Williamsburg Christian Academy unveiled the latest addition to its already extensive school webpage this week with the launch of their new College and Career Counseling Web Resource Center. The new area of the webpage serves not only as a resource to current students and parents in their current college selection process, but demonstrates to families considering a switch to WCA their commitment to helping place their students in the nation’s finest colleges and universities- and providing the preparation required to get there.
The website is the product of a collaboration between College and Career Counselor Addison Snyder, and WCA’s Digital Media Administrator Jeff Sullivan. “There are so many web-based resources that can simplify the process of searching for colleges, applying and seeking information on financial aid and scholarships, etc. We wanted to create the ability for all of our students and parents to have access to all those tools in one easily navigated website,” explains Snyder, who arrived last year as the school’s College Counselor and quickly instituted several initiatives to make WCA’s approach to PSAT and SAT testing, college application and career counseling more extensive. “When I’m working with a student who is in the college search process and trying to narrow down the right school for them, having a site like this I can send them to makes the process easier”
The site consists of the main navigation page which points to one of five segment pages: Applying to College, Test Prep Resources, College and Career Search, Scholarships and Financial Aid, and a Calendar displaying events and deadlines related to the entire process, as well as upcoming college fair and college visits to WCA. “In the design process, we felt that these five elements represented the totality of the process of choosing and being accepted to a college, short of actually taking the tests and visiting the colleges,” Sullivan remarked on the construction of the web pages. “We feel this is going to be a tremendous tool for our students and families to quickly get up to speed on the various component pieces of the college and career puzzle. As someone with a high school sophomore, I think I can say confidently that other institutions may send their students to use it as well over time.” Page content includes a veritable cornucopia of resources, including a side by side comparison of the ACT and SAT and calculators to translate one score to another, quick calculators for Financial Aid eligibility, a host of scholarship search sites, and more.
Williamsburg Christian Academy already has a tremendous advantage over many schools in that Mrs. Snyder has a far lower number of students that she is responsible for shepherding through the college and career selection and application process. While many high school guidance counselors may be responsible for counseling several hundred seniors, she has only a fraction of that. That allows her to provide a more personalized and engaged experience to her students when explaining test results, discussing colleges that would be the best fit for them, and pointing them in the proper direction among the various financial aid and scholarship packages available to today’s college applicant.
The Web resource center doesn’t just focus on college paths, however. The College and Career Search segment page starts with a section on exploring the careers that the student may be interested in, including volunteering and interning and taking free career skills assessments that can be reached through well-presented links on the site. The site also points to many publications that are among the best in helping teens start to figure out where their career interests lay. In some cases, those paths may travel along a route that involves less or even no college degree requirements. With shortages in skilled trades being reported nationwide, and the ability for a well educated high school graduate to get into some of those careers and start at significant payscales with no debt, the non-college option is gathering more and more momentum. In recent years, several WCA graduates have elected to do just that, with some attending trade academies such as the Apprentice School in Newport News, VA. “We want to point our students to the career path that is the right fit for them and helps them take full advantage of their God-given gifts. If that path doesn’t involve college, it won’t make them any less successful, it will make them happy… and in some cases, more successful earlier in life than if they’d taken the college path,” added Snyder. WCA hopes to be able to expand its resources in this area and on the site over the coming years.
Those wishing to visit the College and Career Counseling Web Resources Center may do so by clicking here.