As Director of Student Development for Bridgemont High School in Daly City, California, Janelle Tropper provides daily, one-on-one attention to help students prepare for college.
Bridgemont is a 35-year-old college prep high school with 40 students. This unique learning environment is a place where students receive college prep education, regardless of their financial situation or other obstacles. The school offers highly individualized support for a wide range of students, from those who have performed well in the past to those who have struggled at larger schools. “Many of our students are the first in their family to go to college and may not have a clear path of how to get there,” said Tropper.
To support each student, Tropper works with them closely, learning their schedules and academics inside and out, tracking their progress, and providing additional resources such as tutoring where needed. She continually looks for new ways to support her students’ college dreams.
Tropper uses the expert video presentations at CollegeWeekLive.com as another way to offer individual support to students. “Instead of having all students watch the same video, I introduced them to CollegeWeekLive as a resource and encouraged them to find answers on their own. Some students gravitate toward the essay writing presentations while others delve deeper into SAT prep presentations.”
To help students begin to consider different colleges, Tropper began inviting admissions counselors to online meetings with her students. She prepped her students ahead of time, helping them to form well thought out questions. “Students often have a vague idea of what they’re looking for, but they don’t have well-formed questions. Sharing lesson plans with sample questions helps them to express themselves.”
Tropper is committed to helping each child find the best college fit. “My goal is to expose our students to lots of college options,” she said. “That’s where CollegeWeekLive has been so helpful. When students participate in online meetings they begin to get a real sense of who the school is and also what they want out of their college experience.”
CollegeWeekLive has also been a tool to help students become more self-sufficient when it comes to college planning. “I recommend that students do their research at CollegeWeekLive,” Tropper said. “I’m always here for them, but giving them tools where they can find answers themselves is also important. It’s very empowering for them.”
Participating in online meetings gives students a better sense of each school. “Most of our students don’t have the opportunity to visit campuses, so participating in in-person college fairs and online meetings is particularly important for them,” Tropper said.
Students have been very enthusiastic about participating in online meetings with colleges. “The online meetings have gone very well,” Tropper said. “Students realized it’s an opportunity to ask legitimate questions. These conversations help them to gain a better understanding of how colleges operate – and to better understand their own values.”
Researching schools online has proven eye opening for students. “We encourage students to keep an open mind when they begin their search,” Tropper said. “There may be a school they never planned on attending that turns out to be the perfect match for them.”