Keeping Your Connections Open

Keeping Your Connections Open

People are faced with important questions every day…Will I follow Christ? Who will I marry? Where will I live and raise a family? However, one of the most important decisions students make concerns postsecondary education and career choice. In today’s world, a college education is no longer a luxury or optional; it’s a necessity. More and more jobs are dependent on students having a college education than ever before. Carnevale, Smith and Strohl (2013) reported that by 2020, 65% of all jobs would require some form of post-secondary education. In their 2010 executive report, they projected that:

  • Students who only have a high school diploma may be limited to declining or low paying food and personal service work, sales and office support, and blue collar employment.
  • 4.7 million additional workers with postsecondary certificates will be needed by 2018.
  • America’s colleges would need to increase the number of degrees they award by 10 percent annually to keep up with the growing demand (p. 1).

With such a great need, one would think that getting into any and every college would be a sure thing. According to Springer, Reider, and Morgan (2013), however, the student demand may exceed the supply of available spots-especially for selective schools. They suggest that greater numbers of high school graduates, increased international students, the prevalent belief that a college education is valuable, greater minority interest, increased recruiting, and the ease to which students can apply creates a climate for greater competition (p. 1-3).

There is no argument that the pros outweigh the cons. According to The College Board’s publication “The Five Ways that Ed Pays,” individuals with a college degree:

  • Earn an average of 22K more per year than those only with a high school diploma and are less likely to be unemployed (p 6, 10).
  • Are more likely to have employee provided health insurance, time off, and are less likely to be chronically ill (p. 11, 14).
  • Are more likely to read to their children and are more than twice as likely to volunteer

The bottom line for Christians is clear – although people without college degrees can have successful lives and ministries, those who are college educated are more likely to enjoy a greater measure of freedom-including more opportunities to give, greater security against hard times, better health, stronger families, and fuller service to others.

Choosing and applying to college is a process that requires thought, prayer, and planning.Yes, it requires work; but it is doable. However, many families can easily become lost in the sheer amount of information needed to get from point A to B. The opportunities, events, and deadlines can seem overwhelming-even for the most seasoned families. The school counseling department at Smithtown Christian School is dedicated to helping parents and students make sense of all that is needed on the road to college by providing information about the most  current trends through Connections: SCS School Counseling Newsletter. Offered online and monthly, it’s a great way to stay connected.



Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2013). The road to recovery. Community College Journal, 84(3), 27-29.

Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010). Help wanted: Projection of jobs and education requirements through 2018. Click here for link.

Springer, S., Reider, J & Morgan, J. (2013) Admission matters: What students and parents need to know about getting into college. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass. 

The College Board. (2011). The five ways that ed pays. Click here for link. 


Spring is on its Way

spring is on its way

I wonder how long we would last if we moved up to northern Alaska or even the North Pole? Few of us would be able to survive for long even with the proper equipment and supplies, even fewer would be able to enjoy living in such harsh, unforgiving conditions.  But I bet most people would be willing to try it out, if they had the assurance that at a moment’s notice they could be airlifted to a much more comfortable place, ie. Hawaii, Malibu, Florida, etc.  I have heard so many people lament the winter challenges of all this snow and cold temperatures, and I too have shaken my fist toward the snowflakes dropping from the sky when it’s been the third or fourth time in a week to shovel. However, if you haven’t noticed yet, spring is on its way. Listen closely and you may hear some birds chirping early in the morning, or notice the sky has lightened a few shades of blue. The mountains of icy snow have started to shrink little by little, and seniors are bounding in the hallway because Spring is on its way. This hope of warmer days already has put pep in our step, and in the same way, this is what drives the Christian in his or her journey through life – hope. The hope that the Eternal Spring is on its way. One thing to note is that right behind Godly hope follows pervasive joy. When we walk in hope, life is full of real joy. When we have been drained of hope, life is dismal and frustrating.

So if you find yourself, your family, or your students acting like life is stuck in a forever-winter, consider posting these verses in a place that they will readily see them.

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13


Homework Tips


With the winter fully upon us, sometimes kids struggle to stay motivated in school, especially when it comes to homework. Here are some tips to help your family weather the “winter blues.”

  • Schedule a consistent work time. Some kids rather start their homework right after school, others work best after a light snack and play period. Know what works for your child and be consistent in it.
  • Set up a place for your child do their homework. Make sure kids have a quiet place to complete their studies, away from distractions like T.V, phones and siblings.
  • Have a plan. Kids work best when there is an established routine when they come home from school. Sticking to that plan as best you can, will help your child be organized on heavy homework nights.
  • Be involved in their work. Supporting your child with his or her studies can have a profound impact on their grades. When they are studying for a test, quiz them, and when they finish their work, check it.
  • Motivate and keep them encouraged. When your kids come home from school, ask about their day and be genuinely interested in their studies. Nothing is more encouraging to a child than a parent who is fully engaged and motivates them to do their best.
  • Know their teachers. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences and workshops. Knowing your child’s teachers and their homework policies will make it easier to support your child in their work.
  • Pray. If your child is struggling with a subject or the workload is tough, set aside some time to pray. Praying with your child will calm their nerves and set a good example of what they should do when they experience a difficult time.
  • Keep it fun. Homework usually isn’t something kids consider as “fun”, so try and make it enjoyable for them. There are many ways to make their homework experience fun and keep them engaged. You can find great ideas and activities here.