Monday, December 18, 2017

Finals Week

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Here are some tips for preparing for final exams:

*Start studying early...cramming causes anxiety
*Practice and then review material so you truly understand it 
*Complete study guides/make your own study guides
*Ask questions
*Get a full night's sleep before the exam
*Eat a big breakfast before the exam

If you have any questions at all, talk to your teachers! We are here to support you! Happy Finals Week! 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Scheduling 101 Presentation

We had a great turnout for Parent Scheduling 101 Presentation last night. For those 8th grade and freshman parents who were unable to attend, we have attached the presentation from last night, including many of the discussion points. Just click on the link to the right.

If you have any questions about the presentations, feel free to contact the Counseling Department by calling (309) 274-5481 or by emailing any of the counselors.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

How to Explain a Bad Grade or GPA on a College App

When applying to college, it is quite common for a student to find himself or herself in a situation where a bad grade or GPA needs to be explained. It may be the difference in being accepted or denied admission.  This US News article gives some great advice on how to handle such a touchy subject.

US News Article

Friday, December 8, 2017

Scheduling 101 for Parents - December 14th

The scheduling process for the 2017-18 school year is beginning. The Guidance Department would like to give parents an opportunity to learn more about the process. Scheduling 101 is geared for parents of current 8th graders or freshmen. The presentation covers a wide array of topics regarding scheduling. Topics to be covered include selection of classes, choosing a balanced schedule, which classes are required, options for the future, plus more.

What:  Scheduling 101
When: Thursday, Dec. 14th   5:00-6:00
Where: IVC Library
Who: Parents of current 8th graders or freshmen

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Voice of Democracy Contest Winners

We would like to thank the VFW for their continued support of the Voice of Democracy Contest. IVC students are given the opportunity to enter a 3-5 minute oral essay for a chance at winning prizes. This year's theme was American History: Our Hope for the Future. The winners of this year's contest:

$500 First Prize - Josalyn Guariglia
$200 Second Prize - Isaac Peterson
$100 Third Prize - Ashley Horn

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

15 Days Until Finals..............Are you Ready for it?

Image result for you've got thisHopefully, everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving break! We are on day two of our return, and the question we all have is.....when is Christmas break? As much as we love being at school, spending time with our families and friends was so nice! We are sure a few of you enjoyed sleeping in as well. The answer to "when is Christmas break" is SOON! We have 15 days until semester finals. So, with that being said, we want to highlight different resources we have in our building to maintain or raise your grades. For example, if you are borderline between two letter grades, talk to your teacher. Ask about extra credit. Attend after school tutoring in the school library on Tuesdays and Thursday. It is crunch time, and we are here to help! Please see your guidance counselor for assistance. It has been a great year to be a ghost! Happy Tuesday!

2018-2019 Registration Meeting Dates Set

Meetings for next year's class registration are as follows:

Dec. 4th - Juniors
Dec. 5th - Sophomores
Dec. 7th - Freshmen

Jrs and Frosh will meet in the auditorium and Sophs will meet in the auxiliary gym.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Nurse for a Day - IVC Students Featured on the News

During your childhood you're asked what you want to be when you grow up. However, you rarely get the chance to experience anything before giving an answer. Our students had the chance to explore the nursing field when they attended Nurse for a Day at OSF. We were very proud of our students who represented IVC. The students learned everything from how to insert tubes to dressing wounds. 

For future opportunities please see your guidance counselor.

Check out the video to see Parker Clevenger on the news!!

Nurse for a Day News Story

Thursday, November 2, 2017

College Isn't for Everyone - Week 5

Rebuilding America's Pool of Construction Workers... Recently, a story aired on CBS Sunday Morning that addressed the need for skilled workers in the U.S. This 8 minute video gives a great insight into the shortage of workers in the skilled trades industry.

Bradley University - Charley Steiner Symposium

Great opportunity for students interested in sports communication, PR, broadcasting, and journalism.

Bradley University Department of Communication's Third Annual Charley Steiner Symposium is Tuesday, November 7, 2017. The symposium offers an excellent opportunity for high school students to visit Bradley University and sit in on some of the best sports communication, PR, broadcasting, and journalism panels throughout the day.

