Attention Illinois Students: The Golden Apple Scholar Application is Now Open!

If you’re thinking about becoming a teacher in Illinois, the Golden Apple Scholars program will give you the opportunity to earn up to $23,000 for college at more than 50 Illinois partner universities. This unique teacher prep program combines a scholarship with unrivaled classroom experience and game-changing resources both during and after college. The Golden Apple Scholar Application is now open!

Teacher assisting students in art class

Golden Apple Scholars have the unique opportunity to gain experience working in challenging teaching environments and receive:

  • Tuition support up to $23,000
  • Four paid Summer Institutes that include courses and extensive classroom/work experience
  • Academic support
  • Job placement assistance
  • Ongoing mentoring from award-winning teachers throughout college and during the early years of teaching

The Golden Apple Scholars program was created specifically to help students who want to help their communities and make a difference in the lives of their students. The program will award 250 scholarships to future teachers this year. Teachers and counselors can nominate their standout students, but you’re also encouraged to nominate yourself if you’re interested.

Illinois-based Cappex students with an interest in education shouldn’t hesitate to apply to the Golden Apple Scholars program. Our nation needs more qualified and passionate educators, particularly those who are bilingual or members of a traditionally underrepresented group. However, all students are encouraged to get involved, especially those who want to change the lives of young people. Because the program is only for Illinois students who are planning on studying and teaching in-state, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference locally.

2015 Golden Apple Scholars: At a Glance

57% – First generation college students
50% – Underrepresented population
36% – Low income
25 – Average ACT score

The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program can help you start your career as an educator who is committed to changing lives. Visit the Golden Apple website for more details.

Original Post Date: September 25th, 2015

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How to Set (and Achieve!) Goals

studyHave you thought about your freshman year goals yet? Maybe you haven’t, or maybe your main objective was just finding your classes the first week of school.

Think about what you want to accomplish this year and then get moving to make your dreams a reality. However, keep in mind there’s an art behind the process of goal setting – it’s not as simple as it seems, but we’re here to help you.

Decide What You Want to Achieve
What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to get an A in a subject you really struggle with? Maintain a 3.5 GPA? Meet at least five new friends? Develop a strong relationship with at least one teacher or coach? Read at least one book a month?

Make it Clear
Be specific – it’s not enough to say you want to get good grades all year. Instead, decide you’ll aim for a 4.0, no grade lower than a B, or any other clear goal. Plans that are too vague don’t give you anything concrete to aim for.

Figure Out What’s Realistic
Sure, we’d love to think you can achieve anything. But some goals are way more than anyone can handle – it’s probably impossible to maintain a 4.0, start AP classes sophomore year, make the varsity soccer team, and be actively involved in four or five other clubs all year.

Set Deadlines and Schedules
The most accomplished people will tell you they set deadlines for their goals or abide by a schedule. Give this a shot. Try waking up 10 minutes early every day to review some math problems. Bring your book with you on the bus to get some extra reading in. Turn off your phone after 8pm to give yourself time to study or give up a few of those Sunday Netflix marathons for a volunteer cause. And if your schedule or deadlines aren’t working for you, you can always change them. Just remember to take a step back and make sure your goals give you some breathing room and space for fun and relaxation. After all, you’ll have earned that downtime!

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Original Post Date: September 23rd, 2015

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The Back-to-School Checklist

studyNow that the back-to-school rush has slowed down a little bit, it’s time to knock a few important things off your sophomore year checklist. What’s No. 1 on that list? Meeting with your guidance counselor! Schedule a time to chat with your counselor and run through this list of questions together:

Should I Think About Taking AP Classes?
Taking Advanced Placement classes is something every high schooler should consider. Not only will AP classes impress college admissions officers, passing the tests at the end of the year may mean you can skip some gen eds once you head to college. Ask your counselor what types of AP courses your school offers, what requirements you’ll have to meet to qualify for them, and if he or she thinks you’re prepared to succeed in this type of class.

Am I Scheduled to Graduate On Time?
You don’t want to make it to senior year before realizing you haven’t fulfilled some of your high school’s graduation requirements. Make sure you’re on track to graduate and see if there are any other mandatory classes you need to fit into your schedule before it’s too late.

What Else Will Make Me Appealing to Colleges?
Your guidance counselor knows the school’s student body – and the colleges they’re interested in – pretty well. So it only makes sense that he or she will be able to tell you what you need to do to stand out in the crowd, whether it’s pick up another extracurricular, start volunteering, or add another year of foreign language classes.

Are There Any Colleges I Should Start Looking At Now?
Don’t overlook college suggestions from your counselor! Expert advice from someone who knows you and your academic history is a great way to start thinking about which colleges are a good match for you. Write down any suggestions, add them to your college list, and see if they’re a good fit. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take the Careers and Majors personality assessment to figure out which schools have majors that fit your interests and skills.

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Original Post Date: September 23rd, 2015

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