All Posts By

Sharon E. Kiger


The Importance Of Early Education For Children And How To Get Started As A Parent

Most parents do not fully understand the importance of early education when it comes to their children. There is still the idea that a child doesn’t need any special attention before he starts school. While this is certainly true for most parents, other parents are realizing the benefits of early education and how it can help your child later on in life. While the importance of early education is over-emphasized it can play a pivotal role in your child’s upbringing.

It has been proven through studies and research that children who have had parents that help them focus on early education prosper more later on in life. They have the ability to do better in school and in the work force. The developmental areas that are focused on when educating your child do not only remain in the intellectual sphere. Parents also focus on their creative, physical, social and emotional well-being. All of these aspects need to be worked on so that your child can develop normally. By emphasizing on these developmental areas at a young age, it will be simpler for the child and a parent when the child grows older.

Getting Started on Early Education

When a parent is first introduced to early education for their children there seems to be thousands of resources and researchers saying different things. It can be confusing for a first time parent trying to find a way to approach early education.

The best way to start is to start slowly. When purchasing games, books or toys that you think will be educational for your child make sure to review them thoroughly. Often manufacturers sell games that actually have nothing to do with education. Try finding a reputable online store that sells quality books that have been developed by teachers and professors.

Also make a habit of reading every single day to your child, regardless of how old they are. Reading is one of the most important aspects of early education and should not be easily dismissed. Research has shown that you should be reading to your children every day for at least twenty minutes a day. This can help improve their imagination, creativity, their vocabulary and general knowledge.

Special Education

4 Ways to Use Least Restrictive Environment in Special Education, to Benefit Your Child

Do you have a child with autism, or a learning disability that is in a regular classroom? Do you have a child with another disability that is in a self contained classroom, and you would like them to receive some mainstreaming? This article will discuss the individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA) requirements, for least restrictive environment (LRE), and how you can use them to benefit your child’s education.

IDEA states: “To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities . . . are educated with children who are non disabled.” What this means is that children with disabilities, have the right to be educated with children without disabilities.

IDEA also states: “Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

IDEA requires a continuum of placement options. These options start in the regular classroom go to a special class, special school, hospital program etc.

Ways to use LRE to help your child:

1. Use the requirements of LRE, to gain access for your child to the regular classroom curriculum. Many studies have shown that children with disabilities that have access to the regular education curriculum, do better in their education. LRE requires that placement option discussions need to start at the regular classroom, and then become more restrictive, as the child’s disability warrants.

2.If your child requires a self contained placement, use the requirements of LRE to help them receive mainstreaming. When a child is young 5-9 years, there are a lot of opportunities for interaction with non disabled children. Lunch, recess, arts and crafts, music, special parties or projects. Children with behavioral issues can learn appropriate behavior by having contact with non disabled children.

3. Use the LRE requirements of IDEA to get your child a placement other than the regular classroom, if their educational needs require it. Many school districts only offer an inclusive (regular education) placement; which they are not allowed to do under the “continuum of placement options” in IDEA.

4. Use the LRE requirements of IDEA to get your child “supplementary aids and services” that will help your child succeed in the regular classroom. These aids and services can be anything that your child needs in order to benefit from a regular classroom placement. For Example: A classroom aide, an individual aide, shorter assignments, tape recorder, modified curriculum, modified or shorter tests, ability to take tests verbally, etc. The list is endless, just depends on your child’s educational needs.

By knowing the least restrictive environment requirements, you will be able to successfully advocate for the placement that will meet your child’s educational needs. Remember that LRE is different for each child, depending on their disability and needs.


Choosing an Educational Path for Children With Cerebral Palsy

How a child receives his education is one of the most important choices a parent faces. For the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, the choices are no less important and can be very difficult. Like all parents, you want to place your child in an educational environment that will allow him to thrive and reach his or her greatest potential. Every child with cerebral palsy has different needs and abilities and deciding whether to place them in a special education environment, with specially trained instructors or a mainstream education program, where they might find more opportunities to learn how to function in mainstream culture. Either choice has its advantages and disadvantages.


