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Now that you’re equipped with some great information about going to college, it’s time to put it to use. The following activities are designed for you to do as many times as you’d like.

Look for the portfolio icon Portfolio — it means that activity is a keeper and should be filed in your portfolio.

My learning style

  1. PortfolioComplete the 32-statement learning style inventory. Then print out your results, the learning styles and associated learning strategies for your portfolio. Diablo Valley College Learning Style Inventory
  2. PortfolioComplete the learning style inventories on brain dominance, personality and sensory preferences from Louisiana State University. Louisiana State University, Learning Strategies Online. Print out your results and download the detailed handout for your portfolio. How can you use this information to your advantage in high school and college?
  3. List the teaching methods that are best for your learning style. For example, would you prefer a class that is mainly lecture or contains mostly discussion? Before you sign up for classes in college, ask your friends or adviser how the instructor teaches. If you still are not sure, e-mail the professor and ask if the class syllabus could be sent to you.
  4. From your inventories, you find out that you are primarily a visual learner. You are taking a course in biology in which the instructor only lectures for the entire class period. What can you do to maximize your learning in this course?

Knowing my strengths

  1. PortfolioTake the Strengths Inventory to find out what your strengths are. After you have completed it, print out your results and place it in your portfolio. Share and discuss your results with a classmate, teacher, sibling or parent. Do you think the results represent your strengths?
  2. PortfolioDownload two copies of the list of 17 foundation skills identified as needed in the 21st century. Read through the list and highlight in green the skills you feel you already have. Then give a blank list to someone who knows you well and ask them to do the same thing. Review both lists with your teacher or guidance counselor. Career Key Foundation Skills
  3. Write down a list of strengths that you have. Then, interview a friend, family member or teacher and ask them what they think you do well, when you have seemed really happy, what they consider your strengths.
  4. Use your high school experiences to develop your strengths. Choose a strength you would like to develop further and join in a school activity. For example, run for student council to develop leadership skills, join a sports team to learn teamwork or offer to assist with organizing an activity in a school club.

Exploring my interests

  1. PortfolioMonster.com Self Assessment: Answer the initial questions related to discovering the work you were born to do. Take your answers to your guidance counselor to begin identifying your interests, strengths and potential career matches. Find out what other interest inventories are available at your school.
  2. PortfolioVirginia Career View: Who R You survey? Complete the survey “Who R you?” Save and print your results. Then click on the careers areas that are highlighted in green.
  3. Join a new after school group or community organization that shares a similar interest as yours. 
  4. Volunteer Match: Search for volunteer opportunities in your local area. Choose an organization that interests you and participate for a period of time. Then evaluate your experience with your parent, teacher or respected friend. 
  5. Charity Guide: Visit this guide to gain additional ideas on how to get involved with your community.

Accepting my disability

  1. Research famous or successful people with a disability similar to yours. Find out what their disabilities are, what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how they became successful and some ways they compensate for or go around their disability. Get started.
  2. Think about how you would define disability and write a few sentences to summarize your thoughts. Then ask one or two friends to do the same thing. Compare your answers and then review the federal definition of disability. How are they similar? How are they different?
  3. PortfolioRead the documentation of your disability. If you can’t find it, ask your special education teacher or IEP team for a copy of your documentation. After you have a copy of your documentation:
    1. Highlight your strengths in green and write them out in a bulleted list.
    2. Highlight the areas that present a challenge for you in yellow and write them out in a bulleted list.
    3. Meet with a professional, your teacher or your parent to be sure you understand your strengths and how your disability affects your abilities.
    4. Write down some ideas for using your strengths to overcome or go around the challenges you have in school.
    5. Put the documentation and your ideas in your portfolio.
  4. Pretend you are explaining your disability to your friend or another nonjudgmental, supportive person. What words would you use that would be easy to understand? In one paragraph, summarize your explanation and your feelings about having a disability. Or record your summary into a tape or digital recorder.
  5. Create a chart of the challenges you face and then come up with some more positive ways of thinking about those challenges.

Setting my goals

  1. PortfolioUsing the tips in the article “Goal Setting,” write down one goal for each of the following statements:
    • “This week, I want to …”
    • “This month, I want to …”
    • “This year, I want to …”
    • “In three years, I want to …”
  2. After reading the article “Reaching Your Goals,” write a realistic, specific goal that you want to accomplish.
    1. Then finish the following statement with your goal: “I want to …”
    2. Next, list three to five measurable things you need to do to reach that goal. Review your plan with your teacher or your parent to get feedback.
  3. The following tells the beginning and end of a story. Your job is to tell what happened in the middle of the story, to connect the beginning and the end. Read the beginning and ending of the story. Then fill in what your think is the BEST answer for the middle of the story. There are no right or wrong answers. Remember, fill in the answer that you think BEST completes the story.

    Beginning: You want to earn extra money for a top of the line MP3 player.

    Ending: You are downloading songs on your new MP3 player.

My advocacy plan

  1. Read the article “Assertive Communication – 6 Tips for Effective Use.” Get in groups of two to four students. For each of the six techniques for assertive communication, discuss more scenarios in which the technique could be used. Write a paragraph that describes a situation and how the technique could be used to foster assertive communication. 
  2. The following example tells the beginning and end of a story. Your job is to tell what happened in the middle of the story to connect the beginning and the end. Read the beginning and ending. Then fill in the BEST answer for the middle of the story. There are no right or wrong answers. Remember, fill in the answer that you think BEST completes the story.

    Beginning: You are taking four classes this semester and working part time. Your boss asks you to increase your hours but you feel that if you do, your school work will suffer.

    Ending: Your work hours do not increase.

  3. Ask your teacher to explain the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and how the principles can guide your education. Next, ask your teacher how you can express your ideas and give input for your IEP meeting. Pick one of the suggestions and make a plan to get started.
  4. PortfolioRead the chart comparing the different laws [Word document] that protect individuals with disabilities. Next, based on the law chart, fill in the diagram [Word document] with the characteristics, terms and student responsibilities in high school and college. In the overlapping section, put information that applies to both high school and college.