High School vs. College: Family Transition Notebook

Family Modules

Module 1 part 2

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Introduction

Objective: Families will construct a system for housing and organizing college planning materials.

This activity will focus on the skill of organization—something that most successful college students share. It can be difficult to translate the goal of “getting organized” into action, so this activity gives families a specific system for organizing the planning materials they may need for their transition to college. The suggested categories are based on the information that most incoming students receive from their colleges. You can modify these categories as necessary for each student. For example, if your family chooses to use the electronic version of the family plans, you may alter or omit this activity.

Estimated time 20-30 minutes

Materials needed:

Classroom curriculum Link:

This section corresponds with Module 1 Activity 1 of the College Bound classroom resources.

Note to Parents

In college, students will need to master the organizational tasks that others (family members, teachers, etc.) have done for them in the past.

It may be beneficial to let your student take the lead on organizing the family transition notebook.

Learn About It

Why create a Family Transition Notebook?

  • To practice organizational skills that are important to succeeding in college
  • To keep track of all college info and paperwork

The purpose of a college transition notebook is twofold. From a short-terami perspective, the notebook provides students with a practical way to keep track of the large volume of paperwork and information they will accumulate while researching, applying to, and enrolling in college.

From a long-term perspective, it also helps students to learn, implement, personalize, and maintain an organizational strategy that they can continue to useand modify as needed during college. Since many students struggle to translate the goal of “getting organized” into direct actions, strategies such as this one provide a concrete framework they can use.

Family Transition Notebook materials

You will need:

  • One 3-ring binder
  • Tabbed dividers
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Hole punch
  • Pen or pencil

Suggested Sections

Suggested notebook sections (in no particular order)

  • Family Plan Notes
  • Journal/Reflections
  • Admissions
  • Housing/Residence Life/Campus Living
  • Finances/Money
  • Extracurricular
  • To-Do Lists
  • Miscellaneous/Other

Parents Chime In

The categories listed above are suggested labels for the sections of your notebook. These suggestions are based on the information that most incoming students receive from their colleges, but the list but should be modified to meet your needs. Help your student think of other aspects of the transition to include.

During the college search process, students may want to create notebook sections for each school they are seriously considering. In each section, they can organize all of each school’s information: applications, brochures, flyers, maps, promotional materials, pro/con lists, notes about visits, etc. You’ll add to this notebook both in class and at home throughout the year.

Objective Check

Have you accomplished today's objective?

Objective: Families will construct a system for housing and organizing college planning materials.

If so, congratulations!

If you don’t feel like you have created a notebook sufficient for your family’s needs, keep working on it. You can alter the notebook and make it your own special organization tool for all of your college materials.