Friday, April 29, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Early Childhood Educator

With school-age expectations continuing to improve, students are going to need more and more academic, personal, and social preparation for school at an early age. Early childhood educators are experts in child development and educational principles in order to assist small children transition from homebound care to the primary elementary grades. They use numerous theories and techniques to bring young children to be school-ready. Becoming an early childhood educator requires a bachelor's degree, as opposed to a child care worker, which requires less coursework.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Psychiatrist

When an aspiring doctor completes his or her four-year bachelors degree and enrolls in medical school, part of the medical training may include practical training in psychiatry, or medical treatment of emotional and mental disorders like depression or anxiety. Psychiatrists listen to their clients describe their feelings and experiences, incorporate these with what they know about their medical history and existing research on the clinical impacts and side effects of numerous medications, and then prescribe a dosage of a medication that, in their judgement, best suits the patient and his or her symptoms. Because brain chemistry is so complicated, it takes patience and skill to effectively and safely treat clients with medicine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Army Soldier

Perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of our national defense is that of an army soldier fighting for our liberty on the front lines of a war. It is no surprise that while physical combat is necessary at times, most of our army involves many more nuanced techniques than what we saw from GI Joe. To serve in the army, you need to be physically fit, conscious of your role as part of a greater plan and as a member of a team, and of course, be committed to your country. The Army provides many valuable training and college scholarship opportunities, and is an admirable way to spend one's career.

Monday, April 25, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Social Worker

There are two main types of social workers: those who primarily work with clients on a case load, and those who work in advocacy on the large scale. Macro-level social workers advise politicians to ensure that policies and legislation is worded in such a way as to ensure the well-being of otherwise marginalized populations. Micro-level social workers manage services for clients who are in need, and frequently provide counseling services to those clients. Their work is often with goals to help their clients develop prosocial and self-care skills. Because clients frequently start receiving services when times are difficult, it takes great patience and fortitude for social workers to stay committed and energetic.

Friday, April 22, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Police Officer

There are few roles in our society that stand for honor and justice as much as police officers. Police officers have a responsibility to uphold the laws that are in place to maintain order in the nation, state, and their local jurisdiction, even when they personally disagree with some of the laws or when they personally know people who are in violation of the laws. It is always a preference to resolve disputes without resorting to summons or arrests, but police officers have the training to take action when necessary. Their training takes place at a police academy, which lasts at least six months and also involves an apprenticeship.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Instructional Assistant

Teacher assistants are also called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, and paraeducators. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students, and teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, they may help students learn research skills by helping them find information for reports. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and student development. Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. These students often are mainstreamed (attend regular classes), and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Some teacher assistants work in specific locations in the school. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times of the day. Many instructional assistants have a bachelor's degree in a field related to education.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Nurse Anesthetist

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses who safely provide more than 32 million anesthetics for surgical, obstetrical and trauma care each year in the United States. They administer every type of anesthetic, work in every type of practice setting and provide care for every type of operation or procedure – from open heart surgery to pain management programs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. With students who have mild or moderate disabilities, they ensure that lessons and teaching strategies are modified to meet the students’ needs. With students who have severe disabilities, they teach the students independent living skills and basic literacy, communication, and math. All states require public special education teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of these teachers major in elementary education or a content area, such as math or chemistry, and minor in special education. Others get a degree specifically in special education.

Monday, April 18, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Aerospace Engineer

With the ever-expanding exploration of space and use of aerospace technology for travel within our own atmosphere, we will always have a need for talented and ambitious aerospace engineers. There is no coincidence that we refer to a rocket scientist when we want to make a point about something being very difficult or complicated, the most advanced levels of physics and mathematics are at use in aerospace engineering. If you are talented in math and science, and are willing to work for many years to refine your understanding of the universe and its many simultaneous laws, you may wish to pursue this career.

Friday, April 15, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Computer Systems Analyst

While computer programmers are the professionals writing code, computer systems analysts are the detail-oriented Information Technology experts who manage the project to ensure that it makes sense for the user and meets the client's needs. These are professionals who are not just fluent in computer science, but also extremely skilled with customer service. In order to pursue this career, you will find college majors with many different names, from computer science information systems to management science to information technology.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Molecular Biologist

Whether studying cell processes and codes in humans, animals, plants or other living organisms, molecular biologists are needed in a spectrum of career fields. They utilize their knowledge of chemistry, cell physiology, genetics, physics and other sciences in their career studies. Becoming a molecular biologist usually requires a bachelor's degree in a major in the biological sciences.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Congrats, you survived SAT Day!

