Panorama Community Schools

Chris Webner » 10th Grader Awareness

10th Grader Awareness

Entire Sophomore Yeartry to think of yourself as GAINING expertise and experiences to EXPLORE what exists now, and Think of ways to combine, or Cross, skills and talents
UBER & NASA Team Up (Forbes Nov. 2017 article) to Bring Flying Taxis Transportation to Los Angeles by 2020
This is example of two different areas crossing and creating something new.
What interests and skills could you combine to create new, or increased, value for yourself?
Top 10 Percent of Class encouraged to take National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test = PSAT 
Sign up with front office and Bring $16 to Mr. Webner by October 6, for an Wednesday, October 10 completion of the PSAT at PHS 
Getting Involved in School & Community - Build Relationships, Skills, Confidence
  • Most employers want people with work experience. Here are some local employers who hire young people part-time (summer, after school, weekends) without prior work experience in Panora: restaurants, stores (NAPA, Ben's 5 & dime, Hometown Foods), and businesses (lawn care & landscaping, detasseling, LPN golf course). Others?
  • 80 percent of Panorama students take part in extra-curricular activities (clubs, fine arts, athletics) - great way to develop "soft skills"
  • Course selection, cooperating with educators, showing up & giving an honest effort are all very important for graduating from PHS. We are thankful and proud of our high graduation rate!
  • "How to find your passion!" - Jason Silva 2 min 11 sec video  
    • What really helps a person find their passion in life? 
      • A favorite role model of your's does what for a living? 
    • Recreational or family activities you have learned growing up!  Here are some ideas to get you thinking on yourself  - 
      • Hunting? Fishing? (Environment/Natural Resources/Outdoor Sporting) 
      • Livestock Showing? (agriculture, veterinary & business), 
      • Pet Care? (therapy, veterinary)
      • Mechanical? (technology)
      • Motorsports? (business)
      • Cooking/Baking? (hospitality, science, business)
      • Shopping? (business)
      • Video Game Player & Critic? Movie Critic? (English, Communications, Technologies)
  • If you can enjoy some of all (courses, clubs, extra-curricular programs, recreational hobbies, & a job) in Grades 9 & 10, then you will be well informed and a "practiced-life-shopper" for what you focus on in Gr. 11 &/or 12.
  • Learn how to get along with those around you = (Dr.John C Maxwell @ Real World University) - also often called "Soft Skills"
    • How are you doing at be able to do these soft skills? Are they habits yet? (Soft Skills/WikiJob link)
      • *Communication = adjust your voice tone to your audience to help them understand, and LISTEN fully to others asking questions for clarification as needed
      • Self-Motivation = positive attitude and inner drive
      • *Leadership = using your soft skills to motivate other people
      • Responsibility = self awareness, ability to learn and improve
      • *Teamwork = perceptive, reading others and being open to others' needs
      • Decisiveness = able to make decisions, knowing the good and bad consequences
      • Ability to Work Under Pressure = don't want people turning into mice or monsters when under pressure
      • Flexibility = willingness to acquire new "hard skills"
      • Persuasive skills along with Ability to Build Rapport with others
      • *Time Management means notetaking to stay organized and using time wisely
      • *Problem Solving  
        • *Top Soft Skills Needed for College/US News article link (article notes volunteerism, internships, & part-time work as great prep too)
  • GRADES (B+ is most common grade at PHS; in September 2018 35 of the 73 sophomores have a 3.100 GPA or higher, 3.15 is median GPA for juniors, and 3.4 is median GPA for seniors!)
    • 4 year colleges typically accept seniors before any Gr. 12 final grades are available, so judgement by colleges is largely based on grades in courses taken in Gr. 9, 10, 11.  You have two years to make a good impression, to share a "I grew up" story, or keep looking outstanding (colleges, employers, scholarship groups).
    • Regent Admission Index  (RAI) Formula for Iowa's Public Universities has 4 variables, of which the number of academic courses taken has the most weight, so the more English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spanish taken, the easier college acceptance
    • Are you a searcher? Courses give you skills, so if you are not sure what you like, take courses that are different from each other to help your searching for skills that you like.
  • COLLEGE - Most PHS grads say they want to attend college, but please remember there are many kinds of colleges, much more than earning a 4 year bachelor degree (Community College & Specialty Institutes are "College" too; LaJames Cosmetology of Mason City or LaJames' of central Iowa, are all colleges that train people a trade so they can get a paying job, they have multiple areas of services to pick & choose from).
    • 4 or 5 out of 10 PHS graduate attend a 4 year College/University
    • 5 or 6 out of 10 PHS graduates attend a Community College for 2 years & earn a Liberal Arts Transferable Degree OR a Trades Certificate, Diploma or Degree
      • Popular examples of 2 year CC vocational programs (listed alpha): Agriculture, Automotive Collision, Building Trades, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Diesel Technology, Electronics, Fashion Merchandising, Fire Science, Graphic Design, HVAC (Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration), Information Technology, Medical Assistant, Nursing, Telecommunications, Veterinary Technology, Welding
      • Many of these students, while at PHS, take HS electives in industrial technology, agriculture, business, and art, then take college courses with those teachers in this building, or through VanKirk Campus in Perry, IA in Gr. 11 &/or Gr. 12
      • 2 of these 5 PHS graduates go to CC plan to earn an Associate of Arts Degree & transfer CC credits to a 4 year college
      • 3 of these 5 PHS graduates plan to seek employment in the area of study completed at the CC
    • 1 to 5 Graduates Each Year Enlist in our U.S Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
    • 1 to 10 Graduates Most Year Go To Work Full-Time 