Mainstream doesn’t automatically mean “public school.” Private schools also offer mainstream education and environment.

If a child’s cerebral palsy is deemed “mild,” he or she will probably benefit from a mainstream environment. It can provide them with certain social skills and emotional growth they might not get elsewhere. So much of early education is about socialization and learning to interact with others. Proponents of placing children with mild cerebral palsy into mainstream educational systems suggest it benefits both the afflicted child (by giving them a stronger sense of daily routine and boasting their self-esteem) and the non-disabled child (who gains a stronger sense of empathy and inclusivity).

As mandated by law (IDEA – Individual with Disabilities Education Act), children who meet the requirements of “special needs” can and should develop an IEP (individualized education program) to ensure a child’s educational needs are met. IEP’s may include additional or alternative physical or speech therapy or other special considerations during certain classes. This can help keep them in the mainstream environment while seeing that they get the special attention they require. IEP’s can address both physical limitations as well as cognitive.


Children with more severe manifestations of cerebral palsy may not be able to thrive in a mainstream environment and may benefit from attending a special education school. Here they will work with a staff of education specialists trained to educate children with a variety of disabilities, not just cerebral palsy. In a special school program, each needs of each child is independently addressed and monitored, thus eliminating the fear that a mainstream school might move too fast for your child.

The lines between mainstream education and special education are not as harshly defined as they once were. Children who attend special schools often attend classes (such as art and music) at mainstream schools or attend mainstream school for the bulk of their courses and only attend special school classes in subjects they are struggling with.

In choosing an educational path that best fits the needs and abilities of your child, there are ample resources. Teachers, doctors and therapists are all available to work with you in bringing together the right components of the education your child needs and deserves.


Play School Education – A Good Option For Your Child

What is Play School Education?

Play School education is a part of Pre School education. Are you thinking it is the playground for your children? — If so, you get 50% idea about this system. Adding to your interest, this is a place where tiny kids learn a bit in a playful way. Learning basics of our education world like numbers and alphabets are taught to them using toys, puzzle boxes, pictures etc… to make their learning funny.

Required age to enroll your child in schools…

Yeah, there is not any age limit to enroll your baby in these schools. As a parent, you all are aware when your baby is ready to move into other places i.e. reaching to the age of two, your child can be able to go anywhere. But, every play school does not follow the same criteria. Suppose, your baby is not two years old by February and the school’s admission date opens in February, you have to wait for next season.
As Play schools take responsibility of your small tots, they want to follow the rule that they can manage. Nothing is to worry about this, if your child is smart, confident and easygoing, play schools will accept them without hesitance.

Why Play School Education is a necessity?

In this modern society & busy life, nourishing a child is not enough. Lack of time to spend with our children can be considered as a blunder. Children in this age love a circle to feel secured. Spending more time with parents or friends makes them more strong and confident. To relax the parents from these worries, Play school education has been started by some wits and learned child experts.

Play school education provides a better circle to your child to be socialized. Here, they find same age children that help them to become free and creative. Living in a friends circle, they found themselves competitive and a good follower.

Being a self-reliant and industrious, the children can touch the maturity level of their age. How they build themselves in this age that will help them making their future path easy.

What Play Schools hold the guidelines for your little ones?

Playschools are controlled by experienced wits who follow well guide lines to satisfy the parents. Trained teachers are associated in these schools. For a clever, smart and independent child, they have guidelines to provide him/her more opportunity to go ahead. For a shy, moody child, they try to get him/her socialized first. The first motto of this education is the improvement of your children. According to your child’s capability, they will be trained or taught to go one step ahead in their life.

Fine, what parents need more than the social, mental and educational development of their children from a Play school? So, it depends on the parents whether to choose Play School education or not. GOOD LUCK!

Special Education

Thousands of Students Are Wrongly Labeled As Having Special Educational Needs

Schools only teach one way, until this can be changed certain children are always going to be labeled as special needs. Different learners are often labeled as having learning difficulties.