Joining Bradley graduate and current LA Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner will be Peoria natives Rick Telander (Chicago Sun Times, Sports Illustrated) and 2006 Olympian Matt Savoie.

The Steiner Symposium is free and open to the public.

Please see Mr. Kosinski if you would like to attend, as all high school students have preferred seating during the symposium.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Parents' Guide to Teen Depression

Teenagers face a host of pressures as they navigate their way through some tough years. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between normal teenage growing pains and depression. But teen depression goes beyond moodiness. It’s a serious health problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Fortunately, it’s treatable and parents can help. This article from is a fantastic resource for recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and a list of ways to help your teen.

Click for for the article

Friday, October 27, 2017

Great FAFSA Video - For those who have not completed it

Last year, FAFSA released a pretty funny video designed for those students who have not completed their FAFSA yet. Please take the time to finish the FAFSA as soon as possible so you do not risk missing out on any available MAP Grant money.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

College Isn't For Everyone - Week 4

College isn't for everyone...How about a career in the skilled trades? Each week we will be featuring a 2 minute video created by Dirty Jobs' Host Mike Rowe which hopefully sheds a bright light on the skilled trades.

The topic this week... White Collar Jobs are better than Blue Collar Jobs

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Voice of Democracy - Due Tuesday

One IVC student will walk away with $500 in this year's Voice of Democracy Contest sponsored by our local VFW. Students need to create a 3-5 minute oral essay on the topic "American History: Our Hope for the Future." The competition is open to all IVC students. Deadline is October 31st. Students should see their counselor for registration sheet and rules.

Topic: My Responsibility to America
Grades: 9-12
Top Prize: $500
Second Prize: $200
Due Date: October 31st
For more details: Ask a Guidance Counselor

Basically students will need to write an essay and then transcribe it to an audio file. It is actually quite simple. The teachers at the high school use many different programs to save audio. Students should ask their English teacher if they are unsure what program to use.

Link to Rules/Application

Test Anxiety - Strategies to Overcome It

A little nervousness before a test is common; a panic attack is not. Frequently students come to the counseling office to talk with us about test anxiety. Since this anxiety has such a broad range, it is often very difficult to pinpoint what strategies can help a student through this difficult situation.  I recently ran across an online article which does a very nice job outlining strategies that might be successful with many students. It serves as a great starting point to relieve the anxiety.

Link to website

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

10 Sites to Kick Off Your Scholarship Search

If you’re hoping to fund some, or all, of your college career with scholarships, you’re in luck: There are billions of dollars in scholarship and grant money awarded each year.

You don’t need to be a valedictorian or football star to win scholarship money – there are scholarships for all types of students. But you do need to put some effort into your search.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Senior Retreat - Coming Up Soon

We are very excited about the upcoming senior retreat.  Over 50 students have picked up registration sheets. The retreat will take place Nov. 1-4 at Eagle Crest Camp in Washburn.

Some neat facts about the retreat...

-- The retreat is four days in length and nearly 100% led by a group of six seniors.

-- This is the 25th retreat. Over 800 students have attended the retreat over the past twelve years.

-- Ms. Laura Davis, one of the counselors, will be attending as an adult leader.  She was a retreatant on the very first retreat twelve years ago. How cool is that!?!

-- If a student would like to attend but cannot afford the retreat ($90), there are some partial and full scholarships available if the student comes to see one of the counselors.

Please see one of the counselors for a registration sheet.  The sheets are due by this Friday but can be turned in early next week. See any counselor with questions.

College Isn't For Everyone - Week 3

College isn't for everyone...How about a career in the skilled trades? Each week we will be featuring a 2 minute video created by Dirty Jobs' Host Mike Rowe which hopefully sheds a bright light on the skilled trades.

The topic this week... The myth that the trades are no place for a woman

FAFSA Workshop

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid workshop will be on Tuesday, October 17th at 6:00 pm in the IVC Library. Seniors and their parents are strongly encouraged to attend this workshop as financial aid as well as most scholarship opportunities require the completion of FAFSA. Our ISAC representative will be present to walk students and parents through the FAFSA process.

