With college application deadlines approaching, many seniors are scrambling to consolidate their post-Paly plans, longing for guidance through the process and knowledge of what the possible outcome could be. Although advisors and college counselors offer critical information and advice, they often lack a unique student perspective.
The Campanile thinks Paly ought to implement a platform for current students to communicate and consult with alumni throughout high school, especially through the process of deciding their post-Paly plans. Guidance from those who have been through the same process in the same environment is invaluable for decisions that may frame the rest of our lives.
Parental and cultural pressure in Silicon Valley can often lead students to think future success depends on following a certain path. Although our community offers resources for students who wish to attend a 4-year university, other tracks are less discussed.
Through an alumni network, students would have the opportunity to communicate with Paly alumni who chose less traditional paths, such as attending community college, taking a gap year or entering the workforce. Recent Paly alumni would be able to offer a student perspective on the process, rather than counselors advising students based on standardized test scores and transcripts.
To implement an alumni network, The Campanile thinks connecting with Paly graduates should be an organized part of the advisory curriculum in all grades. Through advisory, time should be allotted to allow students to contact Paly alumni who are currently attending colleges or participating in other post-Paly plans.
Currently, there is a binder in the College & Career Center with the names and contact information of alumni at various colleges who are willing to talk about their experiences. While this binder is useful, it is a relatively unknown and underused resource. We think the binder should be better publicized and should include information from graduates who pursued less traditional paths.
In addition, The Campanile believes school officials should help set up one-on-one monthly calls or meetings between current students and Paly alumni at colleges or other paths the students are interested in during advisory.
Communication with Paly alumni would ensure that current students are prepared and given the resources necessary to make well-educated decisions about their futures.