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College Transfer Advising at Bard High School Early College QueensThe College Transfer Office (CTO) has a number of goals, including: encouraging BHSEC students to be well-informed, confident, and ambitious when considering their transition from BHSEC to to four-year colleges; educating four-year colleges about our unique program; and educating students and parents about the college search and application process, including applying for financial aid, and helping students navigate these processes.The CTO office is located in the back of the Library and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m.Monday through Friday. Student ResourcesThe CTO offers the following resources for students: College guide books, DVDs, course catalogues, and brochures SAT & ACT materials and study guides, including fee waivers for eligible students Scholarship & financial aid information Computers for college research and applications A variety of programs, such as college information sessions, reduced cost test prep, meetings for parents and students, opportunities to visit colleges, and the CTO advising program for Year 1 and 2 students. Our Advising ProcessNinth and Tenth GradeWhile the CTO is not a major part of students first two years at BHSEC, the PTA and CTOconduct several early college awareness meetings for 9th and 10th grade parents andstudents. We urge families to attend at least one of these 9th and 10th grade CTO meetingseach year to become acquainted with the college process ahead. Formal CTO advising beginsin the spring of Year 1.In order to prepare for the college process, 9th and 10th grade students are encouraged toconsider the following: 1. Grades: Grades are generally considered to be the most important component of the college application, and for this reason students should make efforts to do their best work beginning in the ninth grade. 2. Extra-curricular activities: Colleges are impressed by students with an active interest apart from school work, particularly someone who has focused on one or two interests in a serious and sustained way. In contrast, an applicant who has hundreds of
seemingly empty hours of community service or is in numerous clubs for the sake of "looking good on paper" is less attractive. You may wonder how admissions officers would know the difference, but trust us-they do! Admissions officers also have great respect for students who work or have considerable responsibilities at home. 3. PSATs: 10th grade students have the option to take the PSAT in October. Students are required to take the PSAT in October of Year 1. 4. SAT Subject Tests: 9th and 10th grade students, who are strong in U.S. and World History, should consider taking the corresponding SAT subject tests in June after they complete that course. Since students are able to choose which SAT scores are sent to colleges this option is particularly attractive. 5. Summer Activities: Find something meaningful to do over the summer.Year 1The formal CTO advising process begins in the spring of Year 1 when students are assigned aCTO advisor and are scheduled for weekly college advisory meetings. College advisories helpstudents with the college application process, from staying on top of deadlines to searchingfor colleges, to writing college essays and understanding financial aid.Year 1 Simons Rock TripIn the late spring, students attend a multi-day retreat to Bard College at Simons Rock in GreatBarrington, Massachusetts. The retreat is reported to be a BHSEC highlight. Alumni frequentlyenquire about volunteering as trip chaperones. Students stay in the Simons Rock dormitories,take intensive academic mini-courses, participate in a mock admissions exercise and collegeessay peer-review, and visit a variety of four-year institutions-small, large, public and private.The 2012 Year 1 Simons Rock trip included visits to Amherst College, UMass Amherst, AlbanyCollege of Pharmacy, Brandeis, Boston University, and SUNY Albany and QuinnipiacUniversity.Year 2In the fall of Year 2, the college transfer advising process is in full swing. Students meet weeklywith their CTO advisory group as well as one-on-one with their CTO advisors. In individualmeetings, advisors assist students in selecting colleges, honing essays, and work throughmyriad concerns as they arise. The weekly CTO advisory meetings help students manage themany time sensitive components of the application process and also address topics such asfinancial aid, essays, interviews, scholarships, and other opportunities.Year 2 Parent-CTO MeetingsSeveral evening CTO meetings are conducted for parents of Year 1 and 2 parents to addressthe application and advising process, deadlines, standardized tests, credit transfer issues,financial aid, and more.
CTO ActivitiesCollege Information sessionsEach fall, admissions officers, from over fifty colleges and universities host informationsessions in the CTO. Meeting with admissions representatives is both an excellent way forstudents to find out about colleges, and for colleges to learn about our students. Year 1 and 2students are encouraged to attend as many of these sessions as possible, even if only for aportion of a session. Students can simply come to the CTO at the scheduled time. However, ifthere is a conflict, students must speak with teachers as soon as they can to make otherarrangements. A minimum of two class periods notice is required. It is up to individualteachers whether or not a student can miss class, or a portion thereof.Policy for attending info sessions:Year 1 Students: Y1 student cannot miss classes to attend college information sessions.Year 2 Students: Y2 students can request permission to miss class, or a portion of class, aminimum of two class periods, but preferably 24-hours, in advance. Ultimately, it is up to theteacher whether or not a student can miss the class, and students should only request this forcolleges in which they are keenly interested.College FairEach year in May or April, Year 1 students attend a BHSEC sponsored college fair to acquaintthemselves with different colleges and universities. Over 50 schools attend. There are alsoseveral free city-wide fairs which are publicized via the Parent Coordinator’s notes and heCTO Bulletin Board outside of the library.College NotesThe CTO publishes College Notes that are distributed in weekly Year 1 and Year 2 CTOadvisories and include information about scholarships, upcoming deadlines, college overnightand diversity programs, college fairs, and more.Naviance Succeed Family Connection PortalNaviance is an essential piece of the CTO. It contains a database of BHSEC college acceptancesand is also where Year 2 students submit various forms and information necessary tocomplete their college applications. Navanceis accessible by password only. Students receivethese in the spring of Year 1.