Academic counselor Woodrow Dunn fulfills many roles at Escuela Bilingüe Bambinos Academia Interamericana Merendón in Honduras. He works closely with students, providing individual guidance to prepare them for college. In addition to this full-time responsibility, he teaches philosophy, debate, art appreciation, and Model UN classes. He’s passionate about helping his students get into college: “I love witnessing the proud moment when a student has been accepted to a program and the university of their choice,” Mr. Dunn said. “One of my former students just graduated from the University of Southern California and I am ecstatic!”
One of the most important challenges that Mr. Dunn faces is helping students understand what’s involved with attending a U.S. university. He supports students in everything from preparing for the SATs and TOEFL to learning about F-1 Visas.
Mr. Dunn gives students many opportunities to prepare for college, through in-class support, one-on-one tutoring, as well as support through EducationUSA Honduras. He also encourages parents of students to become involved in preparing their child for college as early as ninth grade.
To augment existing college-readiness resources, he began using CollegeWeekLive in the classroom. Using this free site, Dunn invited admissions counselors from Wright State University in Ohio to meet online with his students. This gave students the opportunity to ask as many questions as they liked about admissions, degree programs, campus life, life in the U.S., and more. “I wanted students to be active in the experience of preparing for college,” Mr. Dunn said. “Students took pride in participating, and came up with their own questions for admissions counselors. This gave them a sense of responsibility.”
The experience was very positive. “The admissions counselor, Claudia Espinoza, is Hispanic herself, so this added a personal touch to the chat session. She was wonderful. She was patient, and understood that chatting online was something new to our students.” In addition she provided a wonderful presentation, which the students loved.
Mr. Dunn also encourages his students to participate in CollegeWeekLive’s online college fairs such as International Students Week, where they can text and video chat with hundreds of colleges and universities.
Both students and educators were pleased with the chat session, and are planning more in the future. “I find CollegeWeekLive very useful for developing ties with admissions counselors,” Mr. Dunn said. “Actually Dickinson State University is planning on visiting our campus in the fall, and this relationship began because of a chat session we had during International Students Week.”