Portola Pilot

Improving the Junior Workshops

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Improving the Junior Workshops

Jenny Won and Junhee Ryu, Business Team and Business Manager

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During four junior workshop sessions on March 7 and 13, juniors had the opportunity to learn about college admissions from their counselors. Due to the sheer breadth of the college and career choice process, however, the workshops alone were inadequate in fully preparing students for life after high school and should be supplemented with specialized sessions to better suit the specific plans of different students.

“The junior workshop was for students to learn a little bit about everything,” college and career specialist Nicole Rengifo said. “We just wanted to start with an overview of everything so they can see all their options and make informed decisions.”

However, the depth of information provided in the workshops may have been insufficient in addressing the specifics of each of the many options available to juniors in choosing their paths for their futures.

“Although the workshops do attempt to make everyone aware of the college admissions process, they should take the time to work with us specifically on our individual approaches to college,” junior Jimmy Kang said.

While having a few sessions with large class sizes was effective in terms of timeliness, the workshop could have been more effective if structured a bit differently. For example, the workshop was guided by an instructional video that covered entry-level information, but it could be modified to provide more individually-catered information.  

“I feel like we can get more out of the workshop if we were given the opportunity to do what we can only do during the workshop, which can be having more time to be able to ask questions that we personally have,” junior Nicole Park said.

Instead of the general workshops, shorter sessions comprised of smaller groups would be ideal, maintaining time efficiency but adding relevance for each specific attendee. Moreover, having recommended but voluntary workshop sessions following the mandatory workshop will naturally encourage people who have supplementary questions to attend.

“I think our [juniors’] biggest challenge right now is just managing the uncertainty of being the first class,” counselor Ryan Itchon said. “If there’s one thing I hope students took away from the workshops, it’s that we are more than willing and able to help them out when they have questions about the process.”

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Improving the Junior Workshops