JULY 2016 - JUNE 2017

Writing Your College Essay

July 7  (9:00 am - noon) and July 14 (6:00 - 8:00 pm)
Federal Building Conference Room in Moscow
Summer is a fantastic time for brainstorming and writing essays for college applications and for scholarships. And most students could use some guidance.  There are definitely some techniques students can use to craft a great essay, and there are definitely some pitfalls to avoid.  That's why Palouse Pathways is offering two Essay Brainstorming Sessions on July 7th from 10 am to noon and again on July 13th from 6-8 pm.  This is the third year we've offered the course, which uses a terrific curriculum called "Storyfinders" and provides students with tips and tools that are easy to understand and apply.  The workshop will be facilitated by Jake McGinnis, a student completing coursework for a Masters Degree in English at the University of Idaho, who teaches writing at the college level.  This is a tremendous opportunity that should not be missed.  Students from the class of 2015 and 2016 who participated in the brainstorming sessions wrote fantastic college admissions and scholarship essays and you can too!
Email to reserve your space.

Palouse Pathways College Exploration Course
July 11: 4:30 - 7:30 pm - Federal Building Conference Room in Moscow
​July 12: 4:30 - 7:30 pm - UMA Center, 414 South Jefferson, Moscow
Summer is a great time to build a great college list!  At our College Exploration Course, we'll help students build a list of schools that fit their interests, learning styles and career goals, and also meet their family circumstances and budget.  Here are a few  things we'll accomplish:

  • Students will decide the five most important things they are looking for in a college, based on their personality, learning style, interests, etc.
  • Students will learn about the wide range of learning opportunities out there.
  • Students will develop working hypotheses about possible majors.
  • Students will learn about tools for exploring schools, on line and in reference materials.
  • Students and parents will learn together how to find colleges that fit their budgets.
  • Students will learn how to determine whether they are a fit for a college, and how to be the strongest possible candidate they can be. 

This class is great for rising seniors and younger students already interested in exploring colleges.  At the end of the process students will have a list of schools for further consideration, and the tools to find other schools on their own.  The class is FREE and we will use the book College Match by Steve Antonoff.  It's available from Palouse Pathways for a suggested donation or $10 or whatever you can pay.  Please email com with any questions about the course or if you would like to reserve a spot.

July 12 -Learn How to Find Affordable Colleges
6:30 pm - Federal Building Conference Room, Moscow
Palouse Pathways' College Exploration Course (see above) includes a presentation for parents and students where we share tools for findng affordable colleges. We use materials from Lynn O'Shaughnessy, a writer and speaker who offers terrific guidance to families wanting to make sense of the world of tuition, scholarships, financial aid and more. Parents and students may without participating in the rest of the College Exploration Course.  I really recommend students and parents attend together, so they can have a common understanding of college costs and opportunities (and get started on that important paying for college conversation). 

July 13 - Palouse Pathways Scholarship Club Meeting
5:00 pm - Federal Building Conference Room, Moscow

July 13 @ 6-8 pm: Essay Brainstorming Workshop with Jake McGinnis
6:00-8:00 pm - Federal Building Conference Room, Moscow
The first of this summer's Essay Brainstorming Workshops took place last Thursday. It definitely got the kids thinking and writing. Jake McGinnis, who taught the class, clearly knows his stuff. One student, who does not usually like writing, said he got a lot of good tips. We'll be offering the workshop again July 13 and during the week of August 22, but if you are available now, I wouldn't wait. Jake is available to give students feedback on essays this summer, and he won't have the time once the year starts. 

August 1-3 - PSAT/SAT prep
9:00 am - noon (August 1 and 2: Federal Building, Moscow; August 3: TBA)

Palouse Pathways is very pleased to offer a great option for summer PSAT/SAT prep: live instruction and tutoring by Moscow High School teachers Rachel Lyons and Cathy Hannon. The plans are still being developed, but we are looking at one general session to help students navigate the Khan Academy resources and two days for very small group tutoring.  The fee is $15 per hour with scholarships available.  No one will be turned away.  The sessions will be geared to students who have already taken the PSAT or SAT. Space will definitely be limited.  If you are interested please email, and I will include you on the list and provide you with more information as the plan is finalized.

