A version of this letter from Proctor's Director of College Counseling, E. Michael Koenig, was shared with parents and students of the Class of 2020 earlier in March. As the global situation related to COVID-19 continues to evolve and Proctor has made the decision to assess through Pass/Fail grades during the spring trimester, we share this message to the broader community in hopes it sparks a valuable conversation schools must be having related to how we assess, equity of assessment, and our priority needing to remain on the connection to and wellness of our students.
When Lindsey Allenby gathered the senior class after assembly on Monday for their class photo, I looked over. There was a lot laugher, some kidding around, and the mood was upbeat and positive. Lindsey snapped pictures, the group scattered, and it was only later, reflecting on the class, that I thought about the background hum of stress coursing through the group. When the college process peaks in the fall of senior year, the pressures can mount to unreasonable and unhealthy levels.
As the year comes to an end and we prepare to watch the Class of 2017 head off to their many college destinations, we are always conflicted. Where is she going to college? Did he get off the waiting list at so-and-so University? Why do we do this? We cannot help ourselves. We have read the articles by Frank Bruni, analysed the data showing the lack of correlation between elite schools and economic success, and the longitudinal studies showing that happiness cannot be ranked by US News and World Report.
It is hard to believe 4 years ago I was applying to college. It is even harder to believe I am in my last semester at St. Lawrence University preparing for my next journey in life… a career. It is a common understanding as a senior not to talk about the dreaded "J" word because we get enough inquiries from parents, relatives, and professors who constantly ask, “Do you know what you are doing after graduation?”
Calvin Johnstone '15 (Bates College '19) shares the second in our series of Young Alumni blogs on life in college for Proctor graduates. Calvin experienced tremendous growth during his four years at Proctor, participation in Learning Skills, European Art Classroom, and both the varsity football and baseball programs. Read Calvin's thoughts on Proctor's ability to prepare him to be a collegiate athlete at Bates College!
For students with learning style differences, transitioning from Proctor to college requires a thorough understanding of the three R’s: Rights, Responsibility, and Reasonable Accommodations. Up until this juncture in a student's education, Learning Skills and/or parents have been the core support system. Here is some advice for our students who thrive on support systems on how to navigate the transition to college.
When asked to write a piece on how Proctor prepared me for college, I couldn’t help but chuckle because I couldn’t think of just one way Proctor helped me. I look back at my three years at Proctor and realize that everything I experienced made me grow into a person who would be successful at a university. It might sound corny, but being a day student actually prepared me to live far away from home in college. I was able to see my boarding student friends live alone, some of them for the first time. Because I watched them grow as people through dorm life, I wanted to engage myself in residence life in college. I saw Proctor dorm parents building a community within the dorms and creating a family where people felt safe to speak their minds. Seeing that made me realize that I wanted something similar out of my college experience. Of course, there are no dorm parents in college, but being an RA is pretty close!
Submitting a college application is a transaction. The process of preparing for the click of the submit button is a journey. The journey starts now. Over the past three decades of helping students identify and apply to colleges, we have found that students who understand their abilities, passions, and interests, are able to find the “right fit”, and consequently have the most successful application process. They have completed extensive research, become self-aware, asked the tough questions, put their best foot forward in the application process and, as a result, they have found a range of schools that they can embrace.