Counselor Spotlights

Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School
Giving Students a Head Start on College Readiness

Teachers and counselors at FDR High School in Brooklyn strive to get students thinking about college choices early in their high school years so they have the best opportunities available to them. Using CollegeWeekLive helps the school's 3,000 students prepare for their future.

The Challenge

Located in Brooklyn, New York, FDR High School serves a diverse population. "Approximately 60 percent of our students have limited English abilities, and many are the first in their family to attend college," said counselor Ted Timmins. "Our goal is to begin the college research process early with our freshman and sophomores."

Preparing students earlier in the process helps get them more comfortable with the search process, and opens up more opportunities to them. "Students are often introduced to the college selection process late, and this limits their choices," said counselor Keisha Agard. "The biggest challenge I face is getting my ninth grade students to understand that the college selection process isn't a lifetime away. They need to realize that the amount and quality of their college choices is totally dependent on what they have brought to the table themselves over the years."

The Solution

To help students understand how to prepare for college, teachers at FRD recommend that students sign up for CollegeWeekLive as a class assignment. They also alert students to upcoming events on the site. This past year more than 100 FDR students attended the SPRING show -- a free online open house featuring more than 300 colleges.

Students had an opportunity to live chat with admissions reps, video chat with current students to learn about college life, and attend live presentations on topics such as choosing the right college and understanding financial aid.

Counselors also encourage students to gather, categorize, and present information gleaned through CollegeWeekLive events into a practical table in Microsoft Office for an easy side-by-side comparison of schools.

The Results

"Having a site like CollegeWeekLive lets us reach more of our students earlier in their high school years," said Timmins. "CollegeWeekLive provides a forum for students to 'visit' several colleges and universities and understand admissions requirements so they can work towards realistic goals."

Students, teachers, and counselors alike have been very receptive to the site. "Educating myself about what lies in my future will only improve it," said freshman Moeez. "CollegeWeekLive will continue to be a fundamental part of my curriculum. It offers enriching opportunities to our students," said Agard.