Cherokee Nation Foundation’s ACT Prep Class offers students ‘leg up’

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
03/14/2018 08:00 AM
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Jennifer Sandoval, Cherokee Nation Foundation program coordinator, teaches an ACT Prep Class on March 6 at Carl Albert State College’s Sallisaw campus to area high school students. The ACT Prep Class is six weeks long and gives students the opportunity to take pre-tests before they take the actual exams. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
High school students prepare for the spring ACT exam during the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s ACT Prep Class at Carl Albert State College’s Sallisaw campus. CNF offers two six-week classes, one in the spring and the other in fall, as well as a weeklong class during the summer. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
SALLISAW – With two weeks under their belts, high school students are learning the ins and outs of ACT test taking during a six-week ACT Prep Class at Carl Albert State College’s Sallisaw campus conducted by the Cherokee Nation Foundation.

Jennifer Sandoval, CNF program coordinator, said the CNF has offered the free class for several years because it helps students get a look into the ACT before taking the exam. She said with 35 students in attendance this is the biggest class yet.

“We offer it at this campus so that way it reaches all of the surrounding high schools,” she said. “They’re able to come here after school and get that kind of one-on-one prep with an instructor.”

Students have two chances to take the six-week class, once in the fall and the other in the spring. Sandoval said the CNF also offers a weeklong summer program.

While in class, Sandoval said students take an ACT pre-test before jumping into the course.

“We like to get them familiar with it, and then we have them take a mid-test in the middle of the classes. That way they can practice what they’ve learned so far,” she said. “We do basic introduction lessons at the beginning of the class, and then we kind of taper off into each subtest. We start off kind of slow then we intense up towards then, and then we taper off again so they’re ready for that test at the end.”

Mikeesha Watts, a Vian High School junior, said she took Sandoval’s weeklong summer class and it helped raise her ACT score. “I met a lot of people up there. Still talk to them today, and they help me out a lot. Raised my score two points from my previous ACT so that’s good. Hopefully this class will help me more.”

For other students looking to take an ACT prep class, Watts said Sandoval is a good teacher with whom to do so. “Jennifer, she’s a great teacher. She’s worth every second of coming to a class.”

Sandoval said this class is important because it helps most students get a “leg up” on the exam.

“Most students don’t have the opportunity to prep for the ACT for free, and so because college is such a big deal, and the ACT is the entrance exam to get to college, we just feel like it’s getting them a step ahead of most students and getting them a leg up on the ACT,” she said.

When taking the ACT, Sandoval said one strategy is to never leave anything blank.

“So our guessing strategy that we use is what we call the letter of the day. If you ever have to guess on several different questions you just guess one letter,” she said.

Sandoval said the class is free to CN citizens and citizens of federally recognized tribes. If a high school would like the CNF to offer an ACT Prep class, Sandoval said that’s something the foundation does.

“We do two-hour workshops that high schools can request. We also have a two-day workshop that’s a partnership with the University of Arkansas, schools can request that as well,” she said.

For more information, visit www.cherokeenationfoundation.org.

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