On behalf of Pikesville High School and the School Counseling Department, congratulations for taking the SAT today!
Thanks to the vision of our school system’s leadership, this opportunity affords thousands of BCPS juniors the chance to apply for admission at any of our nation’s (and state’s) many four-year colleges. While I recognize that approximately 40-45% of our graduates attend 2-year college or enlist in the military, I want to make sure that everyone knows that they have the choice to apply for admission to four-year colleges, should they wish to investigate those choices.
First of all, know that for students who will be applying to colleges in the fall, it will be their responsibility to send the SAT scores directly from his/her account to those colleges. If you did not write any college codes on your pink and white form, the College Board will charge about $12 per recipient. We expect to have additional fee waivers for students who qualify (those who are in AVID, receive free/reduced meals, qualify for government benefits, or who live below the federal poverty line), and they are usually available for distribution in the fall. I must be clear about this: parents should not make an account at on behalf of their children. Ask him/her to log in with you and explore the site together. If there are multiple accounts for a student, that will complicate things and the only way to resolve the matter is for the student to call College Board directly at 410-756-7346. 
Having taken the test today, remember that this is not the only SAT. Registration is available (at for the June 4 test until May 20. The cost to register for the SAT with Essay is $54.50. We have fee waivers for that, as well.
By the way, the SAT is not the only admissions test that colleges accept. Even though it was not as popular for our parents’ generation, the ACT – is accepted by just as many colleges as the SAT, and many students report feeling more confident on that test than the SAT. An equal number end up scoring higher. It really is a matter of personal preference. The cost for that test is comparable, and registration for the June 11 ACT with writing will be $56.50 until May 6. Likewise, we have fee waivers for the ACT with the same qualifying criteria as above.
Image result for common app
In mid-May, school counselors will visit English 11 classes to help them create, and get familiar with the Common App (, one website that is used by hundreds of colleges for applying for admission. After that activity, the juniors will begin working with their English 11 teachers on their first drafts of their admissions essay. Students who attend the BCPS College Application Boot Camp will be given feedback on their essays, which makes it to their benefit to start early.
You should also know that we will also mention a change (at least to those who have older students) to the process of applying to the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland is one of 90 colleges who have joined the “Coalition for College Access & Affordability.” The “Coalition App” should open soon, and this will allow students to save their best school (and creative) work from school and save it to their account in what the Coalition calls their “locker,” as a way for colleges to evaluate students’ college readiness that goes beyond the traditional formulaic system of comparing GPA and test scores. Please start looking through 11th grade work and saving it for the Coalition App if the University of Maryland (or the other 89 member colleges) are in your future.

Don’t forget to go on college visits (and help me grow my window decal collection J) to make lasting and valid impressions of the colleges your student is considering.

Lastly, prospective student athletes will need to register for the NCAA clearinghouse by the summer time and request that we send their 11th grade transcript to the NCAA this summer. Registration is at

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Insurance Underwriter

Underwriters are the main link between an insurance company and an insurance agent. Insurance underwriters use computer software programs to determine whether to approve an applicant. They take specific information about a client and enter it into a program. The program then provides recommendations on coverage and premiums. Underwriters evaluate these recommendations and, using predetermined criteria, decide whether to approve or reject the application. If a decision is difficult, they may consult additional sources, such as medical documents and credit scores. Insurance underwriters must achieve a balance between risky and cautious decisions. If underwriters allow too much risk, the insurance company will pay out too many claims. But if they don't approve enough applications, the company will not make enough money from premiums. Most firms prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, or mathematics.

Monday, April 11, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Naval Officer

With an increasingly technically and technologically inclined naval fleet in our military, Naval officers and ensigns undergo thorough training to understand and use the tools that they rely upon to complete their tasks. Our navy is frequently engaged in tactical warfare, and if you are considering enlistment, be prepared for rigorous physical training and rigid expectations for following orders and working on a team. More information is available at

Friday, April 8, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Sports and Entertainment Manager

Sports managers spend their time behind the scenes coordinating all business-related activities for the team that employs them. During the playing season they may work seven days a week. When they work for college or professional teams they stay behind in their office at the team’s home facility while the team travels to away games. A few who have been in the business for many years travel with the team from city to city, but they are the exception. During the off-season, the manager is busy negotiating trades and signing free agents. For managers of professional teams, a business degree is recommended. The manager should be familiar with contract laws, economics, and accounting. There are no licensing requirements for managers.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Physical Education Teacher

Would you enjoy coaching a basketball team, teaching a dance class, or demonstrating a juggling trick? Do you want to help kids become confident, coordinated, and team-spirited? If so, consider a career as a physical education teacher or coach. It helps to be enthusiastic about fitness, ready to tackle challenging science classes, and good at motivating people. You'll also need flexibility in order to work with a variety of students, from hard-core athletes to kids who don't like to leave the couch. If you are interested in being a physical education teacher, you would want to pursue either a physical education or kinesiology major.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the day: Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or emotional problems. Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Visual Artist

While many visual artists spend time in workshops, attending other artists’ shows and seminars, and doing research, the heart of the profession—the reason why people choose to join the very selective fine arts—is that they love what they do. Numerous artists use their specific set of marketable tools as freelance commercial artists, producing work on consignment to another’s specifications. Formal educational training in this field is becoming the norm, with most earning BFAs in graphic design, painting, or art history. Some find it helpful to continue their education and earn graduate degrees (primarily MFAs), particularly if they desire to teach painting at the secondary level or above.

Monday, April 4, 2016

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Computer Hardware Engineer

When you were born, cell phones were the size of of a shoe and their batteries lasted four hours, at most. There were very few laptop computers, and they held about 2 gigabytes of memory. Today, we can hold 80 gigabytes of music on phones no larger than a 3 by 5 card. These advances are due to the evolving work of computer hardware engineers. Computer engineers are constantly looking to improve upon existing technology, and will need to have training in math and science, as well as material science.