College Advisor Vision
The college search and application process has become highly selective and competitive. Student anxiety is at an all-time high. Beyond the elements of the holistic method, stellar grades, test scores, and activities and essays, students must demonstrate how they align with a particular institution’s values, learning approach, and social environment. At the core, an applicant’s priorities, areas of achievement outside the classroom, service work in the community, and personal qualities, demonstrate aptitudes and qualities that signify alignment. When this process is cultivated with thoughtful engagement, students can explore and develop their interests and abilities to craft an authentic and compelling personal narrative – garnering the attention of admission staff.
Exploration & Engagement
Each student has unique and particular interests and gifting. Many, however, are uncertain about which direction to follow and what fascinates them for learning’s sake. Some may be talented in various areas yet not know how to identify what resonates and aligns with who they are becoming. Consequently, exploring, confirming, and validating interest is vital and should precede competence or accomplishments. Pushing through the barriers of fear and apprehension is necessary to uncover the unseen motivation behind activities. What can inspire the love of learning for its own sake rather than for a grade?
Initiative & Advocacy
Some students are naturally self-directed and don’t need anyone scouting out their path. Others are disengaged and unmotivated to participate in the most basic activities, yet other students navigate somewhere in between. Regardless, learning how to take personal responsibility is essential on the path to college. Asking questions and seeking help when necessary are important skills to cultivate, so understanding how behavior and actions inside and outside the classroom affect opportunities are important. Coaching students through the art of “getting noticed” is critical as students begin to prepare earnestly for college. How does one get noticed by a teacher, coach, or mentor?
Reflection & Narrative
As students approach graduation, they grapple with the questions: What am I going to do after high school? How will I support myself? What am I good at? The WHY questions can help students reflect upon what’s essential and identify personal qualities, strengths, and abilities. But does that happen? Sometimes, but clarifying personal attributes can help students begin identifying what they need and want in life. The effort, ideally, results in pairing and aligning competencies and interests with schools that match. The process of exploring opportunities, confirming interest, and developing competency bring understanding and awareness, which informs the unique personal story. How does one stand out in a HUGE admission pool?