Teachers/Counselors: Using the EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals This presentation is designed to help students and parents get the most out of ACT’s EXPLORE program. While the primary focus of the presentation is on the EXPLORE Score Report, you should also emphasize the benefits of the It’s Your Future: Using Your EXPLORE Results interpretive guide and the new EXPLORE website for students (www.explorestudent.org). The importance of taking challenging high school courses, good study skills, and exploring careers is also emphasized. You are encouraged to build information into this presentation about the specific programs and resources that your school makes available to students and parents. Feel free to add information that you feel would strengthen your program.
Visual 1: Points of Emphasis Welcome! This session is designed to help you understand what the EXPLORE Student Score Report can tell you about your skills, interests, plans, and goals. It will also explain how this information can be used to develop effective educational and career plans for high school and beyond. One of the keys to ensuring that you are prepared for high school (and eventually for college) is getting an early start to the planning process. Even before high school starts (or very early in your high school career) EXPLORE helps you see: 1) where you stand academically, 2) what career and educational paths are available to you, and 3) how to develop a plan for meeting your career and academic goals. Early awareness of academic strengths and weaknesses, plus a rigorous high school course plan are the keys to success.
Visual 2: Points of Emphasis There are many benefits to taking EXPLORE: EXPLORE shows you your academic strengths and weaknesses. This way, you will know which courses will be best to take to improve your skills or show you where you might want to get some extra help. EXPLORE is a great career exploration tool. EXPLORE not only helps you learn about more than 500 occupations, it can show you which of them are most likely to interest you. Every student should have the choice about whether or not they wish to go to college. Students who are not prepared are not likely to be successful in college. EXPLORE helps you build a high school plan that will ensure you are taking the challenging coursework you’ll need to be prepared for college-level work. EXPLORE includes College Readiness Benchmark Scores that show you whether or not you are on target to be ready for college-level coursework. If you score at or above the Benchmarks, you are likely on target for college. If you score below the Benchmarks, you still have time to improve in those areas if you take the right classes and work hard in them.
Visual 4: Points of Emphasis Here you see the front side of a sample Student Score Report. The Score Report includes a great deal of information about your skills and knowledge, academic plans for high school and beyond, career interests, and likely readiness for college. The Score Report has been designed for use as a tool to help you improve your academic skills and knowledge, make educational plans, and investigate careers. The more thoroughly the Score Report is used, the more you will likely benefit from EXPLORE. In the next few slides, we will take a closer look at each of the sections on the EXPLORE Score Report.
Visual 5: Points of Emphasis The top of the Score Report includes basic information about you, including: Your school School EXPLORE code Your grade level Date the test was administered The school receives 2 copies of every student’s report: 1 copy for school records, 1 copy for you to share at home.
Visual 6: Points of Emphasis On the left side of the graphic, you will find several scores that indicate how well you did on the EXPLORE test. You will see scores for English, math, reading, science, as well as your Composite, or overall, Score. Each of these scores will range from 1 – 25. The Composite Score is the average of your English, math, reading, and science scores. Notice there are 2 subscores under English. These scores may indicate specific areas in English that need improvement. These scores range from 1-12. The horizontal bars are simply another way to show the percentage of students at or below your scores. The farther to the right the bar extends, the greater the number of students who scored at or below your score. The column titled “In the U.S. Fall 8th”, shows the percentage of students in a national norm group that scored at or below your score. In this example, this student scored as high or higher than 64% of students in the national norm group of 8 th graders who took EXPLORE in the fall. You will only have numbers in the 3 columns to the right of the chart if your school ordered this information or if you are in a state where all students take EXPLORE. These columns compare your score to students in your school, school district, or state who took EXPLORE. Do not be concerned if you do not see numbers in these columns.
Visual 7: Points of Emphasis EXPLORE is one of three tests that measure your readiness for college. PLAN is a test usually taken by 10 th graders and the ACT is usually taken in 11 th or 12 th grade. All three tests cover the same four subject areas (English, math, reading, and science). Used together, EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT can show you how your skills and knowledge grow over time. When you take EXPLORE you will receive an estimated PLAN Composite Score Range. The Estimated PLAN Composite Score Range tells you how other students scored on PLAN as tenth graders after achieving the same Composite Score as you received on EXPLORE. Based on your EXPLORE scores, it is likely that when you take PLAN, your score will be in this range. You may score higher if you improve your study skills and/or take challenging courses. Remember, this is not a guarantee. It is an estimate of your performance on PLAN based on your EXPLORE scores and assumes you will continue your current level of commitment to your coursework.
