Enrollment at the university level continues to increase, and getting into a student’s school of choice is becoming even more competitive. The Brook Hill School is committed to providing students the tools they need for success in life after high school. As a college-preparatory school, students benefit not only from quality academic instruction but are given the tools to make informed decisions about their college choice. Because every student is unique, the college or university of choice for each student must meet the particular needs of that student’s gifts, individual desires, and personality. College Quest is a program of college awareness that begins in grade six and continues through graduation.
The College Quest program begins with an introduction to college life with day visits to college campuses for middle school students. Sixth graders visit UT Tyler, 7th grade visits ETBU in Marshall, and 8th graders travel to SFA. Upper school students take multi-day trips visiting an additional ten college campuses before graduation.
While the college visits are fun, the purpose of the program is to give students the opportunity to research college choices in person. While websites and brochures are informative, there is nothing like being on a campus to know if you think you will “fit in.” Personal campus visits offer a glimpse into the different personality of each school, provide information about academic options in college, help students understand the college selection process (including admissions, scholarships and financial aid), and provide insight into what a student must do while in high school to become an attractive college applicant.
Throughout the school year, admissions counselors and recruiters from colleges and universities all over the US visit with Brook Hill students. Time is built into the school day for students to meet personally with representatives from the university level. This provides a chance to ask specific questions about each school and to make a personal connection to an admissions counselor.
The BH College Quest program is supported by the standardized testing required of students. A cohesive testing program provides families information to be used in preparation for college admission testing. Middle school students take the ERB CTP4 assessment while 9th through 11th graders are given the PSAT as practice for the SAT taken by juniors and seniors.
College Quest 12 actually begins during the spring of the junior year with a College Kickoff event. This family activity helps to introduce students and their parents to the expectations of the college admission process. Senior Seminar (College Quest 12) provides seniors with topical discussions related to specific aspects of the college admission process. The Academic Counselor and special guests from the college admission world discuss issues related to college and financial aid planning. Students are encouraged to take the ACT or SAT in the spring of their junior year and the fall of their senior year and to apply to at least five colleges. Although the senior class does not take a college tour as a group, students are encouraged to take personal tours to the college to which they are considering applying. Seniors also have one-on-one meetings with the Academic Counselor to plan and review their college admission progress.
To assist seniors as they make the transition from high school to college, The Brook Hill School requires seniors to take a one semester Senior Transitions class. This class both identifies common struggles for college freshmen and provides resources that prepare seniors to overcome those obstacles. Topics include spiritual disciplines, nutrition, exercise, personal finance, and college social life.
College Emphasis week centers around the local college fairs in the fall semester. During the week student are given the opportunity to interact with college representatives and parents are invited to “College & Coffee” events to discuss the college process.