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Thursday
Oct032013

You’re Invited

By Charlie Bain, High School Partnership Specialist, CollegeWeekLive

Dear AVID teachers, high school counselors, and other passionate professionals who work with college-bound students,

You are cordially invited.  

Wait; before I tell you what you’re invited to, let me tell you a quick story.

My name is Charlie, that’s me off to the right, the one with the tie on. For the past five years, I have worked professionally with college-bound and current college students. My story, as most of ours do, begins when I was a student. I was always told I had a lot of that “potential” stuff.  I thought it was just something my parents and teachers would say to make me do homework.  Looking back, they were right. I was involved in community service, the captain of a team, and an honor roll student (most of the time).  But this story isn’t about how great I am—my mother would tell you it should be—it’s about how my college search process didn’t work for me and how I would approach it today.

I applied to one college with a 68% admittance rate. Of course, I decided to apply to one of their most exclusive programs. The school was out of state, way out of my price range, and I applied for something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do long term.  Looking back, I don’t even know why I picked the school I did.  However, I was accepted.  After one semester I transferred out. It took me three schools but I ended up thriving at my alma mater—I raised my GPA by .8 points, from a 2.7 in my first two schools, to a 3.5, I was involved in clubs, and started an intercollegiate rugby team who now annually contends for the New England title.  But again, this isn’t about how awesome I am (sorry, mom!). This is about what I could have done differently to find a college that would have been the best fit for me.  

AVID would have been an excellent solution. I would have stayed engaged and learned what my parents and I didn’t understand about college. I am a first-generation college student, so my parents were learning with me. Unfortunately, AVID wasn’t offered at my high school.  I could have gone to my guidance counselor and looked through the college literature in his office but even today, flipping through magazines doesn’t seem like the right solution for me. I am, after all, a millennial; multitasking and social networking come as naturally as breathing and sleeping. My millennial tendencies are especially noticeable when it comes to learning, research, and connecting with new people. Looking back it’s easy to see: I should have used the internet to find the right college for me.  

The same is true for most students in high school today; they are more comfortable interacting online. It is important we provide students the opportunity to search for and connect with colleges in an environment in which they are comfortable. As a High School Partnerships Specialist at CollegeWeekLive, I am able to do just that!  By working with college readiness experts such as AVID teachers, high school counselors, and go-center coordinators, together we are able to engage their students in the college application process both in person and online.  Using the Advisor Center, a free, online resource for high school educators, I am able to provide college-readiness work sheets, lesson plans, and an archive of on-demand presentations from college-readiness experts.  I am also able to connect students and admission counselors directly by scheduling online chats and virtual college fairs with hundreds of colleges and universities from around the world.  

Each chat and virtual fair is unique; I work with each school to tailor the event to accomplish their college goals.  Some counselors use them to put students in touch with schools to which they normally wouldn’t be able to visit.  Others use chats to follow up on in-person college fairs and campus visits.  It allows for students to ask questions they thought of afterwards or didn’t want to ask in person.  Online chats present the opportunity to ask questions students were initially intimidated to raise in front of their classmates.  Have your students join the hundreds of thousands already on CollegeWeekLive by inviting the colleges you want for a date and time that works best for you!

Right! This is an invitation, and my story ended a while ago.  So…

You—and your students—are cordially invited!

When: During your AVID class
Where: In the computer lab or with any 1-to-1 device
What: A virtual college fair or online chat with the schools of your choosing!

Both CollegeWeekLive and the Advisor Center are free for you and your students to use. To get started register for free at AVID.CollegeWeekLive.com. Make sure you sign up as a high school counselor; this will give you access to the Advisor Center. 

For more details on how you can use CollegeWeekLive with your students, watch our webinar: CollegeWeekLive: A 21st Century Fulcrom, leveraging CollegeWeekLive in your AVID Elective classroom.

 

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