All of our students are busy settling in after their return from Winter Break, but none more so than the junior class. In the coming months, our 11th-grade students will be focusing not only on their studies but also on researching possible career paths and colleges that may be a good fit for them. That’s why we say “January is for juniors” at The Storm King School when we talk about college placement.
College Counselor Jim Leppla stresses that January is “the best time of the year to encourage juniors and their families to plan on visiting potential colleges and universities over the spring break and the upcoming summer”.
To facilitate this, juniors will be working with their advisors on Wednesdays over the course of the semester to discuss their ideas and aspirations about colleges and the career world. The process will kick off with the students being asked to complete a Career Interest Inventory using the Focus2Explore tool, among others, later this month. According to Mr. Leppla, the survey “is designed to help students explore their future objectives and clarify their educational and potential career goals.”
As the spring semester progresses, advisors will continue to work with individual students to help them create a course of action. Students will have the opportunity to meet representatives from several nationwide colleges and universities at a lunch-and-learn event that will take place on campus in April. “Our aim is to encourage the students to have thoughtful discussions with their advisors, the college counselor, and parents regarding future plans,” explained Mr. Leppla.
Mr. Leppla stresses that College Counseling is available to students as they move through the process. Families are invited to participate and can help their child by being encouraging and supportive. While the prospect of applying to college may seem daunting, the partnership of student, parent, and school working together alleviates much of any existing anxiety. Boarding students whose families may be a great distance away, also receive support from dorm parents.
“First and foremost, we listen. We appreciate the crucial role that our families play in their child’s journey, all the while realizing this is the student’s responsibility to be engaged and involved. It is not much different than a student preparing a research project for a class. We help them stay on track and achieve a successful outcome,” explains Mr. Leppla.
For our senior class, early college acceptances have begun to arrive and many students will be attending their “first choice” in the fall. “Our student-led approach to college placement is a key to their success. Ultimately, as in other areas of their lives, it is the student who drives the process and puts in the work. We are there every step of the way to give them the tools and guidance they need,” says Mr. Leppla.