Visual 8: Points of Emphasis This section compares your plans for high school coursework to a recommended “Core” set of courses that are important to take in order to prepare yourself for college. Core means taking a minimum of: 4 years of English 3 or more years of math 3 or more years of social studies 3 or more years of science Is the student in this example meeting ‘Core’? Students who take this recommended “Core” set of courses tend to be much better prepared for college-level work than students who do not. You should plan to take additional coursework in the appropriate subject areas if your plans fall short of “Core”. Taking additional courses beyond the “Core”, especially upper-level math and science courses, makes it even more likely that you will be ready for college.
So now, what we used to call the “college prep” curriculum is fast becoming the standard curriculum for everyone, as it is those courses that help students develop the skills needed for success. The minimum high school graduation requirements are currently under review, and though we don’t know specifically what the outcome will be, we do know that in the next decade all students will be expected to complete something like these courses.
Visual 9: Points of Emphasis When you took EXPLORE, you were asked whether or not you needed help in seven different areas: Making plans for my education, career, and work after high school Improving my writing skills Improving my reading and comprehension Improving my study skills Improving my mathematical skills Improving my computer skills Improving my public speaking skills The items marked with a checkmark are the areas with which you said you would like help. Teachers/Counselors: Be sure to let students know how they can receive help at your school.
Visual 10: Points of Emphasis When you completed EXPLORE, you were asked to consider your future educational and career plans. As you explore occupations within the Career Area you said you preferred, think about whether or not the Educational Plans you indicated are consistent with the educational preparation required for jobs that interest you. For instance, if you are interested in being a high school classroom teacher, you will most likely need to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree. You can find out more about educational preparation required for specific jobs at www.explorestudent.org. Click on the link for the World-of-Work Map at the bottom of the page to begin exploring careers. You can also visit www.bls.gov/oco to access the Occupational Outlook Handbook , a resource that describes jobs and the outlook for job openings.
Visual 11: Points of Emphasis Your EXPLORE results give you an early indication of how likely you are to be ready for college-level work. While you have quite a bit of time before you will need to take college courses, the time to begin preparing for them is now. EXPLORE uses College Readiness Benchmark Scores to indicate whether or not you are on target to develop the skills and knowledge you need to be ready for college. The best way to get the skills you need is to take challenging, college prep courses in high school. This section shows whether you scored above, at, or below EXPLORE College Readiness Benchmark Scores for English, math, reading, and science. Students who meet the Benchmark Scores in English, math, and science are likely on target for success in entry-level college courses in these subjects. Students meeting the Reading Benchmark Score are likely developing the reading skills needed in all college subject areas. Are your scores at or above the Benchmarks? If so, keep working hard. This just means you are on target for success if you maintain your current focus. You will need to keep working hard to stay on track. Are your scores below the Benchmarks? There is still plenty of time to build your skills. Make sure you are meeting the recommended “Core” courses needed for college success. The information in the “Your Skills” section of the Score report can also help you. You may want to focus your attention on taking more courses in areas where you are not currently meeting Benchmark scores.
Visual 12: Points of Emphasis EXPLORE is a great tool for helping you explore the many different career possibilities available. Use your EXPLORE Score Report, It’s Your Future booklet, and the EXPLORE student website (www.explorestudent.org) to help you learn more about careers in line with your interests. When you took EXPLORE, you were asked questions about the types of work tasks you liked and disliked. Based on your answers, EXPLORE can tell you about jobs that may be appealing to you. The results can be found on the World-of-Work Map on your Score Report. Career Areas (each marked with a different letter) that are in line with your interests can be found in the blue shaded areas. See It’s Your Future and www.explorestudent.org to find activities that will help you learn more about jobs that fall under these Career Areas.
Visual 13: Points of Emphasis On Side 2 of your EXPLORE Score Report you will find important information about how you can improve your skills based on your EXPLORE results. Earlier, we talked about the importance of making high school course plans that will help you develop the skills you need for college-level courses. Your EXPLORE Score Report can give you specific suggestions on how you can improve your skills.
Visual 14: Points of Emphasis On Side 2 of your Student Report you will find information that you can use to improve your skills in each of the areas tested by EXPLORE (English, Math, reading, and science). Notice that each suggestion corresponds to specific content areas. For instance, in English, you will find suggestions for how to improve your skills in “Organization”, “Word Choice”, and other important areas in English. The suggestions you find on your Score Report will most likely be different from those for other students in your class who took EXPLORE, because they are based specifically on your EXPLORE scores.
