On January 16, the members of the class of 2022 and their families came together for a virtual junior college kickoff event to officially begin their college search. Traditionally, this event includes separate meetings for parents and students, but this year, all attendees joined the same virtual presentation, during which Blair’s college counselors introduced the college admission process and Blair's college counseling philosophy.
Head of School Peter G. Curran welcomed juniors and their families, and Niki Appelbaum ’01, Blair's dean of college counseling, introduced the members of the college counseling office and provided a broad overview of the event. The college counseling team then reviewed the counseling process and offerings available to students.
Next, guest speaker Sonya Smith, dean of admission at Vassar College, discussed the value of a liberal arts education and understanding the holistic admission process.
After a short break, members of the class of 2022 and their families separated into breakout sessions with their primary counselors to ask questions and review key points. Attendees then came back together to hear from another guest speaker, Evan Wessler, vice president of education at Method Test Prep: Standardized Testing Landscape, who discussed the role standardized testing plays in the college admission process.
“By combining audiences for the junior college kickoff, we are signaling that we want everyone on the same page with the same information as we begin this process and our work supporting the class of 2022 to their best-fit schools,” Ms. Applebaum said. “While we want this to be a student-centered journey where our college counseling team works to support every student's individual path, parents and counselors need to also forge a deep partnership in order to work together, to best understand students and to best advocate for them.”
Ms. Applebaum noted that the college counseling office will expand student programming this year, and that offerings will include a college counseling class and various workshops. In addition, the team will also create new parent programming, featuring a workshop series designed especially for parents of a student undergoing the college search process. Information about the new programming will be sent to parents and students in the coming weeks.