Counselor Spotlights

Alfie Wheeler
Helping Students Find the Right College Match

AVID Elective Teacher/coordinator Alfie Wheeler of Manteo High School helps students to realize they are in control of their college success. One of the first steps is learning how to research colleges.

The Challenge

"One of the biggest challenges we have is getting students to understand how much responsibility they'll have once they get to college," Wheeler said. "We help them to work on time management skills, and to stay motivated. Preparing for college can be overwhelming. It's such a big decision. We don"t want them to jump into something only to realize the school isn't a good fit."

The Solution

Wheeler uses CollegeWeekLive to help his 11th grade students to research colleges. Using CollegeWeekLive's free High School Connect, he invites public and private universities to meet online with his students. He also shares the site's free lesson plans with his students, giving them helpful tips on researching colleges, developing their personal statement, and more. Each Friday, students have a chance to learn about those universities and text and video chat with their admissions representatives. Afterwards, they write down their reflections on each school into an interactive notebook that they use throughout the year.

"We encourage juniors to spend time researching colleges now so that next year they can focus on their college applications," Wheeler said. "CollegeWeekLive makes it easy for students to shop around and learn all kinds of things they didn't know about schools. The lesson plans are also a great way to help students make the most of the conversations they're having with college representatives."

The Results

"High School Connect is a very helpful way to organize online college meetings," Wheeler said. "I can see at a glance what we have scheduled, and can also go in to see what virtual college fairs CollegeWeekLive is hosting in the coming months."

The students have also responded very well to the site. "Our students enjoy using CollegeWeekLive to chat with universities," Wheeler said. "They love to research different schools, and get excited about learning about schools they hadn't thought of. They're able to check out videos, and hear firsthand about the school. They like learning about the social aspects of college life as well. It's exciting to see them taking their first independent steps toward college success."

What's next

Students are looking forward to participating in All Access Day, one of the biggest virtual college fairs hosted at CollegeWeekLive. During the event they'll have a chance to meet hundreds of colleges and universities, watch live video presentations on navigating the admissions process, and enter to win a $2,500 scholarship. In the coming year, Wheeler is also planning to share the site"s expert presentations with his students and their families.