Visual 15: Points of Emphasis ACT has developed a new website designed to help students and parents understand and use EXPLORE results. At www.explorestudent.org you can: Learn what your EXPLORE scores mean Learn how to improve your skills Learn how EXPLORE can help you see if you are on target for college Use online career exploration tools Find sample EXPLORE test questions
Visual 16: Coursework Planner In the It’s Your Future interpretive guide, you will find a Coursework Planner (page 10) that is designed to help you think about the courses you should take in high school. Using the Coursework Planner, you can see how the subjects you take in high school are related to specific Career Areas that you will find on the World-of-Work Map. It helps you keep your career preferences in mind as you plan your courses. It will also help you make sure you are taking challenging, college prep courses as part of your plans. Remember, the more challenging the courses you take, the more likely you will be ready for college-level work once you graduate high school.
Visual 17: Points of Emphasis Taking EXPLORE has many benefits, but in order to get the most from EXPLORE you need to take advantage of the information from your Score Report, the It’s Your Future booklet, and the EXPLORE student website (www.explorestudent.org). If you find that you are not on target for college, ask your teachers and/or counselor how you can improve your skills. You can begin by looking at the “Your Skills” section on side 2 of the Score Report. In many cases, you may need to take additional courses or change the types of courses you plan to take in high school in order to improve your skills. The more challenging the courses you take, the more likely it is that you will develop the skills you need. Be sure to share the information with your parents and ask your teachers and school counselors questions about sections of the report that you do not understand.
Visual 19: Points of Emphasis It’s never too early to start thinking about how you and your family will pay for your education after high school. While it may seem that college costs a lot, keep in mind that almost all high paying jobs require education beyond high school – most will require at least four years of college. There are many different ways to pay for college. Be sure to ask your counselor about scholarships, grants, loans, and other financing options. One of the best things you and your family can do is start saving early for college. If you have a part-time job, you may want to consider putting aside some or all of the money you earn to pay for college. Most colleges award scholarships to students who earn good grades in high school and/or do well on the ACT test. Use this as motivation to study hard and do your best in your classes.
Visual 20: Points of Emphasis Teachers/Counselors: You may want to use a review of these “Keys” as a good way to wrap up the session. You may want to use examples of successful community leaders, parents, or recent high school graduates to emphasize these points. You may also want to use this opportunity to remind students/parents of the resources your school has available to help families with educational, career, and college planning.
EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
<ul><li>Understanding Your EXPLORE Results: </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for a World of Possibilities </li></ul>EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005 3
Why Take EXPLORE? EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005 <ul><li>EXPLORE shows you child their academic strengths and weaknesses in English, math, reading, and science </li></ul><ul><li>EXPLORE helps your child search for careers and learn which ones might be right for them. </li></ul><ul><li>EXPLORE helps your child choose high school courses that will prepare them for college and work </li></ul>
EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005 EXPLORE Score Report Side 1
Student/School Information EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
Your Child’s Scores EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
Estimated PLAN Composite Score Range EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
High School Course Plans Compared to Core EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
What Do Students Need To Be Prepared To Take in High School? <ul><li>4 years of Math </li></ul><ul><li>4 years of English (English I-IV) </li></ul><ul><li>3-4 years of Social Studies (US History, World History, World Geography, Economics, Government) </li></ul><ul><li>3 years of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) </li></ul><ul><li>2 years of the same World Language </li></ul><ul><li>1 year Arts & Humanities </li></ul><ul><li>At least one credit in Technology </li></ul>EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
Areas in Which Your Child Would Like Additional Help EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
What does my child do now? <ul><li>Now that your child has taken EXPLORE, you know much more about your child’s skills, career interests, and readiness for college. Using your Score Report, ask some questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does my high school course plan include challenging college prep courses? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What skills do I need to work on to be sure I am on target for college? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can I learn more about careers that interest me? </li></ul></ul>EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
Financial Planning for College <ul><li>Start learning now about how much college will cost </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about different forms of financial aid available </li></ul><ul><li>Start saving now for college </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how good grades and ACT scores can help make college more affordable </li></ul>EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005
Keys to Good Educational and Career Planning <ul><li>Take challenging college prep courses in high school. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the many career options available to you and think about how your career choices will affect your future. </li></ul><ul><li>Set career goals and develop an educational plan to achieve them. </li></ul>EXPLORE Interpretive Visuals 10/2005