This report, from the UK, states that 25% of children labeled as in need of special education would not be so labeled if schools focused more on teaching all types of learners. I suspect that this result would apply to almost any education system where teachers have so many children in class that they cannot find time to accommodate to different learning styles. It would also apply where teachers are not trained in how to teach children with different learning styles.


One parent, responding to the report, said that she had been told that her daughter was to be assessed as her teacher believes that she has special learning needs. However, her family, three of whom are teachers themselves, do not share this view. As the mother points out, there are 3 students in her daughter’s class and she wonders if this could be a contributing factor to the teacher’s inability to deal with her daughters learning style.

Another mother spoke of how she had to battle to get her son diagnosed as dyslexic, despite the fact that he was over three years behind in his school work. Then, once her son got the designation that would get him extra help form the school she was told that there was no teacher with the qualifications to help her son and that she had to find another school for him.

It can be hard to stop children being wrongly diagnosed as having a learning problem and it can be just as hard getting a child a diagnosis when you think he needs one.

It would be too easy to blame the teachers, I am sure that they are trying to do their best for the children concerned. But these situations could have been avoided if parents and teachers were working together to help children learn, if parents and teachers were sharing thoughts and ideas and understanding more about how children learn and how to give them the support they need.


Diversifying Revenue Needed for Institutions of Higher Education

Diversifying Revenue

Today, institutions of higher education are being encouraged and challenged to think creatively about expanding and developing new revenue sources to support the their short-term and long-term goals. Moody’s Investors Services has outlined in its published reports how every traditional revenue stream for colleges and universities is facing some sort of pressure.

Unfortunately, the pressure on all revenue streams and sources is the result of macro-level economic, technological and public opinion shifts, and these changes are largely beyond the control of institutions.

The Moody analysts have cautioned that revenue streams will never flow as robustly as they did before 2008. It’s been stated the change will require a fundamental shift in how colleges and universities operate; one that will require more strategic thinking.

In their studies, Moody’s notes that colleges and universities will have to rely on strategic leaders that are willing to address these challenges through better use of technology to cut costs, create efficiency in their operations, demonstrate value, reach out to new markets, and prioritize its programs. However, in doing so, many of these efforts may create disputes with faculty members or other institutional constituents, unless they are able to get the collective buy-in that has been the staple of higher education governance. But with goals being established and the evolution taking place as part of the process, hopefully, there will be a more widespread understanding on all sides.

Major revenue constraints can be attributed to larger changes in the economic landscape, including lower household incomes, changes and fluctuations in the economic and federal government picture, declines in the number of high school graduates, the emergence of new technologies, and a growing interest in getting the most out of a college education – particularly as it pertains to employment after graduation. A stable fiscal picture and outlook would require improved pricing power, a sustained and truly measured decrease in the unemployment rate, improvements in the housing market, and several years of consistent stock market returns.

The traditional higher education model has been disrupted by the ability of massive open online courses, particularly by the legitimization of online education and other technological innovations. In many ways, this has signaled a fundamental shift in strategy by industry leaders to embrace these technological changes that threaten to destabilize the residential college and university’s business model over the long run.

There are other related challenges facing higher education: the growing profile of student debt, which has topped $1 trillion nationally, and default rates, and pressure on politicians and accreditation agencies to ensure the value of degrees. In addition, an alarm continues to sound over a potential student loan bubble and the diminishing affordability of higher education.

One way for colleges and universities to get students, and their parents, to pay for higher tuition is by demonstrating that the outcomes – including their campus experience, postgraduate employment, graduate school enrollment, and long-term success and happiness – are well worth the tuition and future job pay. Students and their parents want to know, “What am I getting for my investment?” As a result, recruiters have a tougher job “selling” a traditional education with the cost of education continuing to escalate.

But the on campus education and living and learning experience are the “door openers.” As I like to say, “We are a product of our environment.” Making the right friends, building relationships with influential professors, administrators, parents and relatives of friends, and fraternity brothers or sorority sisters all get added into the equation of the student’s environment. In retrospect, students may forget or never use half of what they learn, but the connections and friends they make and the experiences they have while in college are priceless.

