College Advisor Vision
As the college search and application process has become highly selective and competitive, the pressure students experience is remarkable. Beyond stellar grades, test scores and activities, students must demonstrate how they are well suited to a particular institution’s values, learning approach and social environment. At the core, a candidate’s priorities, areas of achievement outside the classroom, service work in the community and personal qualities, as narrated through college essays are what demonstrate aptitudes and qualities that signify alignment. When this process is cultivated with thoughtful and creative engagement, a student can explore, and develop his or her interests and abilities to craft a personal narrative that is authentic and compelling – garnering the attention of admission evaluators.
Exploration & Engagement
Each student is unique and has particular interests and gifting. Many, however, are unaware and uncertain of the direction to take; what fascinates them for learning’s sake, has yet to be discovered. Some may be good enough at a variety of things, yet not know how to identify that which truly resonates and aligns with who they are becoming. Consequently, exploring, confirming and validating interest is vital and for the sake of process, should precede competence or accomplishments. Pushing through the barriers of fear and apprehension is necessary to uncover the unseen motivation behind particular 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 to tell them to do a thing. Others are disengaged and unmotivated to participate in the most basic of activities, yet still, other students navigate somewhere in between. In any case, learning how to take personal responsibility is important on the path to college. Asking questions and seeking help when necessary are important skills to cultivate in school, as well as life, so understanding how behavior and actions in the classroom and outside it affect opportunities is 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 the end of high school, 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 direct them toward reflecting upon what’s important and also enable them to identify personal qualities, strengths, and abilities. Does that actually happen? Not typically, but clarifying personal attributes can help students begin to identify what they need and want in life. The effort, ideally, results in a student pairing and aligning their competencies and interests with schools that match. The process of exploring opportunities, confirming interest and developing competency brings understanding and awareness, which informs the unique personal story. How does one stand out in a HUGE admission pool?