The College Process Meets Goldilocks: Neither Too Easy Nor Too Difficult
by Suzanne Schutte
Associate Director of College Counseling
During last week’s College Forum, I read the following quote from Jim Jump, the president of NACAC (National Association of Colleges and College Admissions Counselors):“We must maintain our focus on the developmental nature of the college process. Just as higher education can be a transforming experience in a young person’s life, the college search and application process should also be transformational, helping young people discover truths about themselves and what they want from their education. The college application process should measure a student’s readiness for college, and that’s why parents and professionals must not just allow students to take ownership of the process, but require them to do so. It also means that applying to college must be a Goldilocks process, neither too easy nor too hard.”
Our goal at Urban is to find that middle ground between too easy and too hard for each student. We need to constantly remind ourselves that the process is as important as the outcome and that each student’s journey through that process is different. Some take charge and fly though, organized and positive from beginning to end. Others avoid and procrastinate, finishing everything during the winter holiday hours before the deadlines. Some know themselves well and have lots of ideas about what they’re looking for; some haven’t a clue. We keep each student’s characteristics and idiosyncrasies in mind as they move through the process.
Susan and I are just beginning this process with juniors and are in the middle of navigating the unpredictable journey with the seniors. They each are finding their own way through. By spring, seniors will know where they will be next fall. Our message to them is constantly: Don’t let the process undermine your confidence. Draw on what you know. Be yourself. Be strong.
Tuesday January, 12, 2010 at 01:56PM
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