Over 1/3 of the colleges and universities in the nation are experiencing some sort of financial crisis. Many have gone from operating full operating budgets to a comfortable black to a severely red. And cash reserves have dropped, as well as endowments.

Without a doubt, the university must find new revenue sources. Attracting more out-of-state and international students is one additional source of revenue for these institutions.

We must never lose sight of the fact of the importance of investing in higher education. Educating the young is of primary importance. Devising ways to maximize time and money, such as integrating class projects and research that might result in publication is another alternative to consider.

Allowing and/or expanding commercialism on the campus may provide added sources of revenue. Examples could include allowing corporate naming rights to athletic facilities or increased advertising signage inside arenas and stadiums. This may seem drastic and some may even say, “You have to pick your poison” in being creative to increase your revenue streams.

Attempting to reduce the university’s “discount rate,” the percentage of the total tuition bill for the entire student body that the university waives to grant financial aid to its students is one possibility. But that can be risky business. Any move to reduce the discount rate potentially upsets an exceedingly delicate balance. Looking to attract families that are able and willing to pay full or near full tuition, while simultaneously making the school accessible to less wealthy students, and hitting the right mark, granting merit aid to lure high-potential students who might later benefit the school and broader community, may be one possibility to work in achieving a better balance among the many factors that feed enrollment. Additionally, stepping-up the fundraising efforts to offset any potential rising discount rate may also be helpful.

Another factor to think about is the amount of construction the institution may be having on campus, especially during campus tours, to determine the effect, it may or has caused in any dips in the recruiting process. Even though construction on campus is a sign of growth and improvement, in the short-term it is not always the most attractive thing for students to see and hear on campus, or experience during a campus tour with their parents.

Institutions of higher education must also anticipate any approaching demographic shifts. They may have to grapple with an economic and social environment in which more families bargain for the best deals among different schools. If this is the case, the institutions should consider making their best offers up-front first and try to avoid drawn-out negotiations.

Students are creating more choices for themselves and they have more access to more choices. The internet makes it easier for students to research and apply to more schools.

Some of the private institutions have held back from the tuition-hiking trend, and some have even cut tuition costs in an effort to attract more students. Other schools have taken more unconventional measures, such as freezing tuition, offering three-year degree programs, or giving students four-year graduation guarantees. They are doing this with the goal of increasing enrollment levels that will more than offset the reductions being made, thereby providing more overall revenue without sacrificing the student’s education.

But also since the economic downturn, private colleges and universities across the nation have redoubled efforts to cut their operating costs, improve their efficiency, and enhance their affordability in order to stay within reach of families from all backgrounds. You cannot lose sight of that. Making it work has to be done on both ends; cutting costs and increasing revenues.

Other strategies that could be considered to increase the enrollment and revenue streams at institutions of higher education could include the following:

  • Segmenting search to target upper profile students with different messages;
  • Increasing scholarship levels (while still maintaining net revenue needs);
  • Targeting out-of-state students or students outside of traditional markets;
  • Targeting high school honors programs;
  • Holding a scholarship recognition day;
  • Stressing off-campus opportunities such as internships and study abroad;
  • Promoting graduate school placements and outcomes; and
  • Developing high profile academic majors, pre-professional programs, or new majors and programs to support enrollment growth.

Additional considerations for increasing revenue streams might include:

  • Review the individual educational programs in-place and revenues provided by each and coverage of direct costs and determine what changes should be made, if any;
  • Acceleration of the 4 year degree programs into 3 to 3 ½ year programs to save on tuition and utilize it as a marketing tool for recruiting, but do so without short changing the student’s education;
  • Providing an automatic 2-year graduate scholarship at the university for students who enroll in a 4 year undergrad program and meet and maintain a defined GPA level and other pre-defined standards and goals of the university. Use as a tool for marketing and recruitment;
  • Having a full-time grant application aid/seeker for the university searching for state and federal funds, as well as working with faculty and staff to develop research projects for funding and using as educational programs for the students;
  • Establishing joint and cooperative programs with other universities in the US and abroad for recruiting;
  • Consider an overall re-evaluation of the recruiting process for identifying and “going after” potential students, thereby expanding the horizons and outreach;
  • Obtaining more exposure on a “national and multi-state” level;
  • Determine if any new programs should be added, programs dropped, or enhanced and/or expanded;
  • Develop tools for “presenting a plan” and a “comprehensively designed package” for financing and paying the cost for education;
  • Reaching-out to alumni and friends for enhanced ways to provide for contributions to the university through annuities, insurance, and other charitable giving techniques and products; and
  • Developing relationships with corporate sponsors for grants and contributions and placements for graduating students.


For the suggestions mentioned about possible new revenue source considerations to support the institution’s short-term and long-term goals, it will be important to develop predictive financial modeling tools for testing the proposed changes and outcomes to the enrollment levels and the projected effects on the revenue streams and the overall bottom line.

In doing all of this we must never lose sight of the fact that education prepares graduates to lead lives of achievement, contribution and meaning. And, as I like to say, “The Students will become a Product of their Environment.”


Successful Education Begins in the Home

Children come to us with predetermine disposition, aptitude and fortitude. How well they function within these capabilities directly relate to their home. Education, without apologies, begins at home. Children learn how to respond to any facets of life in the home.

Consequently, prejudices concerning people, foods, clothing and live styles manifest from within the home. If a child is aggressive, know that, that behavior comes from observing a family member. Substitute any other behavior positive or negative with the before mentioned word “aggressive” and acknowledge that it connects with a family member that cares for the child. Children emulate what they see.

Teachers recognize this more than any other professional group because it is in their classroom that they experience the consequences, good or bad, of what children learn at home. Hence, teachers at every new school year establish classroom rules in an attempt to ensure a universal law of acceptable social conduct.

As a tenet, parents are responsible for whether or not children succeeds academic. Without ignoring a child’s predetermine abilities, they must project clear positive expectations concerning school. As these expectations take form, parents should remember that children mimic what they see and hear. Hence, they should avoid making negative comments concerning their children’s teacher and or school. Parents cannot demand that their children perform well academically when homework assignments are not completed, and social events are prioritized over establishing appropriate bedtime routine for school age children.

There is no denying that a child will act out, usually this begins at pre-K through kindergarten levels. When left unchecked by parents, acting out, becomes a norm for a child. When established as a habit, the disruptive behavior hinders the child’s academic success. Parents should not expect teachers to teach their children proper conduct and yet the burden of learning these skills sits heavily on the shoulders of many teachers.

When a child acts out and the parent ignores the behavior, the child learns to devalue the importance of the teacher, the school and ultimately learning. Parent who do not understand the value and importance of early prevention will have an uphill battle as the child attends secondary schools. Laying a strong education foundation consist of the child, parent, and teacher working together in a respectfully academic world of cooperation. Teachers cannot do it all.

Special Education

Specialized Educational Program for Children With Developmental Disabilities

School is a part of growing up every person should go through. If you are a parent with a child clinically proven to have developmental disabilities, do not lose hope. They can still experience childhood as another child without disabilities would. There are many government and local laws that support their right to education, and as a parent you need to be aware of those regulations to be guided. Apart from knowing the laws regarding education for your child, look for non-profit organizations dedicated to children and adults with disabilities in your location. Having a short talk with them can open your eyes to all the possibilities you can give your child.

As your child becomes a young adult, they need to be guided in all aspects of their lives. An organization that offers well-rounded education and a freedom of choice is an ideal option for your child. A number of non-profit organizations in the country offer pre-school and community school services for children with disabilities. They work with local government offices to help them maximize their efforts and create more opportunities for children. One example is the early intervention services implemented for children ages 0-3 and special education for children ages 3-21. Because of these efforts, children were able to enter public school programs as pre-schoolers since they meet the eligibility criteria.

