The George Washinton University's Freshman Transition Initiative

The School-wide Initiative

“We need to spend time with kids– planning, monitoring, changing, visualizing, and thinking about their long-range plans. We should sit with a kid every four to six months and have him look carefully at himself and his plan.”

~Mel Levine, MD

One Mind at a Time and
Ready or Not, Here Life Comes
There are two key components to a school-wide initiative starting with your Freshman Transition course and the 10-
year plan:
The annual updating of student’s 10-year plan

To be truly effective and guarantee results of increased academic achievement and educational attainment, it is important that students reassess their goals and 10-year plans each year.

To do this, ask each academic department to identify where they can assist with this project. For instance, your 10th grade Social Studies department could work with its students to reassess their 10-year plans once they study the workforce globalization issues of today. Your 11th grade English department could be responsible for facilitating the annual re-editing of the plans once the students reads a literary work where a character struggles with their own lifeplanning issues. As part of a senior project, students could update their 10-year plans as an independent study activity.

Every teacher an advisor

The 10-year plans must be readily available to all teachers. Whether you provide an updated hard copy to each teacher for each of their students or make all 10-year plans accessible on your school’s server (with password-driven access), these plans will provide teachers with the information they need to give immediate, qualitative counseling and academic support to their students.

For instance, let’s say a student, Mary, is failing geometry. Her instructor, Mrs. Garcia, goes online to review her 10- year plan and discovers Mary wants to be an elementary school teacher. This provides a personalized teachable moment. Mrs. Garcia has the opportunity to point out to Mary that, upon review of her goals and dreams for her life, there is a problem if she doesn’t pass geometry, as it is required to get into college. Pointing out the deficit, Mrs. Garcia can suggest strategies for getting Mary back on track with her geometry. If Mary resists, Mrs. Garcia can suggest she might want to rewrite her 10-year plan to redirect her aspirations to match her effort. Because Mary has completed a comprehensive, standards-driven Freshman Transition course, she will fully understand the consequences of that action and will be far more likely to buckle down and make the effort required to complete her academic coursework.