Walla Walla High School was excited to be selected as a Campaign Site for this year’s College Application Campaign; The College Application Campaign, operated through the Washington Student Achievement Council, is a national campaign serving tens of thousands of seniors across the United States. Wa-Hi is one of only a handful of schools from the Eastern Washington and the only school in our immediate area participating in this nation wide campaign. GEAR UP staff have been working the college admission representatives from across the northwest to increase the number of early applications that high school seniors file. During a typical application sessions high school seniors work in a computer lab as part of the English class and spend the full class period getting hands on help filing electronic applications to a college, university or tech program of their choice.
Some students arrived already prepared with the college(s) that they want to apply to and some students need a little more exploration time using online resources like Big Futures and WOIS to help them narrow down their choices and begin the application process. Regardless of where students find themselves in this spectrum, GEAR UP and the college admission representatives are on hand to provide them with resources they need to help them make the next step in their post secondary pathway. Some students already have completed their applications to the college(s) of their choice so they spent their time finding scholarships using additional online resources like The Washboard.
One rewarding moment for me during the first College Application session was seeing one of my students pull up a spreadsheet containing the important dates for colleges she was applying to. This was extremely refreshing and exciting since I had only met with this student a week ago. After working as a College Entrance Assistant for two months, I can honestly say I am seeing my efforts reflected in my students.
The first session kicked off October 23rd, and other sessions have been scheduled for November 5th, 10th, and 12th. This program and the partnerships with the Walla Walla High School English department, Washington Student Achievement Council, College Goal Washington and Northwest Colleges and Universities show the commitment our community has to developing a College and Career Readiness student body.
Luis Alba-Sanchez is a Whitman College graduate currently serving as a GEAR UP College Entrance Specialist working with WWHS Seniors.