There is another kind of pre-school program that combines children with and without disabilities in one classroom. The interaction happening in this setup between peer groups creates a mentoring system among the children, helping them foster both social and educational growth. The introduction of children with autism to children without developmental disabilities in their early education prepares the children with autism for the next stage of their education, kindergarten classes. Before you let your child experience this, ensure that your chosen organization gives their students one-to-one and group instruction, and with a curriculum approved by the Department of Education in your state.

Apart from pre-school services, non-profit organizations for children with disabilities also have community schools that provide educational services for those who would like to receive it or for those who are unable to attend offsite schooling. Students attending in such community schools must receive a goal-oriented and modified school curriculum promoting development and learning while meeting the academic content standards of your state.

Your chosen community school must provide educational services from kindergarten through the 12th grade. Students must have the following in their areas of study: English language arts, science, math, and social studies. Schools would usually expose their students to grade-appropriate curriculum by means of adaptive equipment, multimedia, and a multidisciplinary staff.

These schools allow your child to engage in a multitude of activities to stimulate their development. Children with disabilities will be able to have access to the playground, pool room, sensory walk, and multisensory room. Their daily schedules incorporate the abilities and skill level of your child.

Coordinating with your local government can give you more information about the options available for your child. Many parents have fought for their children’s rights to education in the hopes of giving them a better future. Their efforts have made it easier for children with developmental disabilities today.


Private Schools – Steps in Selecting the Right School For Your Child

You’ve made the decision that you want your child to go to a private school. Now, how do you select one?

Identify your Needs

There are many factors to consider when choosing the “right” school. At the start of your process, make sure you know what your needs are, and rank them in order of importance to your family. What are the “must haves”? “Nice to haves”? Things you don’t care about?

Search for Schools

You can start your research by consulting the Web or various published guides. Or, you can hire a consultant who is knowledgeable about the private schools in your area and can help you determine which schools match your requirements.

Coming up with the Finalists

Once you have a list of schools, begin your specific research on each one. Here is a summary of commonly asked questions to help guide you through this process:

  • What kind of school do you want? Private? Independent? Religious? Day or boarding? Single sex or co-ed? Large or small?
  • How far do you want it to be from your home?
  • What school best matches you child’s academic, social and athletic needs? His or her talents?
  • Are there any specialized programs? Extracurricular activities?
  • How diverse is the school population?
  • What kind of social life is there?
  • What is the tuition? How and when is it paid? Is there financial aid?
  • How safe is the school? How does it handle disciplinary issues?
  • What is its academic philosophy?
  • What degrees does the staff have?
  • What is the ratio of staff to students?
  • What is a typical daily school schedule like?
  • How long has the school been in operation?
  • Is the school accredited?
  • What is the school’s financial status and endowment?
  • How does the school rank among other private schools?
  • Can parents get involved
  • What are the entrance requirements?
  • Do we know anyone who goes there?

The answers to many of these questions usually can be found by looking at a school’s Web site and by requesting literature from them.

Once you have your information, begin to make a list of the pros and cons of each school. This will yield a shorter list that you want to start looking at in more detail.

Visit the Targeted Schools

If possible, try to visit the schools you are interested in to look around and discuss its philosophy and standards in person. Check out its facilities and a classroom setting. Make sure you child talks to students to get the “lay of the land.” Ask school officials to provide you with contact information for a few parents of currently enrolled students.

If you already plan on applying to the school, you can combine this visit with a formal admission interview. If you are not sure, the visit can help you decide on whether to pursue it further.

Talk to Each Other

Parents and children should sit down and discuss all the information you have. You might like the school, but your child does not, or vice-versa.

Acting on Your Decision

Once you have your “short list” of desired schools, start the formal admission process. This will include your child taking required admission tests and both of you filling out the admission paperwork.


To Every College President, Faculty Member, Administrator and Staff Member

Have you let your students down? Don’t answer too quickly. You probably have. Most colleges come up short in the area that students and their parents care about most. That’s why you should act on the following information.

