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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2011

Web program aids students' college search

BY GABRIELLE RUSSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Christin Lee, Perrysburg High School guidance counselor, uses a new computer program to help Maddie DeLong, 16, research colleges to apply to and learn how her academic credentials stack up against other Perrysburg students accepted there. Christin Lee, Perrysburg High School guidance counselor, uses a new computer program to help Maddie DeLong, 16, research colleges to apply to and learn how her academic credentials stack up against other Perrysburg students accepted there.
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Maddie DeLong has spent most of her life dancing, whether it's tap, jazz, or ballet.

The 16-year-old dances for up to four hours a night on the Perrysburg High School dance team and at a studio in Bowling Green.

"It never ends," she said, with one dance team starting after another one ends.

It's only natural the Perrysburg junior aspires to become a professional dancer in Los Angeles or to teach other young performers. But Miss DeLong said it's been perplexing to research which colleges offer dance as a major.

"It's kind of overwhelming. I don't know what to look for," she said.

To help students like Miss DeLong, Perrysburg guidance counselors are using a new computer program this year that lets high schoolers search for which schools offer the majors they want and how the students rank against others who have been accepted there.

The Web-based program also lets students search for scholarships they qualify for, and, eventually, the guidance counselor will use the program to send transcripts or letters of recommendation to college admissions offices.

Miss DeLong sat in front of a notebook computer next to her guidance counselor, Christin Lee, recently.

Mrs. Lee showed her how to look up Bowling Green State University and Kent State University, the two places where Miss DeLong thinks she wants to go after talking with her dance teachers.

The counselor pointed to the screen where a scatter plot graph showed information for Perrysburg seniors who were accepted into Kent State last year.

Their ACT scores ranged from 16 to 35 and their grade-point averages were between 2.2 and above a 4.0

"That gives you a more realistic picture," Mrs. Lee tells her. "Where is my GPA? Where is my ACT?"

The program is also intended to help students explore universities and colleges beyond the Toledo area, Mrs. Lee said.

Before, "They'd apply to schools where their friends are going or that's where their parents want them to go," she said. "They haven't really expanded their search until now."

With the program at home, students can search for which schools offer what majors, take a personality quiz to find out what fields may interest them, and research career fields.

So far, Miss DeLong said she likes the new program.

It's easier than just surfing the Internet or the schools' Web sites for information, she said.

"Yay!" she said enthusiastically to her guidance counselor before heading back to class.

Contact Gabrielle Russon at: grusson@theblade.com or 419-724-6026.



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