August 3 (Seattle) and August 4 (Portland) - Colleges That Change Lives Fairs
Have you ever heard of Colleges that Change Lives?  It's a consortium of liberal arts colleges all over the country, schools with a student-centered approach to learning that produce fantastic, happy graduates.  At the CTCL schools, many students pursue extra-curricular activities, engage in extended research, and forge close ties with professors (the best markers for success in careers and life).  And BONUS: many of these schools offer generous merit aid, and welcome students with less than perfect grades. CTCL schools are GREAT and you probably have not heard of many of them.  But that can change!   CTCL hosts college fairs all over the country, where admissions representatives from each of their schools will be present to share materials and connect with interested students.  This is a great way for kids from the Northwest to connect with representatives from colleges all over the US without taking an expensive trip. The events are free; you can sign up at the links above. It would be a great event for students wanting to explore liberal arts colleges.  It would also be great for students who already have their eye on a CTCL college (Reed, Willamette and Whitman are CTCL schools in our area).  To find out more about the schools that are represented you can check out the website or the book Colleges that Change Lives, which has profiles of all the member schools.  Palouse Pathways has copies of the book if you'd like to borrow one.  


This year for the first time Palouse Pathways offered College Bootcamp - a menu of programs to address the needs of Seniors getting ready for the college application process.  See below for the topics addressed during this week of activities.

August 19 - Get Ready for Admissions and Scholarship Interviews with John Fraire
2 pm - Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

John Fraire is a long time friend of Palouse Pathways and gave many  presentations to students when he served as Vice President at WSU.  His best talk was about how to get ready for admissions and scholarship interviews.  John is an interview expert: he conducts Harvard University admissions, interviews as an alum, and is a trainer for students interested in Gates Millennium Scholarships.  His advice is practical and engaging, and I've used it many times.  We've missed John since he moved to Portland State University.  But we're in luck!  John will be back August 19 and has agreed to give his interview workshop to Palouse Pathways students.  If you are planning to apply to colleges that require or suggest interviews, or plan to apply to scholarships with interview requirements, you won't want to miss this opportunity!    
August 19 at 1:00 pm and August 23 at 6:30 pm - Finalizing Your College List
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

It's just about time to start applying for college. How is your college list? Is it comprised of schools you love? Does it have a lot of schools your family can afford? Does it have schools that are likely to admit you? Does it have schools in the places where you'd like to be? Does it have too many schools? If you don't love or can't manage your list, come to a one of our "Build a Great College List" sessions. We'll give you ideas and resources to help you grow or shrink your list so that you can get started with applications! Bring a laptop or tablet if you have one.

August 22 at 9:00 am and August 24 at 6:00 pm - Make Sense of your College Applications
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

Once you have your college list, you'll need to figure out what you need to do to apply.  Which application will you use?  What sort of information will  you be required to provide?  How many essays will you need to write?  And when is the application due?  We'll help students  review applications and requirements so they have a blueprint for what lies ahead.  And we'll share some resources you can use to keep track.Bring a computer or tablet (or you can use a spreadsheet if you're old school).The sessions will last for one hour and will take place in the Federal Building Conference Room. 

August 22 at 10 am and August 24 at 7 pm - Learn about Early Decision and Early Action 
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow
Many colleges and universities offer the chance to apply to school before the regular admissions deadline.  There can be benefits to doing so: a better shot at getting in (sometimes), or at least the chance to put the whole admissions uncertainty behind to enjoy the rest of senior year.  But there may be costs too.  At this one hour session we will try to make sense of the various early decision and early action programs and see if they make sense for you.

August 22 at 11 am and August 24 at 8 pm - Get Great Recommendations
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

This half hour session will help you put together a package of information that you can use to get great recommendations.  At the end of the session you'll have a brag sheet you can share with teachers and others to help them see what makes you special.  And we'll help you figure out who to ask for recommendations, too.  

August 23 - Write a Great Admissions Essay
7:30 - 9:00 pm - Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

This is our last summer Essay Brainstorming Workshop with Jake McGinnis. Jake is a UI Writing Instructor and he will help you come up with a great essay topic and get your ideas down on paper.  This is designed to help with your personal statement essay for college admissions and can help with scholarship essays too.  Bring paper and pencil or pen. (Jake will explain that it's better to write that way!)

August 24 - Learn All About the Application Process
6:00 - 8:00 pm - Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

come learn how to organize your applications, learn about early action and early decisions and learn how to get great recommnedations.

August 26 - Finalize Your College List
10:00 - 12:00 - Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

Come get help finalizing your college list and participate in a mini-bootcamp.