The one thing that students care about most is graduating from college with a great job. They want to get off on the right foot and launch their careers in a good paying job with a respected employer. Their parents want that too. Parents want to know that their financial sacrifices have paid off. They also want to know that everyone at the college or university has done everything in their power to make that happen. Unfortunately, few colleges are able to harness the energy of their entire college community and point it toward that goal. Your college probably doesn’t either.

You may say that finding a good job is the student’s responsibility. Or, you may believe that it’s the responsibility of the understaffed and underfunded Career Services Office. In effect, you would be saying “It’s not my job.” However, if you think that it is not also your responsibility, you are wrong. In fact, you are so wrong that you would be one of the college leaders and faculty members who is letting your students down badly. Being a college leader, faculty member or administrator should mean that you care about your students so much that you are willing do everything in your power to help them become successful, in every possible way.

To show your concern, you might ask what else you can do to help your students. I’m glad you asked. Here are a few suggestions:

Change The Campus Culture – To maximize the number of seniors who graduate with great jobs, your entire college community (College Leaders, Students, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Parents) must all come together to make certain that every student knows where he/she is going, develops a step-by-step plan to get there, obtains campus, work and community experience and receives the training and guidance needed to prepare for and conduct an effective job search. To do that, your campus culture needs to be changed.

Create A Network For Your Students – Every faculty member, campus employee, student, parent and alumna already has a network which can be dramatically expanded, if they try. Those networks have the potential to uncover the critical contacts and job hunting information to ensure that every college senior can significantly increase the number of job interview opportunities they receive. To do that, you will need to harness and capitalize on those networks.

Identify Job Opportunities – Professors, instructors, administrators, parents and alumni don’t get to their positions without having gone to school with or worked with other people in their fields. Those contacts are needed to help students identify job opportunities. Just think! If every faculty member, administrator, campus employee, alumnus and parent identified one job opportunity for your students, nearly every student could find a job. To do that, you will need to bring your campus community together with a clear focus on student job hunting success.

Teach Students How To Prepare – You may not realize that “The senior year job search actually starts in the freshman year.” However, it does! That’s because successful job searches require many hours of preparation. Believe me, there is plenty to do. It’s what your students do during the first three years of college that will determine the level of job hunting success that they achieve. Student preparation activities and accomplishments accumulate semester-by-semester, year-by-year. They simply can’t all be done in the senior year. To help your students do all of that, you must change the way you think and operate.

Help Students Create Their Own Plan – Most students can’t create a viable plan by themselves. They just aren’t good at seeing into the future. That’s where you come in. You can help students identify their goals, figure out what employers expect of them, build a list of accomplishments, improve their leadership, communication and people skills, learn how to conduct an effective job search, develop the necessary job search tools and techniques, draft resumes and sales letters, sharpen their interviewing skills and much more. To do all of that, your students need someone to coach, mentor and guide them through the process of developing their plans. “Students can only succeed to the degree that they are prepared.” Will you help them?

Everyone Must Be Involved – To be successful in changing the culture of your college and the degree to which you help your students prepare for their senior year job searches, you and every member of the campus community must get involved. Are you ready and willing to change the way you operate?

College leaders like to say that their job is to give students a good education. However, exceptional college leaders understand that their students need much more than that. The best leaders do whatever it takes to mobilize and inspire their entire college community, to help make the dreams of their students (land a great job) come true. They know that large, looming college loan obligations with no immediate job prospects can greatly reduce any feelings of pride in having received a good education.

Great faculty, administrators and staff members do more too. Through their words and actions, they make it clear to everyone that they are part of the solution. Their active involvement in student planning activities, student coaching and guidance, student participation, network building, summer, part-time and full time job identification, and training or guiding students in job search techniques leaves no doubt where they stand on this issue.

If panicked students are begging your Career Services personnel for help during their senior year, something is seriously wrong with the way your college prepares students for their senior year job search. It means that you and your college have let your students down. Therefore, you should ask yourself three questions: “Are you going to let your students down again next year?” “Will you help move your college toward the new culture?” “Or, will you continue to say, ‘That’s not my job.'”?