    Iowa’s Employment Problem: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough People

    State can’t find enough trainees for its programs; the Midwest is the only region where openings outnumber out-of-work job seekers
  • Panorama HS Class of 2017 had twice as many (10 of 53, or 19%) of the graduates join the workforce, many with employers who provide training for advancement (professional certifications, college coursework)
  • Starting salary for most of those full-time employed 2017 PHS graduates is in "low teens per hour" (that means higher $20,000's earned in one year); starting at $14/hr and moving up with pay increases to $17/hr within one year ($34,000/year) are common in trades jobs
  • Examples:
    • Proctor Mechanical, largely HVAC sales and installation, WDM, will hire PHS graduates with a clean driving record $10 hourly in summer just to see if they like the company, and then $14 to join their apprenticeship program (once apprenticeship training work is done (4-5 years) the employee becomes a "journeyman" whose pay is increased to upper $20's/hr). 
    • Menlo, Iowa ethanol plant starting wage is also "low teens per hour" and they, Flint Hills Resources/careers link, like to "hire from within", so "internal promotions" are real, even up to the top plant supervisor position. The Menlo plant owners have other companies too, so employees often move over to jobs in those other companies - see their current job openings to understand how starting in Menlo could lead to many options at
    • CHICAGO (Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) said on Monday (Sept. 25, 2017) it would increase its minimum hourly wage this year by a dollar to $11, vowing to raise this by the end of 2020 to $15 an hour -- the so-called “living wage” labor advocates across the United States are campaigning for.
  • So Why Get A 4 Year College Degree (If great paying jobs can be had with no college or 2 year college degree)?
    • Iowa State U bachelor (BA) degree "Return on Investment" - in 2012, costs average of $26,000 each yr. (or $118,000 for BA) & average BA income of $41,000; see chart showing it takes 19 yr. for BA to surpass HS graduate.
      • Bachelor Degree averages person $1.4 million more earned in career & is required for many kinds of work
      • Chart assumes the full-time employed HS graduate is living at home to save money
      • Chart cannot include increases either the HS graduate nor the BA graduate will have in salary nor life expenditures.
  1. 9th Grade was was the biggest chance to impact your graduating GPA, now in Grade 10 what you do will impact your GPA 50% 
    • Most of you will be accepted to college of your choice in first 9 weeks of Gr.12, before Term 1 courses are graded
    • Colleges will only see Gr. 9, 10, 11 grades to make decisions for their admissions and scholarships
      • Example: UNI's "Estimate My Aid" (colleges often call this online tool they are legally required to have, a "cost estimator")
  2. Important artifacts for college admissions - 
    • Since we encourage our seniors to apply to colleges before Term 1 is done, you are now in year 2 of 3 years worth of work that will be seen by colleges when your acceptance to their institution will be decided. 
    • Get the correct courses on your transcript; Review college admissions using our states Regent Admission Index, along with the required courses during high school, &/or a specific college of interest to you
    • See your transcript on Infinite Campus/Reports
    • Test scores, typically ACT used, or community colleges' ACCUPLACER and ALEKS tests, but SAT too
    • Review: 3 artifacts most widely used by colleges when deciding your admission -
    1. High School Transcript
    2. Application to their college
    3. Test Scores
      1. ACT has new free online Practice Academy program at; Gr.10 is excellent time to prepare, then take ACT at least once in Gr.11
      2. DMACC also uses ACCUPLACER (Practice for Reading & Writing) and ALEKS (Math tutorial for test
  3. Colleges our students go to most -
    1. Popular 4 year colleges attended closer to PHS are: Central (Pella), Simpson (Indianola), Grandview &  Drake University  (Des Moines). These private colleges make up their own criteria, but generally seek the same entrance requirements as Iowa Regent Universities. 
    2. Popular 1 or 2 year Community Colleges for PHS students: DMACC Campuses (main campus in Ankeny, technical campus focus in West Des Moines, popular ISU partnership with Boone campus & Huntziker Center in Ames, other DMACC campus locations in Des Moines, Carroll.
    3. Hawkeyes, Cyclones, and Panthers (Iowa Regent Universities) traditionally appeal to Panorama graduates right away after HS OR after going to a community college for 1 or 2 years
      1. Partnership Programs [ 2 CC + 2 BA = 4 BA; 2 degrees in 4 years ]
      2. Community College's 2 year Associate Degree becomes first 2 years of Universities' 4 year Bachelor Degree
  4. Many private college students earn more than 1 college major. WHY! Maybe because...
    • students are starting college in HS so they can take more courses when at college full-time, or the
    • job market is tight and grads want to increase their employment odds (although many high paying STEM jobs remain open), or
    • colleges are competing to stay valuable, so they encourage multiple majors for student
  5. Nationally, 40 percent of the students that attend any type of college do not earn a 2 or 4 yr. degree within 6 years...leaving only 60% success rate for college graduation...
    1. ISU, IOWA, UNI Graduation Rates are better than nation, but much lower than HS graduation rates (over 90% at Panorama) 
      2. Four-year graduation rates for freshmen class of 2012:

