For many, December signals the official start of the holiday season. For seniors at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, December has a different celebratory significance – it signals the end of their first major step toward realizing their postsecondary goals.
At CMSD and in school districts across the state and country, November is known as College Application Month, a time when students are tasked with writing college essays, researching scholarships and submitting college applications.
Since 2014, the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland has led this charge within several schools at CMSD. This year, the Compact’s efforts were expanded to include ten CMSD schools and nearly 1,400 students. Throughout November, high school seniors attended 30 College Application Month events. At each event, they were greeted by school counselors, College Now Advisors and volunteers from higher education and the local non-profit sector who answered specific questions and provided students with guidance.
The energy at these events was palpable. Students worked diligently as they searched for specific programs of interest and found scholarship opportunities that fit their needs. One volunteer left the event “blown [away] by the [students] courteousness, openness to feedback, and commitment to their success.”
College Application Month concluded with a celebratory cake and the sense of satisfaction that each student had accomplished something many could not have fathomed even a year ago: applying to college.
A special thanks to the following organizations for providing volunteers for the 2015 College Application Month:
Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Bowling Green State University, The University of Akron, John Carroll University, Eastern Michigan University, Cuyahoga Community College, Baldwin Wallace University
Breakthrough Schools, Scranton Road Ministries CDC, Esperanza, Harvard Community Service Center