Friday, October 19, 2012

Health Careers has lots of information about a wide variety of careers, including LOTS beyond doctor and nurse—acupuncture practitioner, massage therapist, medical librarian, dental hygienist, environmental health specialist, athletic trainer, . . . even crime scene investigator!

The site also has search feature where you look for careers based on how long you want to be in school and how much money you would like to earn. (It shouldn't be a big surprise that the careers that pay the most often require the most training, e.g., college and medical school.)

If you are a student thinking about possible careers—or if you are a tutor looking for good information to share with your student—this is a great site to explore.

College Application Tips

Check out Do's and Don'ts When Applying to College Part I (Jan. 19, 2012) and Part II (Feb. 16, 2012), from

Tips for Studying Science

Studying Science: The Six Keys to Success (from could be helpful to older students, especially those planning to go to college. The summary:
Key Number 1: Manage Your Time New students often don't know how much time it really takes to study science. You'll need to make the most of every minute. Our time-saving tips may not make you a science whiz overnight, but they will help you get on top of all that studying!

Key Number 2: Create A Study Space Whatever and wherever it is, your study space should be your own personal sanctum sanctorum. Your brain comes to associate that space exclusively with studying - so as soon as you enter it, you just click into the study mode. This, in itself, is an enormous time-saver.

Key Number 3: Master the Textbook Are you intimidated by your science book? If so, you're not alone. Tackling a difficult text can be daunting, even for the most intelligent student. Our experts offer advice about how to approach, read, take notes on, and (best of all) understand those gargantuan science texts.

Key Number 4 - Note-Taking ABCs If you want to be a successful student of science, you need to master two essential in-class skills: effective listening, and effective note-taking. We can help you notice - and take note of - what's most important in the lecture hall.

Key Number 5 - Join A Study Group The best students - like the best health professionals - do not work in isolation. The friends you study with become allies in learning: You cheer each other on, brainstorm together, divvy up topics, and help each other study for exams. There's strength in numbers!

Key Number 6 - Don't Cram For Exams Cramming is stressful and exhausting - but even worse, it's not very effective. Our experts tell you how to be so well prepared that you'll spend the night before your next exam actually sleeping.
Since we tutors spend so much time on reading, the tip on how to read a science textbook is especially worthwhile. Getting the most out of a science textbook takes some differ skills from reading a novel or history book!

Education News, Policy, Commentary

Want to read about education issues? Check out the Washington Post's blog, The Answer Sheet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Washington State Kids Going to College

The Seattle Times reports that Washington State is near the bottom in the rate of students going to college (two-year or four-year) after high school. There's a companion story about an elementary school in Kent that's trying to get kids thinking about college from the very beginning. Washington has a higher percentage of adults who have gone to college than average and yet a low percentage of young people who go. Why? Because a lot of well-educated people move here. See Trends: Washington state's higher-education paradox, Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2012. Wouldn't it be great if our own students could get the educations they need to work at Microsoft, Nintendo, Boeing, Amgen, Genentech, and so on?

We need to remember vocational programs in community colleges and technical schools, too. I know a young man who is finishing a two-year welding program at a community college, and he should be able to get a job and make a good living. We need good mechanics, carpenters, chefs, electricians, nurses, medical technicians, dental hygienists, and more. To get training for these fields, students still need to get through high school and enroll in a program. Study skills, reading, math, and language arts will be important to them, even if they don't choose to go to a four-year college.

I have sometimes tutored a teenager who didn't have enough homework for the hour and yet did not want to read a book. If your student is like that, you try reading these articles together and talking about them, for a little reading practice and an opening to talk about what comes after high school. There are some math skills to practice, too—reading charts, talking about percentages.

If your or your student like, try this list based on these news stories.