Tuesday, October 17th
IVC High School Library
6:00 P.M.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Student and Parent Alert: Parchment is Free

To clear up any confusion, Parchment is free for all current high school seniors in Illinois. You should not be charged to send your transcripts to colleges.  There is no limit to the number of transcripts that you send. If you are being charged, contact one of the high school counselors. Be sure to check the following first:

  • The transcript must be ordered from a student account using the IVC student email address.
  • Be sure your year of graduation is correct in your account. It must say 2018 or you will be charged.
  • There may be an extra fee to attach a schedule. The counselors can do it for free. See a counselor.

Colleges Doing More to Help Freshmen Adapt

Welcome Week at Bradley - Block Party Style
​Consider this shocking stat as you shop for a college: One-third of freshmen don’t return for sophomore year. And only 61 percent of undergraduates get a degree within six years.

Colleges have gotten the message and are trying their best to do more to help freshmen feel comfortable during their first year in school. 

When considering a college, be sure to ask what events are held to help ensure a successful transition to college.  How does your potential school engage students from the first day they are on campus?

Attention Seniors....Experience College for a Day!

Western Illinois University is hosting College Days this fall. Attend lectures in multiple subjects, meet faculty and students, and learn about careers in multiple majors! College Days are October 27th & November 10th. Please use the following link to view the schedule for both days and to register:

If you decide to attend one of the College Days, let your guidance counselor know as soon as possible so we can count it as a college visit. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

College Isn't For Everyone - Week 2

College isn't for everyone...How about a career in the skilled trades? Each week we will be featuring a 2 minute video created by Dirty Jobs' Host Mike Rowe which hopefully sheds a bright light on the skilled trades.

The topic this week... The Myth that Trade Jobs are Dead End Jobs

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Nurse for a day: November 2nd, 2017

Image result for 'nurse for a day osf
This year's Nurse for a Day is being held at Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing on Thursday, November 2, 2017. The event starts at 9:15 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. We will provide transportation. This event encourages students to seek high-skilled, high-wage careers in the nursing profession! Students will engage in hands-on activities and gain real world experience from current nursing students and nursing professionals. We are limited to taking 5 students so please email or visit Ms. Lee in the guidance department if you are interested.

Avoid These Common FAFSA Errors

Mistakes can delay your application and limit the amount of aid you are eligible to receive. To avoid errors, carefully read all of the questions on the FAFSA. Some of the most common FAFSA errors are:
    Image result for 'fafsa tips'
  • Leaving blank fields. Enter a '0' or 'NA' instead
  • Using decimal points. Round to the nearest dollar
  • Listing an incorrect Social Security or driver's license number. Triple-check these
  • Failing to use your legal name. Avoid nicknames
  • Listing incorrect marital status or failing to include the appropriate parents. If custodial parent is re-married, you will need to include your step-parent's information
  • Failing to count yourself as a student
  • Failing to count an unborn child. Number in household is for the upcoming school year, so, for example, if your mom is pregnant, she is counted a '2' people
  • Forgetting to list the colleges you have applied to. Make sure the schools receive your information!
A WONDERFUL service is offered to Illinois students through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Our representative, Natalie Irwin, will schedule a meeting with parents and students who are filling out the FAFSA free of charge to answer any questions you may have. Contact your Guidance Counselor for more information.

Questions to Ask on a College Visit

Image result for question marksOne of the best ways to learn more about a college is to visit their campus. When you're visiting, it is to your advantage to slow down and ask several questions. While it is helpful to talk to the admission staff (individuals who are paid to talk up a school), it also very insightful to talk to students about what they like and don't like about their school (individuals who will give their honest opinion). Here is a list of questions to ask while on a campus visit:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Congratulations to all homecoming participants

Great job by all who participated in Homecoming week. It was a ton of fun. Results from homecoming are as follows...

       Hall Decs
1.  Juniors
2.  Freshmen
3.  Sophomores
4.  Seniors
     Class Comps
1.  Seniors
2.  Juniors
3.  Sophomores (Tug-o-War Champs)
4.  Freshmen

Grand Champion...Faculty Skit (LOL)
1.  Seniors
2.  Sophomores
3.  Juniors
4.  Freshmen

1.  Juniors
2.  Sophomores
3.  Seniors
4.  Freshmen

Friday, September 29, 2017

Reminder: FAFSA Opens Sunday October 1st!!!!

