The British School of Boston is a small independent school serving students from more than 30 countries. High school counselor Adele Horwitz helps families from around the world meet a wide range of colleges online, and readies students for the college prep work they need to get into their school of choice.
"It can be a challenge to provide students with access to all the colleges that interest them," said Horwitz. "Our students are looking at colleges around the world, yet with family often living outside the U.S. it can be hard to make time to visit many campuses."
Counselors at the British School also strive to motivate students to focus on improving test taking skills to increase their chances of getting accepted into their college of choice. "I have yet to meet a student who is excited by the idea of standardized test prep," said Horwitz. "While students understand how important SATs and ACTs are in the admissions process, it's harder to convince them to give up free time to work on test-taking strategies."
Horwitz introduced students to CollegeWeekLive through the site's huge SPRING college fair, where they had an opportunity to meet more than 300 colleges online. She asked students to start building their official application list. Each student logged into CollegeWeekLive to research at least three schools of interest to them and reported back to the class on one new school they added to their list.
Counselors were pleased that students and their parents returned to the site after class, particularly during region-specific events such as Ireland Colleges Day. "It's easy for students and parents to have college-focused conversations while using this virtual fair format because there is none of the pressure felt at a traditional fair," Horwitz said.
"In addition, CollegeWeekLive resources on standardized test prep and the role of scores in admissions are a great resource for us," she said.
Counselors at the British School have found CollegeWeekLive helpful in making colleges accessible to students and their families, no matter where they are. "CollegeWeekLive is very user-friendly, making it easy for students and parents to connect with reps from schools and get a feel of the personality of a school and ask specific questions," said Horwitz.
Students have found snapshots of information about colleges handy. "The site distills the masses of information from college websites, and helps families find what they're interested in faster," she said. "Our students also like that they can chat with a live person online. It's such a great innovation! I expect it will be a good way to ask last-minute questions about dorms, meal plans, and general campus life."
The site has also been beneficial for counselors. "I use the free webinars all the time, and love that I can bookmark things to watch or read later," she said. "What a great resource! I am now sharing it with all the counselors I know. Thank you for current, accurate, easy, and free information, and for making connections with admissions reps so readily available!"