​Parent Night at Moscow High School
September 14 - 6:30-8:00 pm

Palouse Pathways will be available at a table at Moscow High's back to school night.

At 7:30, Dan Davenport, UI's director of financial aid, will be giving a presentation about the new FAFSA in the MHS auditorium.  His presentation is open to all families who want to learn about FAFSA, not just MHS families or families of students planning to attend UI. To make great use of this opportunity to speak to a financial aid expert, take a look at the FAFSA steps and see if they raise questions for you....

Tips for Applying to College 
September 25 - Federal Building Conference Room

1:00-2:30 pm - Essay brainstorming session
2:30-4:00 pm - Palouse Pathways will offer tips about the common application and early decision/early action AND will provide advice on how to write a "why us" essay.​

Essay Brainstorming Workshop
September 28 -  6:30-8:00 pm
Moscow High School

Mike Hightower and Palouse Pathways are offering a brainstorming session to get you started on those college essays!  It will be well worth your while to attend.

Essay Feedback Sessions
October 3 and 19: evenings
Moscow High School Library

Moscow High School also offers help with essay editing and feedback.  Senior counselor Diana Hicke is organizing volunteer editors who will be available to assist students.  If you can't make those sessions and would like essay help, you can email palousepathways@gmail.comand we will try to find you a volunteer editor!


Wednesday, October 26: 5:00-7:00 pm
College admissions speakers, information table, sports panel and more.  This is a great opportunity to gather information about colleges in the area and beyond.

Interested in Willamette?  Kathleen Graham, presenter

October 27:  6:00 - 7:30 pm
McConnell Mansion, Moscow

Kathleen Graham is an admissions representative at Willamette University.  She is going to be coming to MHS to talk to interested families and students. Katie will be able to answer questions and tell you more about what Willamette has to offer.  This event is for seniors, juniors and any family that is thinking about adding Willamette to their college list.  Please RSVP to 

Saturday, October 29: 9:00-1:00 pm
Federal Building Conference Room, Moscow

Palouse Pathways will be hosting a scholarship marathon! Drop in to learn about scholarships that may be a fit for you, and start working on your scholarship applications! Bring a laptop or tablet if you can. We can also help with FAFSA and CSS Profile questions! There will also be an opportunity to win prizes through Palouse Pathways and College Greenlight! Refreshments will be provided!!!!

College Essay Support
Wednesday, November 2:  7:00 pm
Moscow High School

Hey seniors how are your essays coming?  You have an opportunity to get feedback and editing help on your drafts thanks to the MHS Counseling Center.  Writers and teachers will be in the MHS library to help you expand on your themes or polish your drafts.  You don't have to worry that your ideas are rough, bring what you've got!  If you are not an MHS student and you could use some help with essays, email

It's Idaho College Application Week!!! 
Wednesday-Friday, November 2-4
Moscow High School

College Application Week will be held at Moscow High School all day next Wednesday-Friday, November 2-4. Diana Hicke will be assisting students in completing college applications in the library. Students can get passes from Government, Senior Project, ELI and Academic Strategies classes, and from electives, with teacher approval. Mrs. Hicke will also be available after school Wednesday Nov 2.

Potlatch Library College/Career Open House
Wednesday, November 16: 6:00-7:30 pm

Want to go college? Wondering how to pay for it? Looking for an alternative to college?
Want to learn a trade?  PALOUSE PATHWAYS can help! We'll tell you about resources and answer your questions about taking the next step after high school graduation. There will be free pizza and we'll raffle off two $50 WINCO Gift Certificates.

Class of 2016 Reunion Brunch
Wednesday, November 23 at 10:30 AM
1912 Center Fiske Room

This is a chance for members of the MHS class of 2016 to gather and compare notes and share memories. Please bring a dish to share.  Pass the word.  Find us on Facebook.

​Shop the Alternative Giving Market!
Thursday, December 1:  4:00-8:00 pm
Moscow 1912 Building

Great news!! Palouse Pathways will be participating in this year's Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse!!! This is a great way for folks to give what really matters this holiday season -- support for a strong community. And of course it help Palouse Pathways and other local groups make a difference in the area they serve. AGMP is also helping to grow the spirit of giving among local school children! If you'd like to volunteer, you can find out more here:

Honors College Fair
Thursday, December 1:  6:00-8:30 pm
Quality Inn Paradise Creek, S.E. 1400 Bishop Blvd., Pullman WA

