The college application season is fraught with deadlines and decisions. Amid the stress of standardized testing, college research and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, the College and Career Center (CCC) becomes an increasingly vital resource, providing experienced counselors and a plethora of information about prospective colleges.
However, the role of the CCC in the college application process could be improved.
Anyone who has visited the CCC can recall the limitations of such a small space. The room can comfortably seat about 15 students along with a college representative, but often more students want to attend.
When more popular schools such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) or Columbia University visit, the room becomes so crowded that some students have to stand against the back wall or listen from the hallway.
These limitations cause some students to miss out on the chance to learn more about the schools they want to explore. Even when students can sit comfortably, the college representative often must shout over the college counselors’ meetings with individual students, taking place less than 10 feet away and separated by only a thin partition. This not only disturbs the visit, but it inconveniences the student and counselor and giving as many as 30 people the chance to eavesdrop on a private conversation.
The Campanile proposes that all future college visits take place in the Performing Arts Center, where the bigger space can accommodate more students. College representatives could also utilize the PAC’s technology by preparing slideshows, providing them with a greater degree of versatility than the CCC currently provides.
The current system allows many smaller, lesser-known colleges to go unnoticed, simply because students don’t know their names.
In Paly’s efforts to steer students away from the high pressure Ivy-League-or-bust mentality, the CCC should encourage students to research other lesser-known colleges that could potentially provide the same quality of education.
To increase interest in more obscure colleges, the CCC should add a short description of each college on the college schedule, to attract students to attending college visits that they wouldn’t otherwise know about.
Few students outside of college applicants utilize, or even know about, the CCC webpage and Naviance, the two main places where students can check the schedule for college visits. While InFocus publicizes college visits, it only announces the current day’s visitors, much too late for the mandatory one day advance notice to obtain a teacher signature to excuse the student from class.
During the college visit season, the CCC should place college visit schedules on the calendar on the front page of the Paly website, or link their website directly on the website for easier access and increased awareness of its resources.
Share notes online
Sometimes, students can’t attend college visits because they would miss an important class period, but fortunately, they can still learn about that college through the meticulous notes taken by CCC volunteers during the presentation. Unfortunately, since many students don’t know about the full extent of resources provided to them, they miss out on these intricate details about schools they might consider. In order to ensure all students can access this information, the CCC should upload their notes to their website to aid students in the college research process.
While the CCC is an incredibly valuable resource, it remains underpublicized and underutilized among Paly students. Don’t let this wealth become a waste.