When you were in high school choosing a college may have seemed a long way off, but making this big decision can sneak up fast if a student is not prepared with the right information and experiences to draw from. Although looking at brochures, social media accounts, and photos can tell you a lot about a college, nothing beats a campus visit.
Historically, 99 percent of Summit Public School graduates are accepted into college, and Summit Public Schools graduates complete college at double the national average. Part of setting up our students for success is giving them a complete picture of what college is like, which includes an overnight visit to a variety of schools to give students the full experience.
“Our goal is to expose students to a variety of schools that they could be a good fit for as well as future career opportunities,” said Denice Randle, Assistant Director of Summit Sierra High School in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. “Visiting a college helps students think about their goals and what they need to do between now and graduation to help them get in their dream school.”
This year, Summit Sierra freshmen went on their first college visits at Portland State University and Highline College. These two institutions were chosen to show the students the different types of institutions they can attend, whether that’s a two-year or a four-year college or in state or out of state. While the freshmen were visiting an out-of-state college, Sierra sophomores stayed in state and visited UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, St. Martins University, and the Evergreen State College. At Evergreen State College, students saw a great example of a college that offers more flexibility than most schools, where students can design their own degree and major. Many students liked this model, as it is similar to Summit’s personalized learning model.
Sierra juniors traveled across the state for their overnight college visits to Whitworth University, Washington State University, and Gonzaga. A college visit across the state is not accessible to all students, that’s why the faculty wanted to give them this opportunity. The students asked great questions to the professors and student advisors about the programs and culture of each school and supports for students of color. The overnight trip also gave students the time to visit and bond with their mentors.
Now that Sierra students have a clearer picture of what different colleges offer, students and families can talk to people that went to a college that the student wants to go to, go on a college visit together, take advantage of office hours and research scholarships and financial aid opportunities, or attend a college night.
If you’d like to learn more about how Summit can prepare your child for success in college, attend an open house or schedule a tour. Summit Sierra, Summit Atlas, and Summit Olympus are all enrolling students for this school year.