As the college-application process becomes more daunting (and expensive) for high school students, Cazenovia High School has begun to offer more support. Guidance counselors Susan Tresco and Cara LaVine have made alterations to their college seminar class, offering students more opportunities to get the specialized help they require when applying to colleges and universities.
"With the college application and admissions process becoming more competitive, a course like college seminar is an excellent opportunity for students to gain an understanding and know what is expected of them before their senior year," Tresco said.
Monday Jan. 31 marked the first day college seminar was offered in a more intimate setting, allowing students to better understand the process and ask more questions. Over a period of 10 weeks, groups of nine students will meet for 45 minutes, once every 4-day cycle.
In prior years, the college seminar course was only available to students during their lunch period. A classroom was never designated and many times, numerous students would have to cram into whatever space was available. The recent changes allow Tresco and LaVine to provide specialized help and attention to individual students.
"Being able to sit down and help the kids with it, before they become overwhelmed, I think, is an invaluable experience for them," LaVine said. "Right now they might not realize it, but hopefully they're already getting some benefit out of it."
During the course, students receive help writing entrance essays, creating resumes, acquiring teacher recommendations, signing up for the SAT and ACT examinations, as well as forming lists of viable academic institutions they wish to attend. LaVine and Tresco assist the students determine their career aspirations and decide which qualities they want in their college or university.
One of the most crucial tools the guidance counselors encourage students to employ when applying is the Internet. While some schools still require hardcopy materials to be sent in a single package to the admissions office, countless colleges and universities accept electronic submissions. This saves time for both parties; allowing students to copy and paste their basic information, as well as enabling admissions staff to quickly review numerous applications.