Palouse Pathways is hosting its second annual honors college fair. This event is open to students in all grade levels.  It's really well suited for students who are thinking about selective colleges since honors colleges bring the selective college experience to a larger campus. Representatives and students from Washington State University Honors College, Central Washington University Honors College, University of Idaho Honors Program and American Honors at the Community Colleges of Spokane will attend. You can come for all or part of the evening, refreshments will be provided. Here's the schedule:

  • 6:00-6:30pm Meet/Greet with the honors college representatives
  • 6:30-8:00pm Presentations by college representatives & current honor students
  • 8:00-8:30pm Questions/Further personal interactions with representatives

This will be a great opportunity to learn about the schools and programs represented, and also to learn about honors colleges in general. The event will be great for seniors making plans for next year and for younger students who want to learn about their options.  

MHS Returning Student Forum
January 5 - MHS Auditorium

Every year, students at Moscow High School are fortunate to be visited by recent graduates attending college, who come share their experiences and inspire students to look ahead.  The returning student day is hosted by the counselors and the MHS Parent Support Team  This year's returning student day will involve two events.  First, there will be a lunchtime forum in the auditorium, open to all students, which will feature members of the class of 2016 and some students further along in their college careers.  We encourage ALL students to attend the forum, they can ask questions AND they will be eligible to win gift certificates from Dutch Brothers, Amazon and Wild at Art.  After the forum, there will be a group discussion in Ms. Lyon's classrooms, and students who are able and interested can get a pass to attend for more in depth discussion.  The forum will feature students from University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Carroll College, Montana State University, Linfield College, Whitworth University and Yale University.  The discussion will feature those students and students from Beloit College, American University and Stanford University.  This is a GREAT opportunity for students to see what lies beyond high school and how to get there.  I hope students from all grades will take advantage of this great opportunity!
Click here for more information about honors colleges.

Free Online Workshops for Parents Who Want to Cut College Costs
January 24-29, 2017

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is a paying-for-college expert who provides clear and valuable advice on her 
blog for families who want to save money and make college affordable.  She is offering a series of one hour online workshop that will share with you five ways to find wonderful schools and shrink the cost of college. She'll also encourage you to attend her longer course, which may be worth the financial investment for you.  But even if you do not sign up for the course, you'll benefit from the workshop.  This would be a great investment of your time.

Design Your Future College Exploration Class (FREE!)
February 1, February 8, and February 15
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

Every year, Palouse Pathways offers a  free class for juniors and younger students who are motivated to think about college.  The goal is to engage students so they start thinking critically and creatively about their futures.  This year we'll incorporate methods pioneered by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in their "Designing Your Life" Course at Stanford University.  Design principles are well suited to helping students get "unstuck" in their thinking about future plans.  Burnett and Evans encourage participants to imagine a wide variety of possible options, and to recognize there are many right answers, not just one.  At  this course we'll give students tools to build an expansive list of possible colleges (they can pare it down later).  We'll help them determine if the school makes sense for them academically and personality-wise, and whether it fits with their values and vision. And we'll also bring students and parents together to talk about strategies to find schools they can afford. This class is great for all kinds of students, but is is highly recommended for juniors, since many of them will want to be ready to apply to colleges very early next fall.  The Moscow class will start in late January and run for three or four weeks.  A  class will begin in Pullman in March. Students from all over the region are welcome to attend free of charge (we ask for a small donation for a copy of the great book we are using).  PLEASE CONTACT PALOUSE PATHWAYS IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THE MOSCOW CLASS SO WE CAN FIND A DAY/TIME THAT WORKS BEST.  Email to express interest or for more information.

Moscow High School Career Fair

February 15:  8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Moscow High School Gymnasium

MHS is having a career fair Wednesday with a bunch of great presenters!! Students from all over Latah County will attend.  The MHS Career Counseling website provide more information, including a list of presenters.  

Finding Affordable Colleges
March 1: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Federal Building Conference Room - Moscow

Would you like to learn how to find affordable colleges? It's not impossible, they are out there. Palouse Pathways can show you how on March 1 from 6-8 pm. The session is part of the College Exploration Class, but we will open it up to other families who would like to learn how to make affordable college choices. If you would like to attend the session, please email ASAP so we can determine how much space we will need for the presentation.

Northern Idaho Science and Engineering Fairs
March 4: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
University of Idaho

The Idaho STEM Action Center is proud to sponsor regional high school science and engineering fairs for the 2016-2017 school year. Winners of these regional fairs will be eligible to compete in the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Intel ISEF is one of the premier national student science and engineering competitions. 

