Customized Curriculum

As you might already know, there are different ways for students to learn more effectively.

  • spatial (visual): using images and space to gain understanding
  • auditory (aural): using sounds or music
  • linguistic (verbal): using spoken or reading words
  • kinesthetic (physical): using the body and sense of touch
  • mathematical (logical): using reasoning and systems
  • interpersonal (social): learning in groups or with others
  • intrapersonal (solitary): learning by working and studying alone

It is important to understand that sometimes our classrooms are only focusing on certain learning styles. For example, textbooks work perfectly for the students who are linguistic or even spatial learners, but not so much for the kinesthetic and and auditory learners. This means we might spend hours trying to teach students and get absolutely nowhere.

Targeting the correct learning styles for individual students can make your life (and their lives) much easier. Therefore, the U.S Department of Education lists “personalizing academic content and strengthen the connection to the educational needs and interests of individual students” as the second principle of Next Generation High Schools.

So what are some ways you can personalize your curriculum to effectively cater to your students’ learning needs? The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology has a blog with insights from schools that have prioritized a customized curriculum. Read this useful blog here.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on Next Generation High Schools!

Transforming into Next Generation High Schools

As mentioned in our first November blog, features of Next Generation High Schools include:

  • Redesigning academic content
  • Personalizing academic content
  • Ensuring strong content knowledge
  • Providing and personalizing academic and wrap-around support services
  • Providing high-quality career and college exploration and counseling
  • Offering multiple opportunities to engage in post-secondary learning in high school
  • Redesigning learning in more innovative and meaningful ways

The Alliance for Excellent Education has developed toolkits in the form of slideshow presentations for school leaders. These toolkits present methods, in accordance to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that schools can use to transform high schools into Next Generation High Schools. The toolkits focus on five topics: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, career and technical education, dual-enrollment and early college high schools, deeper learning, and personalized learning. Find downloadable toolkits here.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on Next Generation High Schools!

How to Manage Student Debt

Welcome to our last post for the month of October! Unfortunately, your students will continue being haunted by student loans long after deciding what loans are most convenient for them.

Developing a plan to manage their student loans is crucial to long-term financial and overall health. Here are a few tips to help your students manage their loans.

To learn how to budget click here.

For more information on consolidating your loans click here.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on student debt!

Student Loan Forgiveness

If there is no way for your student to get around student loans, there are a few options for students to stop paying back their loans. However, theses methods are not always easy to obtain and are not available for all students.

Student loan forgiveness is when a student is no longer required to pay for their student loans. There are three overarching circumstances that might lead to forgiven loans.

  • Career: If your student pursues an education in a public service sector, they can be eligible for loan forgiveness after completing a certain amount of on-time payments and working in that field for a certain amount of years. This option does not apply to private loans. Some student loan forgiveness programs that depend on careers include but are not limited to:
  • On-time payments: If your student pays their loan on time, they can be eligible for student loan forgiveness after 20 years. This sounds like a long time but it usually the remaining balance is forgiven after 20 to 25 years. In this option, career field does not play a role and it does not apply to private loans. Some programs depending on on-time payments are:
  • Student loan discharge (extraordinary circumstances): This option is usually awarded by a judge so there is not guarantee of acceptance. Student loan discharge applies to both federal and private loans. Extreme circumstances for this discharge include but are not limited to:
    • permanent disability
    • death
    • identity theft
    • unauthorized signature of the loan without the student’s knowledge
    • bankruptcy

For more ways a student can obtain student loan forgiveness, click here.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on student debt!

Avoiding Student Debt

As of 2018 stats, “Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers.”

The looming, dark cloud over higher education in the U.S. is, of course, student debt which is why we are focusing on this World Future Forum topic during the spooky month of October. In this blog post, we will present some tips on how your students can avoid student debt even before starting their higher education. Conversely, this means trying to spend the least amount of money possible.

To help your students, you should help them understand that they need to:

  1. Excel in high school: This means your students should try their hardest to get the best grades in their everyday courses as well as their college entrance exams, SAT/ACT. The higher their grades, the more likely a school will want them and offer money. If their grades are not the best, they should look into getting tutored by another student or teacher. Tutoring is a great way for you to go the extra mile and really help your student avoid debt in the future. Another important fact, is that universities want well-rounded students. It looks great when a student is involved in clubs and activities that show they are committed and can work well with others. Skills developed during extracurricular activities, such as sports and academic skills, can also yield to scholarships. It is crucial your students understand high school as an opportunity for their future.
  2. Enroll in free college courses: Many times, students do not realize that by “saving the hassle” and not taking advanced courses in high school, they are missing out on a great opportunity.  Advanced Placement, dual enrollment and summer courses provided by universities and high schools are the perfect way to save money. Students are able to take courses that will be required in college for free! Another suggestion you can give students that already know what they want to study, is to look into programs in their desired majors at local universities that also offer college credit.
  3. Focus on in-state schools: Are your students aware that the yearly tuition for a four-year out-of-state public school is around $25,600 and approximately $34,700 for a private school while an in-state public school is about $9,500? That is a big difference. While moving to a completely different state or traveling cross-country can be tempting for your students, it is important to persuade them to reconsider. They might be underestimating the amount of student debt they can potentially get themselves into. If they make time to compare school costs and quality of education, they will more than likely realize that in-state schools are more convenient.
  4. Consider different living situations: Another positive aspect about attending an in-state school is that students might be able to live at home and save money on rent. Let’s be honest, the first reason many students want to go to an out-of-state school is to become independent of their parents; however, they do not realize that living in dorms is not always the cheapest option. Living in a dorm can easily add $11,000 to a yearly tuition. If living at home is not possible and dorms are too expensive, you should ask your students to consider renting an apartment with a couple of friends. Usually, living off-campus is cheaper and investing in a bike can save your students from time consuming walks or spending money on vehicle expenses.
  5. Contemplate working part time: Usually, students are not thinking about working during their higher education either because they want to focus on school or they do not want to worry about a job until after their college graduation. However, working, at least, a part-time job while going to school can pay for some of their schooling so they do not have student debt or at least helps minimize any debt. A bonus to having a job while attending a university, is that it look great on resumes when they start applying for “real” jobs. It shows students are responsible and have good time management skills.
  6. Try to steer clear of private loans: As opposed to federal student loans, private student loans do not have a limit on how much students can borrow each year. Private loans are a slippery slope, and it can be very easy for students to go in over their head and end up in massive student debt. Additionally, private student loans have higher interest rates and do not offer accommodation repayment plans for students who struggle to keep up with their payments.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on student debt!