By: Arthur Yu
The seniors have done it. Now it’s juniors’ time. Get ready to take on the dreaded college application process.
With d.tech’s founding class finally in its senior year, the school’s first college application cycle is coming to an end. Guiding the seniors through the process for the first time was the school’s college counselor, Kathleen O’dell. With much to reflect on, O’dell has already implemented change amongst the juniors.
Hosting a d.lab over the January Intersession, O’dell and six seniors embarked to improve d.tech’s college application experience for everyone. During their two weeks, the six seniors interviewed juniors, fellow seniors, teachers, and counsellors from other schools. When interviewing Mr. Wilgus, the teacher who wrote the most LORs (Letters of Recommendation), he suggested that it would be easier to write LORs if students wrote a reflection at the end of their junior academic year about their experience in his class. Overall, teachers would have preferred to have more time and notice in advance from students requesting LORs. Odell is hopeful to get ahead of this by having students finalize their college lists by the end of junior year or beginning of senior year.
If you ask a current senior what the school did to help them prepare for applications, they might mention one of the few workshops that were hosted after hours or the “mandatory” intersession courses the school held. In an effort to better prepare for next year, O’dell has already begun meeting with the juniors, going as far as to meet each of the seven junior @d.techs at least once every two weeks. In the future during her bimonthly visits, O’dell has planned to incorporate a curriculum to better prepare the juniors for starting their college apps over the summer.
There is a lot that juniors should be doing to prepare. O’dell suggests taking a standardized test, SAT or ACT, by May if you haven’t already. For kids worried about LORs, Kathleen suggests starting your college list first and finalize it by the start of your senior year. That way, you will know your LOR deadlines (different schools have different deadlines.) If you are a junior, and you are worried about what you need to get done before the start of senior year, O’dell’s door is always open.