Attention all seniors and parents, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) opens Sunday, October 1st.The first step to applying for federal student aid is creating a FSA ID. 

This video helps parents and students create a FSA ID. It is important to start this process now because it takes 1-3 days to receive a FSA ID, which is needed to start the application process.

It’s very important you and your child each create and use your own, separate FSA IDs. Creating an FSA ID for your child, or having your child create an FSA ID for you, could cause problems with your child’s financial aid.

If you are the parent of more than one dependent student, you will use your FSA ID to sign each child’s FAFSA.

For more resources, visit http://StudentAid.go

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Articulation Unplugged at Illinois State University 2017 Update

On September 25th Illinois State University held the 11th year of State Articulation Unplugged. It is an opportunity for guidance counselors to meet with different public and private universities to obtain yearly updates. In the first half of the program we received updates from 12 public universities. The following two links will highlight our discussion: 

12 Reasons to Stay in Illinois  
Gives you a one-page look at each state university. Includes enrollment data, tuition, important contacts and dates, and some financial aid info.

State Universities at a glance
A multi-page booklet that lists a ton of info for the state universities including: a comparative list of available majors, freshman requirements, important deadlines, and financial information

In addition, we attended a college fair and received an abundance of information in regards to schools and their different programs. If your child is looking for additional information in regards to their college or program, please see your guidance counselor.  

Calling all Science Students - Student Researcher Program

Peoria Ag Lab
There is a fantastic program coming up in November for those students interested in the science field. The Ag Lab in Peoria will be hosting a one-day Student Researcher Program for 11th and 12th grade students. Students are selected for this program based on demonstrated skills and merit. Since the program is limited to 48 students in the Peoria area, there is an application process.  A program such as this one looks great on college applications.

Students who have interest in the following fields would benefit from attending this one-day program: Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Entomology, Food Technology, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Physical Science, Plant Pathology, and Plant Physiology.

Although there is a September 29th deadline, students may turn in applications to Mr. Kosinski in the counseling office by TUESDAY. The applications will be driven to the Ag Lab on Tuesday.

Click here for application

Friday, September 22, 2017

College Isn't For Everyone

College isn't for everyone...How about a career in the skilled trades? We will be featuring a weekly video created by Dirty Jobs' Host Mike Rowe which hopefully sheds a bright light on the skilled trades.

Click below for a list of skilled trade careers that do not require a four year degree.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reminder: Only Way to Send Transcripts is through Parchment

Just a reminder that the only way to send transcripts is through the Parchment website. Students who have signed up have reported that once they were signed up, it was pretty simple to order transcripts. We have only experienced a few difficulties so far.  At this point 81 of 158 seniors have registered for Parchment. We need to get that number up.  Students can check their email to access one of the many (5+) reminders that they have received from Parchment.

Feel free to contact any counselor with questions.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Golden Apple Scholarship for Education Majors

The Golden Apple Scholarship is available for any senior who is hoping to study in the education field. Students can trade up to $23,000 of tuition support for beginning their career in a high - need school. More information on this scholarship program can be found at with the application found here.

ACT Retake - Deadline to Register is Friday

Any senior who plans to take the ACT in October is reminded that this Friday, September 22nd is the deadline.  Testing sites include ICC and Bradley. Students wishing to take the test should go to

HEY HEY.............Each class has started working on their homecoming floats.....

ATTENTION IVC Grey Ghosts!!! Each class has started building their class float for the homecoming parade. Check in with your class sponsor to find out schedule/location. GET INVOLVED!!! The following people are class sponsors:

Freshmen: Harley Williams & David Beck
Sophomore: Shana Placher & Lindsay Bogner
Junior: Mark Kosinski & Sherri Heth
Seniors: Josh Clarke and Tim Cech

Overview of the Financial Aid Presentation (9/18)

Image result for 'financial aid'We had a great turn out at the Financial Aid Presentation last night. ISAC's representative Natalie Irwin gave us an overview of different types of financial aid such as grants, loans, and scholarships. We went over FAFSA, and why it is so important to be file as soon as the application process opens (October 1st, 2017). There was a lot of information presented in a short amount of time so we are attaching her presentation. If you have any questions contact your child's guidance counselor.

