When students enroll at IDEAS Academy, they are placed in a multi-age advisory group with an advisor. The advisor serves in a role similar to a guidance counselor.
In a traditional high school, students have the opportunity to meet with their guidance counselor a few times a year to discuss college plans. At IDEAS Academy, those discussions take place daily during advisory time.
“Our approach allows the advisor to create and maintain relationships with students in their cohort every day,” said dance instructor Molly Zielke. “This allows us to constantly keep the college prep discussion and preparations going.“
Students work with the same advisor from freshman through senior year at IDEAS. This ensures that advisors know students well and can help guide them through planning for the future.
During their freshman year, students prepare a portfolio that includes a résumé, references, community service, interest inventories, and MAPS testing.
Sophomores continue with standardized testing and also go through practice interviews to help them gain confidence for college as well as jobs.
Juniors refine their portfolio, take the ACT or SAT, and attend college fairs and tours. In addition, they write letters of application and essays for college admission or scholarships.
Seniors finalize their portfolio and résumé and complete college applications. They also attend workshops to assist them with scholarship applications, financial aid (including FAFSA), personal finances, and the transition to college life.
Through exit interviews, seniors examine their skills and knowledge and see how well-prepared they are for life after high school.