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Back-to-School Success Tips

August 15, 2008

 Back-to-School Success Tips 

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – August 1, 2008 – To help high school students prepare for the 
start of another academic year, the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is offering some backto-school tips to help make the transition from summer vacation to the classroom a successful 
“At the start of a new school year, many students face the challenge of how to get back 
into the groove,” said ICAN Outreach Representative Deb Barry. “We’ve compiled some triedand-true advice to help them start off on the right foot.” 
 ICAN’s Back-to-School Success Tips: 
Meet with the school counselor. Students should set up an appointment to 
discuss their education goals. It’s a good idea for them to write a list of questions to ask 
– including the types of courses that they need to take in order to graduate and prepare 
for life after high school. “School counselors can be helpful in pointing students in the 
right direction, but students must remember the legwork is their own responsibility,” said 
Barry. “They shouldn’t expect anyone to do the work for them.” 
Stay active outside the classroom. Students should participate in 
extracurricular activities, such as school clubs and sports, volunteer in the community or 
get a part-time job that relates to their career interests. Doing so will help them increase 
their self-esteem and strengthen their leadership skills. Involvement outside the 
classroom also helps students build an activities portfolio for scholarship and college 
admission applications. “When deciding what to do, students should focus on what 
interests them,” said Barry. “They shouldn’t do the same things that their friends are 
doing. Trying something new gives them a chance to expand their horizons.” 
Get organized. Students are advised to use a planner or electronic organizer to 
help them manage their time and set goals. These devices can help students keep track 
of assignments, activities, important dates and deadlines for each school year. Students 
should set up a schedule for homework and test preparation that can be adhered to as 
consistently as possible. Choosing a study space in the home that is as free from 
distractions as possible is another must. “It’s amazing how much students can 
accomplish – and improve their GPAs – when they become better organized,” said 


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