Help Your Student

Preparing your student for high school and college success.

Tips for your student

Student Timeline

Our interactive timeline gives the advice you need to help your student succeed as they prepare for college.

Making the Move to High School

The transition to high school can be both exciting and overwhelming for you and your student. In 9th grade, students will

  • learn how to navigate a new building and get to know new school staff
  • learn new rules
  • learn how to manage time more effectively
  • balance more responsibility that comes with additional independence
  • choose classes for a successful four-year plan towards graduation
  • set goals related to college and career
  • adapt to more challenging coursework
  • make new friends and explore extra-curricular opportunities
  • learn effective study habits

Glossary of College Terms

View a list of important terms to review with your student.

College Greenlight

Create a profile with College Green light for information on financial aid options and in-depth college profiles.

Learning Styles

Many people have a primary learning style, meaning they learn best participating in activities with that particular learning style. Other people learn best when they are able to use two or all three of the learning styles. There is no right or wrong learning style; it’s whatever works best for each student. lists three primary types of learning styles:

  • Auditory: Auditory learners learn best when they are listening and can follow spoken instructions.
  • Visual: Visual learners learn best when they can visualize or see what they need to do.
  • Tactile: Tactile learners learn best when they do hand-on activities to apply what they’ve learned and are able to utilize touch.

GEAR UP Iowa encourages you and your student to take the learning styles inventory. Understanding how your student learns will help you support them as they develop study skills to guide them through their education. You can find more information on study skills inside this issue and a learning style inventory.

Turning Passions Into Future Plans

With hundreds of college majors and career options, students can easily get overwhelmed planning for their future. Together, we can help students discover what they enjoy and love and show them how to turn those things into a lifelong career. Passion is at the heart of choosing what a person wants to do each day in their life after college. If a person truly loves what he or she does, it won’t feel like work. If students can recognize their passions as well as their talents, skills and values, they can look for opportunities to further develop them.

Encourage students to try a variety of extracurricular activities or volunteer experiences at school or in the community. Then ask them to reflect on what they liked or didn’t like about each. Some questions that will help them think about their passions include:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you like about your favorite classes?
  • Who do you look up to (friends and family, historical figures or celebrities)? Why do you look up to them?
  • What accomplishment has made you most proud and why?
  • If you could do any job for a day, what would it be and why?

Connect your student with a college student or other adult mentor with similar passions to learn more. Students who have a passion for what they’re doing and studying are more likely to stay involved and succeed more in school. That success increases the chances of graduating college and finding a satisfying career!

Exploring Careers

  • My Next Move — This interactive website helps families and students explore fields, answer questions about the type of work they might enjoy and find the career that matches their interests. The website also provides information about training and education required for different careers.

Enrichment Opportunities

Encourage students to participate in enrichment opportunities such as science/art camps, summer camps, internships and leadership trainings. GEAR UP Iowa students can apply each spring for the Student Summit which is held annually in June.