BY EMMA HUERTA
Upon one’s first step into the high school realm, two words are constantly being spoken amongst the students, teachers, parents and administrators alike: “future” and “college.” High school is one of the main stepping stones in a student’s journey into postsecondary education or other options after receiving the now very necessary diploma. As the finish line gets closer and the race comes to a close, obstacles along the way may pose challenges for juniors and seniors preparing themselves for the end of their high school journeys and the start of their new college paths.
CCHS administration is keen on helping students overcome these obstacles, especially as college admissions deadlines creep closer and closer every day. Hence, during the months of September and October, guidance schedules a series of informational college visits through the student Naviance accounts.
“College visits are open to juniors and seniors who plan to apply to these colleges or would just like to speak with a representative who basically reviews their application,” Broward Advisor for Continuing Education (BRACE) Christine Siwek said. “They can come and visit the last half hour of the period that I schedule. They’re welcome to come on down and get a lot of information on a school that they’re applying to.”
“Honestly, I don’t reach out to schools. Schools reach out to us.”
Many colleges come to Cooper City because they want to meet prospective students and personally talk to them about the school they represent. Among the various universities, there are even several selective schools.
“Honestly, I don’t reach out to schools. Schools reach out to us. They love our kids,” Siwek said. “They want to see [them]. We have Yale and last year we had Dartmouth [visiting]. We have Ivy League colleges wanting to visit our students.”
Extensive scouting is a significant part of ensuring students make the right decision about universities, which is why college visits can widely benefit soon-to-be high school graduates. By presenting multiple options to students as well as guidance, college representatives can help students easily find schools that have the features that best pertain to them.
“The more you learn about what your options are, the more you realize that there are so many options out there that could end up being the best choice for you,” senior Alexandra Porras said.
“I recommend to really do a lot of research, specifically based on the major you intend on choosing.”
The information can open up new opportunities for students by showing them universities that they may not have known about in the past but that fit their individual needs and preferences.
“I recommend to really do a lot of research, specifically based on the major you intend on choosing,” senior Philip Brinn said. “A school you may have never heard of could have the best program for the major you intend on choosing.”
Aside from providing extensive, necessary data for college “shopping,” as Siwek puts it, college visits also create an incomparable connection between the student and the school’s representative. Students are able to receive first-hand advice about the admissions process, directly from the person that is going to administer the process in the future.
“They [the students] have that personal contact with them– especially if it is a very selective school. It would be very cool to meet the person who is going to read your application for the South Florida region,” Siwek said. “It puts a human touch to that number, that application.”
Photo by The Lariat Photography