16 Feb

Navigating the Pathway to College

FAFSA, GET, CBS – the alphabet soup students and families need learn about to prepare for college can be confusing and difficult road to navigate without help, resources and support. At Summit Public Schools, we recognize each student’s journey to college is complex and unique. The process begins months and years before they submit their first college application.We also know that a student’s success in college doesn’t stop once a student receives an acceptance letter.

On a winter night, more than 40 parents, students, and family members gathered at Summit Sierra High School in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District to learn more about preparing for success in a four-year college or university, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. They had the opportunity to listen to a presentation from college admissions counselors from Seattle Pacific University who gave them tips to apply for financial aid and key dates in the college application process. Families also asked questions about what resources there are to help pay for college on the federal and state level and how they can help their student complete the application process.

College Night is just one way in which Summit’s faculty helps support families and students through the college process. Faculty supports juniors during the registration process from the ACT and SAT test as juniors to helping sophomores with the PSAT test in the spring. At Summit Olympus High School, Summit Sierra High School, and Summit Atlas, every student will take at least six AP courses and two AP exams before graduation. AP courses help prepare students for college-level work and many colleges accept them as college credit, saving students time and money.

Along the way, faculty and students talk about their career goals with their mentor. Every student at Summit has a mentor that serves as college counselor, coach, family liaison, and advocate throughout their school experience. This relationship helps students stay on track to achieve their goals, but also gives them an emotional support as they make their way to graduation and entering college.

Student success in college and career extends far beyond the classroom. We focus on helping students develop in the following four areas that form the foundation for a lifetime of success in and outside of school.

Cognitive Skills – Developing the deeper learning, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in today and tomorrow’s workforce.

Content Knowledge – Engaging students in personalized learning, filling learning gaps & moving students towards competency in all subject-areas.

Expeditions – Immersing students in real-world experiences to help them discover and explore passions and careers, and apply their learning in authentic ways.

Habits of Success – Empowering students to engage in self-directed learning and develop key habits that are invaluable for college and life success.

These foundation areas, wrap around services and a faculty dedicated to student success are a significant reason why, historically, 99 percent of Summit’s graduates are accepted at four-year colleges, and Summit graduates complete college at double the national average.

All our Washington schools are currently enrolling students. For more information and to see at an open house or student shadow day how we help students on their way to success in college and life, please visit the school websites below:

Summit Atlas Middle and High School – West Seattle
Summit Olympus High School – Tacoma
Summit Sierra High School – International District, Seattle

What was your biggest challenge applying to college? Tell us in the comments below.

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