Financial Aid Presentation

Friday, September 15, 2017

College Visit Day Procedure

Seniors wanting to take a college visit should take these steps:

Image result for 'college visit days'1) Bring a note to your counselor from a parent stating the date and location of the college visit. This must be at least two days in advance.

2) Take the College Visit Request form to the teachers of the day you will miss to sign off on and return completed form to your counselor.

3) During your college visit, get the College Visitation Confirmation form filled out and return to your counselor.

See your counselor or Mrs. Placher in Guidance with questions.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Schools Visiting IVC

Throughout the school year, many schools will be visiting IVC. More schools are added every day. In order to stay updated of which schools are visiting, check out the Guidance Calendar on the upper left portion of the homepage.

It is to the student's advantage to meet with the admission reps when they visit. Many schools actually keep track of how many times a student has met with them whether it be at a college fair, campus tour or school visit. Students can sign up for school visits in the Guidance Office.

Some upcoming school visits include:
Sept 18th - Monmouth College
Sept 19th - Illinois College
Sept 21st - MacMurray College, Eureka College
Sept 26th - Millikan University
Sept 28th - McKendree University
Oct 3rd - Bradley University, Truman State University
Oct 5th - Illinois State University
Oct 10th - Illinois Wesleyan University
Oct 11th - SIU Carbondale
Oct 13th - Knox College
Oct 16th - Western Illinois University
Oct 23rd - U of I Urbana-Champaign
Oct 30th - Drake University

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Attention Juniors!!! PSAT/NMSQT is October 11th

The PSAT/NMSQT is a great way to preview and practice for the SAT. It will test the same skills and knowledge as the SAT.

In addition, when you take the PSAT/NMSQT, you’re automatically screened for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. For more information, visit NMSC's website or see the Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT or the Guide to the National Merit® Scholarship Program(for educators). The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a cosponsor of the PSAT/NMSQT.

There are 30 spots available. You can sign up with Mrs. Placher in the guidance office. The test will cost $16.00. Checks can be made out to IVC. Payment must be received before test day. We will test on October 11th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Lastly, please visit the following website for additional information:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Off to College Guide

All seniors received this year's Off to College Guide at the senior meeting last week. The guide is packed information such as: timelines, factors to consider, college open houses, keys to the process, important website links, and steps to writing a great essay.

The guide can be accessed by clicking this link.

To see the powerpoint of the whole senior class presentation, click here.

Start the College Exploration Process Online

College exploration can be a daunting task. Many websites help bring that college exploration to your fingertips.  Here are a few sites that hopefully ease the process a bit.

U.S. News and World Report - Great starting spot for exploration process. Well known for their college rankings, U.S. News has great information about college. New rankings come out next week on September 13th. Check them out at

Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) - We highlight ISAC in the college links on the right side of the blog because of what a great resource it is for students and parents. Contains a ton of information with regard to financial aid and scholarships.  Descriptions of different loans and grants available to students.  There is also help available for filling out FAFSA.

Big Future by The College Board - This website is so jam packed with information that you could spend days and days looking at valuable info. Categories include: Finding Colleges, Exploring Colleges, Paying for College, and Getting In.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

University of IL Hosting a Number of Events

The colleges at the University of Illinois are hosting a number of events both on and off campus this fall. These are a fantastic opportunity to get a close look at the programs available at U of I.

Click below to get a full listing of all the events.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ICC Announces Visit Days for 2017-18

Illinois Central College has released this year's Friday Campus Visit Days.What a great way to visit campus ICC campus and learn about different programs offered. 

Reserve your spot online at

The full list of visit days is as follows:

Sept. 29 - Health Careers
Oct. 6 - Financial Aid (including FAFSA)
Oct. 13 - Engineering
Oct. 20 - POWER Programs (automotive, diesel, GM ASEP, and CAT)