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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Category: Your voices
April 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

In their own words: Students talk about high-school counseling, applying to college

Education Lab’s latest story focuses on the changing role of high-school guidance counselors. As traditional counselors’ face increased workloads, programs like Seattle’s Rainier Scholars and the National College Advising Corps are providing disadvantaged students with one-on-one assistance as they navigate the college application process.

We recently asked several students — some from Rainier Scholars, some from the National College Advising Corps and some who have worked with traditional counselors — to tell us what they’ve experienced as they apply to college.

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0 Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: college counseling, higher ed, National College Advising Corps

April 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Tell a story about how you got into college at our May 20 Storytellers event

edulab_icon_perspectives

Illustration by Boo Davis / The Seattle Times

Do you have an interesting story to share about getting into college or completing your degree? Education Lab is recruiting current students and recent grads to share short, inspirational tales about how they made a successful transition to higher education.

Selected speakers will get coaching and appear at our May 20 event, Storytellers: How I Got through College,” at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

Wondering what your story should be about? Here are a few questions you could address:

  • Was there a key person who helped you navigate a path to college? Who did you turn to for help the most? Tell us about this person and how he or she made college possible for you.
  • What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting into college or completing your degree? How did you overcome this obstacle?
  • What did you think college would be like when you were younger? How did your preconceived ideas of campus life change during your college career? What do you wish you would have known before you applied and enrolled?
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0 Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: college counseling, higher ed

April 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Join us at our May 20 event ‘Storytellers: How I got into college’

Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Are you a student dreaming of a degree but wondering how to get there? A parent wondering how to help your child get into college?

Join Education Lab and Road Map Project on Tuesday, May 20, at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute for a night of storytelling about higher education. Current students and recent grads will deliver powerful individual stories about how they navigated the college application process and finished their degrees.

All storytellers will also be available after the show to answer your questions and provide resources for going to college.

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0 Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: college counseling, National College Advising Corps, Rainier Scholars

April 2, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Senior projects: Worthwhile or a waste of time?

Michael Osbun / Op Art

Michael Osbun / Op Art

Gov. Jay Inslee is set to sign a bill next week that would change a state law requiring high-school students to complete senior projects prior to graduation.

The measure originated after lobbying from Yakima-area state Rep. David Taylor and his 17-year-old stepdaughter Tiffany Stewart, who decided to do her senior project on the topic of ending senior projects.

The change was passed as an amendment inside another bill. It would make senior projects an optional graduation requirement for school districts.

Stewart argued senior projects take up a lot of class time and that some students do the bare minimum, baking cupcakes or making quilts to meet the requirement.

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0 Comments | More in Poll, Your voices | Topics: graduation, high school, senior project

March 26, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Students: How have guidance counselors helped you?

As more and more young people set their sights on higher education, high-school guidance counselors continue to serve an important role. For many students, they are the only people available to help walk them through college applications, standardized tests, financial-aid forms and personal essays.

In an upcoming story, Education Lab will examine the growing workload of high-school counselors and how certain programs are working to give students more one-on-one attention. In the meantime, we’re reaching out to current high-school students and recent graduates to get their take on the current role of the guidance counselor:

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0 Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: counselors, high school, higher ed

March 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Your voices: An hour or less of homework? Yeah, right!

Illustration by Boo Davis / The Seattle Times

Illustration by Boo Davis / The Seattle Times

An hour or less. A new report from the Brown Center on Education Policy has concluded that’s the amount of time the typical student spends on homework each night.

Many local parents would beg to differ. When we asked them how much homework typically goes on in their household each night, most said the amount was far greater. Here are some excerpts:

My daughter is a junior in the IB program at Inglemoor High School. She has four hours each night of homework and typically spends at least 12 hours over a weekend on school.

My son is a seventh grader and has about one hour each night of math, plus about 30 minutes in his other classes.

—Kelly Richards, Bothell

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0 Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: homework, your voices

March 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Your voices: How Seattle students and teachers save money on textbooks

edulab_icon_perspectives

Boo Davis / The Seattle Times

We received several responses to our earlier prompt asking readers how they save money on textbooks. The question stemmed from a story by higher education reporter Katherine Long about local college students who are pressing their professors to cut costs by using open-source online course materials.

Both students and teachers volunteered to share their strategies. Here are some excerpts:

I buy used textbooks and use student materials that go with the textbook and sometimes buy the online version. I’m not thrilled about how much the books still cost, but sometimes the online versions have been better than the printed versions. However, I find the online versions harder to read in some ways, maybe since I’m an older student than most.

—Will Affleck-Asch, Seattle

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0 Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: higher ed, textbooks

March 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

How do you save money on textbooks?

Michael Osbun / Op Art

Michael Osbun / Op Art

The high cost of college textbooks is nothing new, but technology could be making it easier for students to pursue cheaper alternatives.

On Sunday, reporter Katherine Long wrote about how college students in Seattle and Tacoma are pushing their professors to seek out free or low-cost online versions of textbooks.

Several readers offered their own advice on how to avoid paying full price for textbooks. From online commenter “drthompson”:

“To save students money, I required the previous edition of the text that can often be found on eBay or Amazon for less than $20 rather than the $140 new version. So many basic topics don’t really change, so there’s no reason to line the pockets of the publishers simply because they decide to ‘update’ textbooks every two years!”

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0 Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: e-textbooks, higher ed, textbooks

March 5, 2014 at 1:47 PM

In their own words: High-school students share their experiences with A.P.

Students at Garfield High role-play on the issue of immigration in a project-based Advanced Placement class taught by Jerry Neufeld-Kaiser. From left: Dominick Lewis, Israel Brown, Merron Teklu, Carlos Perryman, Sanai Anang and Lalah Muth. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

Students at Garfield High take part in a role-playing exercise during a project-based Advanced Placement class taught by Jerry Neufeld-Kaiser. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

For the latest full-length Education Lab story, reporter Linda Shaw examined a new way of teaching Advanced Placement that focuses more on classroom simulations and project-based learning, and less on lectures and memorization.

Below, a handful of students at Garfield High School, one of the schools trying out the new approach, join with students from other high schools that use the traditional A.P. curriculum in discussing their experiences with advanced learning. Here are some of their responses:

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March 1, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Rewind: Google Hangout on how schools can better serve advanced students

Watch the video above for our first-ever Google Hangout, which focused on the topic of how schools can better serve advanced students.

The discussion featured the following panelists:

  • Walter Parker: Walter is a professor of education at the University of Washington and one of the lead researchers behind the project-based approach featured in Sunday’s story about A.P.
  • Amber Graeber: Amber is Advanced Placement coordinator for the Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools, where she has implemented a similar project-based model for advanced instruction.
  • Katie Piper: Katie teaches A.P. courses at Bellevue’s Sammamish High School, one of the schools trying out the new teaching approach.
  • Linda Shaw: Linda has covered public education at The Seattle Times for more than two decades and spent several months reporting and writing the Sunday story about Advanced Placement. She will be facilitating the Google Hangout.
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0 Comments | More in Video, Your voices | Topics: Advanced Placement, AP, live chat

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