April (2014)
February (2014)
January (2014)
December (2013)
November (2013)
Valuing Work
October (2013)
September (2013)
May (2013)
April (2013)
March (2013)
February (2013)
January (2013)
November (2012)
Learning Styles
October (2012)
Alumni Perspectives: College Preparedness
We can talk all we want about what we try to do as a school, our mission and our academic goals, but there is no better testament to the effectiveness of an education than to talk with alumni about their preparedness on life after Proctor. Our mission clearly states we desire to graduate students who understand the values of honesty, compassion, respect, and responsibility, who are able to proceed with confidence and with strategies to become life-long learners and thoughtful contributors to their communities.

For the members of the Class of 2013 not engaged in a Gap Year program, the first semester of college is complete. We checked in with three students, all at very different universities, to see how their first term went. Their responses elicited three key themes: Proctor prepared them with challenging academic courses, time management skills, and trusting relationships with teachers that gave them the confidence to be self-advocates in the classroom.

Colby ‘13 (above - now at Boston University) writes, “Proctor's academic rigor absolutely prepared me for what I have faced in college thus far. The difficulty of the work is about the same, and the workload is quite similar, too. AP English courses with Mark Tremblay, as well as Intro to Literature with Peter Southworth and American Literature with Shauna Turnbull, gave me a solid foundation in writing that has proven invaluable in college.”

She adds, “Proctor helped me establish time management skills that allowed me to approach my free time with a purpose. Mandatory afternoon activities/athletics at Proctor made me more comfortable trying new activities or joining new clubs and in fact, I am now a part of BU’s student government, which encompasses the entire university. I would never be able to juggle this duty with my intense academic load had I not been prepared so well by Proctor.”

Morgan ‘13 (above - now at Elon University) notes, “If I were to pick one skill gained at Proctor that prepared me for Elon, it would absolutely be self-advocacy. The tight knit community of Proctor made me comfortable going to my teachers when I needed their help or guidance. I understood how deeply each teacher cared about each student’s learning, and this made me feel confident asking questions and talking to my professors at Elon about my learning. Four years ago, I wouldn’t have had the confidence, nor would I have understood my own learning enough, to talk to my professors, and I owe much of this growth to Jen Fletcher, my learning skills teacher.”

Colby echos Morgan’s thoughts, “Being at a massive university, it is definitely a change from the close-knit community at Proctor. However, after establishing so many long-lasting relationships with teachers in high school, I am more open to doing so in college. I raise my hand in even my largest lectures, which I can definitely partially owe to the confidence Proctor helped me build as a learner.”

Will ‘13 (above working on physics with Josh Norris - now at the University of Denver) shared similar thoughts regarding his adjustment to Denver, “Proctor definitely helped establish a work ethic that prepared me for college. While I struggled with physics at Proctor, I worked very hard with my teacher to get through the class. I learned the value of engaging my teachers and professors in conversation and have taken the lessons learned at Proctor with me to Denver.”

I recently exchanged emails with Zach ‘11 (above, now a junior at Earlham College in Indiana) in which he wrote, “When I visited Chris Dale (’10) at Connecticut College while I was on my college tour, one of the questions I asked him was what were his classes like. He mentioned a couple of classes that he was taking at the time, but the one that stood out was organic chemistry. He said, ‘Ian (Hamlet) did such a good job in preparing me for the chemistry classes here. Because of him, everything that I’m learning right now is easy.’"

Zach went on to write, "Even though I didn't end up going to Conn College, the same situation applied for me. I took Adam’s (Jones) psychology class during my senior year at Proctor, and it ended up being a class that eventually became one of the reasons why I ended up majoring in the subject. Critical thinking and exploring new ideas are important skills that students need to have in college and these are the tools that my teachers at Proctor definitely gave me, and one of the reasons I have had such a good experience at Earlham.”

What is perhaps most exciting to hear from our alumni is what Zach wrote in the last paragraph of his note to me, “Mike Koenig (my former advisor and college counselor) helped me find the right school for me.” Where ever our alums end up going to college, it is important those college years are spent at schools that are the right for them. For some the right school will be an Ivy League or other highly competitive university, and for others it might not. Regardless of where our graduates are continuing their education, we know they are prepared to get the absolute most out of the experience.
Graduates of the Class of '13 have completed their first semester of college. Some shared their thoughts on how well Proctor prepared them in today's blog.
Colby (Boston University): "I don't know where I would be without the wonderful education I received at Proctor, but I am sure I wouldn't be as prepared for college as I am now."
Morgan (Elon University): "At Elon, I am challenged in the classroom everyday, however, with the work ethic I learned at Proctor, I am able to thrive and take full advantage of everything offered here."
Will (University of Denver): "I believe the best thing about Proctor are the relationships made with the teachers. It was very easy for me to connect with my teachers and that has translated to Denver."