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“Anyone can find the college that’s right for them. But you have to take the process seriously, use every resource at your disposal, and you have to do the homework.” That is the advice given to teens by the narrator of this video, which presents a comprehensive look at the process of choosing a college. That process begins in freshman year of high school with choosing the right courses and developing strong study skills. It ends in senior year with the actual process of applying to colleges and making the final choice. In addition to the narrator, three college students talk about how they handled the process, and a high school guidance counselor and a college admissions officer give advice based on their own perspectives. The video is packed with information for students on how to choose courses, how to decide on a major, the importance of extracurricular activities, how to approach standardized tests such as the SAT, how to finance their college education, and how to know that a college is really right for them. Follow-up activities in the Teacher’s Resource Book will reinforce the video’s message and offer students the opportunity to review and assess their understanding of the material.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Columbus International Film & Video Festival: Honorable Mention
Highly Recommended This is a very good and concise overview of the process required to get into the college of one’s choice, as the title indicates. The video is well organized, discussing grade by grade the steps that students should take in preparing for their college search, beginning in 9th grade and moving through to their senior year. Particularly effective are the interspersion of short interview segments by recently admitted college students, a high school guidance counselor, a college admission officer, and two on-camera commentators that appear to be close to high school age. The commentators provide effective introductions to the interview clips and review major points.
There is good balance between noting that college admission is a serious matter requiring effort while being a manageable process. For example, it is stated that students should realize there are a number of colleges that would be a good fit for them rather than thinking there is only one “right” college. The excellent advice to “own the process,” reinforces that students should do their own research and decision-making rather than expecting it would all be done for them.
The production values are excellent. The 24-minute length allows for discussion even in a fairly short classroom period. Since it offers help to 9th – 12th graders, it could be used as early as 8th grade and possibly repeated with 10th or 11th graders. Ample discussion time should be allowed as there are bound to be students who feel behind schedule or pressured in seeking college admissions. Even with discussion time to answer questions and allay concerns, the video is targeted to students prepared to be serious about their college search. For those reasonably good students planning on applying only to local community colleges or state institutions, some of the recommendations will come across as too intense.
- A. Ben Wagner, Arts and Sciences Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)