College Exploration Course 2019 FAQS

This is the fifth year Palouse Pathways will be offering its College Exploration Course (CEC). This Spring we’re offering multiple sessions in Moscow, Pullman and Lewiston. The CEC is the most valuable program Palouse Pathways offers. Read on to find out why and get all your CEC questions answered.

What’s so valuable about the CEC?

The CEC incorporates the best practices and best ideas in college counseling. Professionals in this area know that the best way for students to get ready for college admissions (and for college and life beyond) is to start with self-knowledge, figure out what they need to thrive, explore a range of college possibilities, and provide tools they need to make these important choices.

In practical terms, getting kids to focus on what they want and giving them tools to find it is great way to discover schools that are a fit socially, academically and financially. It also makes them better prepared to thrive once they arrive on campus.

How is the CEC set up?

The course is divided into two sessions for students.
Part A focuses on exploring students interests and aptitudes (“Know Yourself”) and exploring the range of college options out there so that students can decide what features are important to them (“Decide What You Need”). The goal of Part A is for students to develop a criteria of four to six “must haves” they can use in their college search.

Part A is offered in a two hour and a three hour format. The longer format will feature more in-depth exploration of topics, and also a hands-on decisionmaking exercise.

Part B focuses on showing students how to use available tools to find colleges that meet their criteria (“Find What You Need”) and to evaluate the schools they find (“Explore What You Find”). The goal of a Part B is to help students develop an expansive list of schools for further research and consideration. We’’ll figure out next steps (“Make a Plan”), including high school choices students can take to stand out in the admissions process, and a timetable for admissions.

Part B is two hours long.

There will also be a session for parents and students to attend together on the topic of paying for college, since affordability is a HUGE part of a successful college search. We’ll schedule this session with parent input in late March or early to mid April.

What is the best year to take the CEC?

Juniors will definitely benefit from the CEC and many are ready to begin focusing on college planning. Doing the work of college exploration in Spring of eleventh grade will give students a much better sense of options so that they can better plan their senior year.

Sophomores who are already interested in college possibilities and planning ahead are also a great fit for the CEC. There are definitely benefits of taking the program in tenth grade rather than waiting. One benefit of starting early is that junior year is already incredibly busy. Taking the course in tenth is also a good idea for those students who would like to apply to selective colleges, because they will need to engage in the process of distinguishing themselves and preparing very early.

Is the CEC only for kids who plan to go away to college?

Not at all! Over the years, many students who have taken the CEC have enrolled in nearby colleges and universities after high school. The students came up with a list of factors that were important to them in a college and found that UI, WSU and/or LCSC had what they needed!

Do you talk about paying for college?

Yes! Affordability is one aspect of college fit that should be on every student’s list. Palouse Pathways has a special session for parents and students to give tools for paying for college. We’ll teach families how to determine their aid profile and how to find the schools that will provide them with the most aid. The answers may surprise you! The financial fit presentations will be scheduled with parent input in late March or early to mid April.

Can Parents Attend the CEC?

Parents need not attend Part A and Part B of the CEC, but you are welcome to attend if is agreeable to your student. Parents and students will hopefully attend the paying for college session together. (This is a good way to facilitate discussions about this tough subject.)

Can I Volunteer to Help with the CEC?

Yes! We’d love to have you!! Contact us at the link below.