High school is a great time for students to explore areas of interest for their futures to help determine what types of colleges they may want to attend and potential careers they may want to pursue. Students are encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity they can, such as enrolling in a pre-college program over the summer or participating in a Winterim, a signature program at Forman that immerses students in intensive hands-on learning experiences for two weeks.
Forman’s College Counseling Office prompts students to explore different types of colleges and universities. During the post-secondary planning course, students build a list of schools to apply to, and each student’s list will look different. While some students will apply to eight schools, others will apply to three.
“It is not about how many schools you apply to, it is about what your list actually looks like and how balanced it is,” Meredith Davis, Director of College Counseling, says, emphasizing that lists typically consist of midrange, likely, and reach schools.
Since Davis joined Forman’s College Counseling Office in 2009, she has helped expand and diversify the list of schools graduates apply to and ultimately attend. Students now attend colleges across the country, from big universities to small liberal arts schools.
“We really boast that you want options,” Davis says. “Even if a student is sure that they want to be a school teacher and want to be in Connecticut, there is no harm to expanding a little bit and seeing what is out there.”
The personality and career inventories that students take in the post-secondary planning course can influence their direction to a certain degree; however, selecting a major can be difficult for some.
“For a student who doesn’t know what they want to major in, the answer is you don’t have to know,” says Davis.
Colleges offer support to students who are undecided about their major, such as an academic advisor. Students often have the ability to explore their interests further while staying on a four-year path to graduation.
Moreover, some students may choose to go a different route entirely and explore alternatives to four-year colleges, including the military, post-graduate years, associate degrees, trade schools, and gap years. However, each student is encouraged to go through the college application process. If a student takes a gap year and plans to enroll in college the following year, having their college application nearly complete ensures an easier process.
“We want college to be an option for all students if they choose that direction,” says Davis.
Click to read the first and third blogs in the “From Forman to Their Futures” series.