By Alex Trippi ('17)
There are five sessions during Enrichment between now and the end of the school year for juniors beginning the college process. Students will also participate in college essay workshops during their junior English class in the spring.
Students will not only learn how to use Naviance, the college preparation software but also learn “how to dress on visits and how to maintain proper etiquette through the process,” Mrs. Jina Walker, Associate Director of College Counseling, told The Bulldog.
Bullis offers a unique support system, where students get their own College Counselor who writes a personalized recommendation letter for colleges based on surveys and multiple student meetings. Building relationships with the students is an important part of the process. For the personal recommendation, Mrs. Walker explained that the letter they write is not solely based on the student's academics. “We talk about their achievements, character, leadership, involvement, and struggles that the school should know about with their permission,” Mrs. Walker said. Also, she explained the best way to get to know their student is the questionnaire they fill out and their meetings with the kids and their parents.
The new structure that Mrs. Walker helped implement is dynamic and enjoyable for students. The students learn many valuable lessons to incrementally help them through the college process. In the hands on sessions students complete different activities: they complete questionnaires, analyze data on past Bullis acceptances, deferrals, and rejections from past schools; they read sample college essays and build “activity”- based résumés. Lastly, the students may have to write their own recommendation for themselves, so they can begin thinking about how they will present themselves to colleges.
“If it wasn’t for the new College 101 Curriculum, I would not know where to start when searching for colleges,”Abdul Khanu (‘18) said.
College 101 makes the College counseling department at Bullis elite. Many meetings, interviews, and help from the counselors ultimately makes the college process for the students more enjoyable and less worrisome.