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New Salem - February 11, 2009

Counselorís Corner

By Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School
Counselorís Corner

Choices Planner!
Recently, I took the 7th grade students into the computer lab and had the students create their own portfolios on Choices Planner. Choices Planner is one of the programs on the web site. This website provides students with many opportunities to learn about how their interests and aptitudes align with various occupations. It also provides much information about occupations, college majors, which colleges offer various majors, and much more.

The Student Loans Division of the Bank of North Dakota pays for access to this web site. Every high school and high school student in North Dakota gets free access to this thanks to the Bank of North Dakota!

After the 7th grade students created their portfolios, I had them complete some interest inventories and aptitude assessments. The 3 I had them work on were: Choices Planner, Work Values Sorter, and Basic Skills Survey. Each of these programs provides students with a list of occupations on an individual student basis based upon their responses.

This program provides information on various occupations that a student may want consider in his/her career planning process. Thanks to Mr. Kuntz and Mrs. Hanson for allowing me into their classrooms to work with the 7th grade students on their career plans.

If you want to check out these programs and more, be sure to attend the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Meeting to be held at 6:30 P.M. at New Salem High School on April 2, 2009. I will demonstrate and then let each parent sign into the program and see what the students and parents can do on this web site. Parents can then create their own portfolio and use the program features for themselves or with their children.

In October New Salem 8th grade students participated in an Explore calibration study sponsored by ACT. The 8th grade students took Explore (the 8th grade version of the ACT). Each student who took the test was provided a report that included the following: an ACT type score, a college readiness score, and where a student is on the World-of-Work Map. The students highest possible score is a 25 compared to a 36 on the ACT. These 8th grade students didnít see the most difficult items that students see who take the ACT.

I recently presented 8th grade students their Explore results. They were given 2 copies of their results. One copy was for their Career Planning Portfolio and the other copy was for them to take home and share with Mom and Dad. If your 8th grade son or daughter hasnít shared the results with you, please ask them about it.

I recently took the juniors into the computer lab and had them sign-in and get started on TestGEAR. TestGEAR is an ACT Test Prep Program that is also provided to every high school in North Dakota by the Student Loans Division of the Bank of North Dakota. This program provides students an opportunity to learn more about the ACT and provides sample tests, practorials, and micro courses.

Students who spend significant time working on TestGEAR can increase their performance on the ACT. Of course, taking challenging academic courses and doing well in every course that students take will also help students to score well on the ACT. High ACT scores mean more scholarship dollars for college.

Here are pictures of some juniors working on TestGEAR.

(see the New Salem Journal from this date for the photos)

Thanks to Mrs. Doll for letting me have her students in the computer lab during her class.

Career Speaker
Tomorrow (February 12th) we will have another guest career speaker at New Salem High School. Mr. Jeff Violett of New Salem will talk to us about being a North Dakota game warden.
He will speak in Mrs. Larsonís biology and advanced biology classes during periods 1, 2, and 4. Other students who want to attend Mr. Violettís presentation may do so by obtaining permission from their classroom teacher and then by signing a sheet in the high school office with Mrs. Becker. Parents and patrons from the school district are invited to attend. We ask that you call Mrs. Becker so that we know you will be attending and so that we have room available for everyone. Iím looking forward to hearing about being a game warden!

Dr. Biron Baker will be a guest career speaker on March 25th. He will inform us about various aspects of being a medical doctor.

For more career information go to or call me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!