        • 53 percent — University of Iowa
        • 46 percent — Iowa State University
        • 40 percent — University of Northern Iowa

        Six-year graduation rates for freshman class of 2010:

        • 72 percent — University of Iowa
        • 74 percent — Iowa State University
        • 65 percent — University of Northern Iowa
    2. Would those who didn't graduate from a university been better off seeking Apprenticeships either through full-time employment with a state certified journeyman or master(NAI Electrical example) OR through a community college/corporation program?
      1. Here are examples; DMACC CatepillarNICC John Deere, Kirkwood Plumbing 
  6. Since so many of our graduates attend college after graduating from PHS, many families &/or students wonder about how to pay for college - let's look at this website's short video from the federal government ( U.S. Dept. of Education - Federal Student Aid - video 2m 14sec).
    1. People who want to go to college can!  Here are ways to help pay for college - 
      1. Governmental loans (FAFSA)
      2. Military participation and college funding military provides (scholarships plus paycheck)
      3. Community colleges' low costs combined with helpful family (allowing student to live at home or with relatives to save big $; some of these students actually make more money than they spend)
      4. Employment with organization that helps pay for college
        1. Apprenticeships
        2. Panora Nursing Home; owned by Care Initiatives - see listing of jobs across the midwest just in this one company at
        3. Iowa Western Community College, 2 year engineering program in Atlantic has a required 2nd year paid internship!, then most of the students are offered jobs by those companies
        4. VanWall John Deere partners with community college in Calmar, Iowa and Milford, NE to give students full scholarship plus paid internship during 2 year degree, plus paid jobs for JD when they graduate!
      5. Mike Rowe's philosophy = "Never Follow Your Passion But Always Bring It With You" (2min 58sec YouTube video)
      6. Scholarships - most PHS students get $ from their college AND Local Scholarships
        1. Many students can use to get "micro scholarships" 
    2. What stops people who want to go and complete college from doing it? Answer: The same things that stop people from reaching their goals (NY Times, 2009, College Dropouts Cite Low Money & High Stress). Also, read Gates Foundation Study: Their Whole Lives In Front of Them to see how money factors significantly cause college drop out, along with a lack of conviction by students for earning a a specific major bachelor degree.
      1. Money issues - trying to take care of self while also attending college can be difficult, working 1 to 3 part-time jobs to while going to college often result in burnout (or being offered full-time job from one of the part-time employers).
      2. Readiness - having the basic skills needed (math and communication skills needed to meet qualifications of a college)
      3. Legal issues - criminal record can be used as reason for a college to not offer federal aid (FAFSA), just like it can keep you from being interviewed for a job.
      4. Time management issues - not giving the goal a chance to happen because of other distractions (recreational activities)
      5. Debt - spending money without discipline, prioritizing other stuff before your education (car, leather furniture, nicer apartment, expensive hobbies), when you don't have the money and pay using credit often burdensome debt follows.
Career Data for your shopping:
One of the best known references about jobs (what we do for money) & careers (work we choose for our life) is the Occupational Outlook Handbook -
O*net Online is easy to use and good too (