Decision Day Celebrations!
College Advising Corps advisers have had a wonderful time celebrating Decision Day with their students this year. To date, advisers have organized 300+ Decision Day events across the country. Before their peers, parents, teachers, and coaches, thousands of students our advisers serve have made a commitment to pursue higher education this fall!
We are excited to see Decision Day remain a critical part of our work nationwide and invite you to read about Decision Day activities organized by College Advising Corps advisers in Alaska, Michigan, and Missouri.
Chuck Herman, Alaska College Advising Corps
Alaska College Advising Corps’ first-year adviser, Chuck Herman, hosted Decision Day at Bethel Regional High School in Bethel, Alaska. At Decision Day, each senior created a poster showcasing where he is going to college and sharing advice for underclassmen. To inspire and advise underclassmen, these posters will be displayed around the school throughout the 2015-16 school year. Five Bethel Regional High School recent alumni returned to campus for a panel to share their experiences adjusting to college life. In collaboration with the school’s academic counselor, these alumni also administered a checklist to ensure that the students do not fall victim to summer melt. After the panel, each alumnus attended a luncheon with students who will soon be attending the same Alaskan college. An alumnus who attends a college outside of Alaska also joined the luncheon to share advice with those students who will also attend an out-of-state school. The entire school then gathered for a senior scholarship and award ceremony, as well as a photo booth. Chuck is most proud of “the connections that have been born out of all the work [he and his students] have put in together and the moments where [they] simply relax and have a laugh. These are the bonds that are going to enable [him] to continue to connect with students throughout the summer in a meaningful way and to serve as a resource for them as they continue their lives after high school.”
Kim DeLand, Michigan State University College Advising Corps
Kim DeLand, a first-year Michigan State College Advising Corps adviser working at Yale High School in Yale, Michigan, hosted a school-wide Decision Day rally. With the help of a supportive school staff, Kim individually recognized the work of each of her students pursuing post-graduate plans. Kim’s students will be attending 40 different schools or joining the military in the fall. Prior to Decision Day, Kim requested branded items from each of these 40 colleges and universities to present to her students. In addition, Kim created Yale High School water bottles for those students who will be attending community college. As a surprise, local college mascots, including Grizz from Oakland University; Skip from St. Clair Community College; and Coop from Saginaw Valley State University, made guest appearances at Decision Day to celebrate and support their incoming students. Kim believes that “it takes true grit for a student to commit themselves to pursuing education, and the fact that these kids are doing that even though they may come from a more disadvantaged background is amazing.”
Steffanee Richardson, Missouri College Advising Corps
First-year Missouri College Advising Corps adviser, Steffanee Richardson, hosted Fort Osage High School’s very first Decision Day! At the event, students participated in four different stations, including a photo booth, gratitude station, graduation cap decorating table, and a banner station. At the photo booth, students took pictures with their friends and high school staff, commemorating their senior year accomplishments. Students then wrote thank you notes to staff members who supported them throughout the college application process at the gratitude station. At a station entitled, “Oh the Places You Will Go,” students decorated print-outs of graduation caps with their post-high school plans, including university, community college, or the military. At the last station, students ornamented a banner with advice for Fort Osage’s Class of 2016. Steffanee is proud of Fort Osage for being a “first-year partner school and overcoming their first-year challenges.” For Osage has “[welcomed her] position with open arms,” and many of her students have achieved their post-secondary education dreams.