Our grade-specific staff teams adjust programming as needed and always do their best to ensure that students are as prepared as possible to transition to the next grade and into the care of the next staff team.
Our Sophomore Team:
To ensure a smoother transition to junior year, the sophomore team decided to set certain expectations from students earlier than before. At their first after-school meeting this year, sophomores were directed to create professional email addresses that will be used for everything related to college, and were taught some of the practices of communicating properly in today’s digital world.
Our Junior Team:
This year, the University of California application dropped its standard personal statement and instead opted for multiple personal essay questions. Our junior team proactively approached UC Santa Barbara’s admissions office, requesting insight into what the admissions officers were looking for in these essays. The team members then underwent a training session and are now passing on this knowledge to their students.
The junior team is also deepening their career guidance curriculum, providing workshops at each of Bright Prospect’s high schools to make students aware of majors offered and the different career opportunities that go along with these majors, so that students can then look for these majors when they apply for college as seniors.
Our Senior Team:
Bright Prospect’s senior team is conducting workshops in their after-school meetings to provide students with certain college survival skills, such as financial literacy, effective email communication, and the benefits of taking summer classes at community colleges. The team is also offering career assessment tests to their students to get them thinking about college in a more purposeful way.
The team is conducting monthly sessions on private colleges for students whose academic record makes them compelling candidates for selective institutions. These seniors had the opportunity this year to participate in an interview workshop in collaboration with Pitzer College to learn about the college interviewing process.
In addition to this, the team organized a SoCal college road trip. They took 40 students to UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton and another 30 to UC Riverside and CSU San Bernardino.
Our College Team:
College crews used to be small groups that were year-specific. Now each college will have one large crew which will include the entire Bright Prospect community on that campus. This will facilitate interaction between older and newer Bright Prospect students. These crews will be led by a Board of Crew Leaders (see photos), with representatives of all four years, all of whom underwent leadership training in the summer.
The college team also decided to change the structure of Career Exploration Day! In previous years different speakers came in over the course of two weeks and students could attend whatever sessions they wanted. Now, we have structured it more like a conference on a single day where multiple speakers will speak in different rooms simultaneously. This makes it easier for students to attend the sessions they want all at once instead of coming on several different days over two weeks.
Based on feedback obtained from focus group meetings with our community college students, the College Program staff has recently inaugurated the Transfer Peer Mentor Network, which pairs these students with other Bright Prospect college students who have successfully transferred from community colleges to four-year institutions, on a pilot basis. Mentors assist their mentees with such issues as how to succeed while at a community college, resources they used to support themselves, what the transfer process was like, what their challenges were and how they overcame them, what is financial aid was like when they transferred, how they chose their transfer institution, and how they chose their major.