Finding Affordable Colleges
March 21:  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Moscow Federal Building Conference Room

Navigating college financial and merit aid is TOUGH.  But the good news is that there are tools you can use to find colleges that will be affordable for you family.  The benefit of this presentation is that it is intended for parents and students to attend together, so you'll have the same information and a good place to start discussions about college affordability.  Here's a recent
article about having those hard conversations about college costs.  Palouse Pathways hopes to make it easier. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend.

February 22: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and March 22 and 29:  6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 
Moscow High School Band Room

The classes, offered by Palouse Pathways,  are taught by MHS English and math teachers who have studied and gained expertise in SAT questions and strategies.  The classes are AFFORDABLE: $20 per class or $15 each if you attend more than one (and scholarships are available).  The first class on February 22 is geared for students who plan to use Khan Academy resources and spend more time preparing.  The next classes will be March 22 and 29.  So mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more information from our newsletter and Facebook page. 

This is the college visit season, and we've written in our blog about different ways to explore colleges through tours and college fairs (scroll down to part 3 of the post for the rundown).  College tours can feel contrived, but the reality is that the your student needs to experience a campus WITH STUDENTS before making the decision to enroll.  If you don't have a chance to do that before college applications are due, don't worry.  Most schools have admitted students events (including overnight visits) in the spring that your student can attend before making a final decision.  There is also a variation on the traditional college tour worth considering: the college day. Many local colleges and universities schedule all day events for students and parents that can give you an opportunity to meet students and admissions staff, attend classes, have lunch and ask questions.  Here are some upcoming college days in our area.  Save your space soon!  And bring a friend!! 

  • Why Whitworth Days - March 3, 10, 17 and more
  • Gonzaga Preview Days - March 31, April 3 and more
  • Whitman Spring Visitor Day - April 7
  • University of Idaho Vandal Sneak Peak for Sophomores and Juniors - April 21
  • Washington State University  Preview for Juniors  - April 22  
  • Eastern Washington University Eagle Preview for Juniors  - May 7-8

Special Opportunity - Scholarship Advice!
Lunch - Wednesday, April 5

MHS Counseling Center
Becca Corgatelli knows how to win at scholarships and she wants to share her insights and advice with students at MHS! Becca is a junior at UI in the school of education. (She student taught in Mr. Hoogsteen’s class this year.) When she was in high school, Becca won scholarships large and small. She was able to combine scholarships to cover her tuition and room and board at UI plus her living and incidental expenses. On Wednesday, April 5, at lunch, she’ll be giving a presentation in the Counseling Center for students interested in winning scholarships. Juniors and even younger students are also encouraged to come get inspired, because it’s never too early to start applying!

College Exploration Class
April 17 and 18: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Pullman Regional Hospital - Conference Room C

​​We'll help you:

  • Explore what's most important to you in choosing a college.
  • Find colleges that meet your needs and interests.​

Great for Juniors building their colleges lists.  All grade levels are welcome!
Space is limited, so sign up now.  Email for more information.

Scholarship Advice
April 19 at lunch in the MHS Counseling Center

​Becca Corgatelli's scholarship talk has been rescheduled! Becca will share her insights and advice about winning scholarships with students. Juniors and even younger students are also encouraged to come get inspired, because it’s never too early to start applying!

Selective Colleges Presentation
Sunday, April 23: 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Federal Building Conference Room in Moscow

Does your student aspire to attend a selective college?  There are a bunch of great colleges out there that accept most of their applicants and would be happy to have you (or your student). And then there are other schools -- we call them "selective" -- which accept a much smaller proportion of applicants.  You might have a great reason to apply to a selective college: many are great places to learn and some offer great financial aid.  But if you do apply, you will want to do something to stand out from all of the other qualified applicants to improve your chances of admission.   Palouse Pathways is offering a workshop for juniors and younger students  who are interested in selective colleges, to give you ideas of some of the special requirements for selective college admissions and suggest ways you can be the strongest applicant possible. Hear from admissions representatives and speak with members of our community to who attended selective colleges!

By special request! - College Exploration Class for the Palouse Area Robotics Team
May 2 - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lincoln Middle School

The Palouse Area Robotics Team, just back from the WORLD competition, has requested a College Exploration Course. Contact us if you know a group that would be interested.  See below under Past Events for a course description

Click here for an archived list of August 2015-April 2016 offerings.