students will be offered a transfer pathway, which provides an opportunity to transfer to Tech after a year in college elsewhere.
👉🏻Another possible college application outcome could include being admitted to the university but not your intended major.
💉Impacted majors (like nursing) at the California State University system schools mean they accept more eligible applicants that the major can handle. By design.
Applying to an impacted major means local students receive priority, you could be referred to an alternate campus, or, if accepted to the university, you’ll have to compete even harder to get one of the coveted seats after your freshman year. If you don’t get accepted to that major, you have to switch majors or switch colleges.
👉🏻Another possible college application outcome could include a condition to attend a community college before being admitted to the university.
👍🏻Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas) teamed up with Blinn College (a 19,000 student community college) to admit hundreds of additional qualified students into the Texas A&M freshman class than would have otherwise been possible due to enrollment limitations.
It is a two-year program that allows students to take academic courses on the TAMU campus while completing basic courses with an admission guarantee as a junior.
No matter how the college notifies you or what the college decides, there is a seat for you in college.
During the application process, you need to learn how to remain hopeful, wait patiently, and be flexible.
💵 Money! 💵
That is what I hear when students (even my own) are discussing future career options.
Yes, even as I preach about “solving problems” and “finding your purpose” as the career driver, a high paying job is what is desired.
Okay, I get it.
So lets look at the median salary’s for the fastest growing careers.
There are three paths to good jobs: high school diplomas, middle skills, and postsecondary degrees.
The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University defines “good jobs as ones that pay at least $35,000; average $56,000 for workers with less than a bachelor’s degree; and average $65,000 for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Let’s look at a few of the fastest growing occupations based on the entry-level education required.
🎓HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
With a high school diploma, you can become a solar photovoltaic installer and earn above the national average. SP installers assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. May perform minor electrical work such as current checks. At fifty percent growth, this is projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the next decade among the over 300 jobs available for high school graduates.
Fastest Growing Occupation: Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Median Salary: $46,850
Highest Paying Occupation: Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
Median Salary: $103,320
There are 45 occupations that require a certificate (also called a postsecondary nondegree award). If you want to enter the fastest growing career in all categories (sixty-one percent) for a few years, consider becoming a wind turbine service technician. WTS technicians inspect, diagnose, adjust, or repair wind turbines. They perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.
Fastest Growing Occupation: Wind Turbine Service Technician
Median Salary: $56,700
Highest Paying Occupation: First-line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers
Median Salary: $82,010
There are 46 occupations that require an associate’s degree for employment. Occupational therapy assistants are the fastest growing career for those earning a 2-year degree at a community college. OTAs assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments.
Fastest Growing Occupation: Occupational Therapy Assistants
Median Salary: $61,880
Highest Paying Occupation: Air Traffic Controllers
Median Salary: $122,990
With 169 occupations that require a bachelor’s degree (a 4-year degree), you have a wide range of career clusters to choose from including health science, information technology, STEM, and business management.
Medical and health services managers plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations. This managerial position is the fastest growing career that requires a bachelor’s degree and could grow amid the demands of the pandemic.
In college you could major in Community Health, Emergency Services Management, Health Services Administration/Management, or Health Studies.
Fastest Growing Occupation: Medical and Health Services Managers
Median Salary: $115,160
Highest Paying Occupation: Petroleum Engineers
Median Salary: $156,780
As you can see, there are a lot of occupational options. When you level up your education, you level up your opportunity to earn more money.
To help you narrow down your options, you should begin by answering the following question: what problems do you want to solve?
As you discover that answer, you can research careers that will help you solve that problem.
Then you can enjoy the process of finding the right college for you.
If you need help, work with your high school guidance counselor or consider hiring me as your educational consultant.
The anticipation of receiving a college admission decision might have a similar feel to you.
🤞🏽Remember when you were waiting for that “I like you, too” response from that (fingers crossed) special someone.
You expressed interest in each other.
You talked with your friends.
You talked with their friends.
You swiped through their social media accounts.
You may have even explored other options.
Then you waited. ⌚
Waited for that mutual connection.
When it comes to college admissions, waiting to open your online admission portal to find out if they “like you” (and want to admit you) can be stressful.
On the CollegeVine blog, they shared that some colleges (like the Ivy League) might send a likely letter.
“A likely letter is a message sent to select students before an institution makes its official admissions decisions. In the letter, a school will indicate its intent to admit the student; in other words, they are ‘likely’ to be accepted.”
🎉Even though you feel confident, you are still hoping to see or hear the word, “Congratulations!”
🚁Aside from the typical college portal, students have received their decision news by letter, by drone (Lewis University), by tube (MIT), and in a box (College of the Ozarks). Some received a personal visit at their high school (Thomas More) and at home (Wheaton College).
No matter how the college notifies you or what the college decides, there is a seat for you in college.
You may have to wait for the right one.
🤷🏼♀️Which colleges are you anxiously awaiting to hear from this year?
Combining my youth ministry and educational consulting experience, I guide students to connect higher education with God's calling.