500 Words

500 Words On...College Counseling Boot Camp

Kristen Kaczynski
Director of College Counseling & Institutional Research
 June 11, 2020
 
After beginning the college research process in November, each June, North Shore rising seniors participate in College Counseling Boot Camp, a series of events and activities designed to begin the college application preparation process. A rite of passage that has existed for over a decade, Boot Camp provides students an opportunity to learn more about the college application review process directly from college admission representatives, and begin to apply that knowledge to their own applications. Strategically scheduled for the very first days of summer break, Boot Camp sends students off into the summer with all the tools they need to maximize their summer hours and return to school in August with significant portions of their college applications already complete. This year, during the very first virtual Boot Camp, June 1-5,  students participated in informational webinars, college essay brainstorming, writing and revising sessions, Common Application overviews and mock admissions interviews. 

Serving as the primary faculty for the program were four current admission officers:
Greg Moyer, Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions Recruitment, Dickinson College
Sydney Gabourel Ezzedine, Assistant Director of Admission, Fordham University
Megan Lakatos, Illinois Regional Admissions Recruitment Coordinator, University of Michigan
Tom Nicholas, Associate Director of Admission, University of Richmond
These college admission experts offered families insights on the current state of college admission, changes to the process and expectations related to the pandemic, and provided strategies on how students should prepare their applications to effectively communicate their strengths to college admission committees. Parents and students also had the opportunity to ask the admission representatives their own questions. In addition, students each met one-on-one for a mock admission interview with one of the admission representatives and received detailed feedback on how to be best prepared for upcoming interviews.

In addition to their work with the college admissions representatives, the rising seniors participated in an essay workshop, and worked independently on brainstorming, drafting and revising a draft of their college personal statement. They also collaborated with North Shore College Counseling staff to begin to fill out their Common Applications. These crucial pieces will serve as the building blocks of the applications students will ultimately submit to colleges this fall. 

By the end of the busy week, rising seniors officially began their summer break having completed drafts of essays and applications, received interview feedback, and resolved questions about how to best express themselves through their applications. Using this new knowledge and the skills they developed over the course of the week, our North Shore students will not only be well-prepared for the application submission process, but will be able to turn their summer attention beyond the college application work required of them, and the freedom to pursue other interests and passions.