Dear Brandon Academy High School Parents:
Beginning this Monday, March 6, 2017, we are going to "Officially" start our college advising program for our High School students. Although this is the first year my position has existed, Mr. Robert Rudolph and Dr. Tricia Rudolph have been filling this role since the inaugural High School year. Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph did more in that role than most schools have done with decades and decades of graduating Senior classes. For instance, last year the Freshman class took the PSAT test, and Mr. Rudolph had the students pick three universities of their choice, and show them the needed scores to enter. Last spring, the high school students took the mock SAT. Our administrators made it a priority to make top universities aware of our top achieving students, our high academic standards, and all of the extracurricular activities and service our high school does. From day trips to USF and Florida Polytechnic University to overnight trips to Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida International University, and over twenty-five top notch universities that came to our school. We had all the state universities (UF, FSU, USF, UCF, etc.) and big, prestigious institutions such as the University of Alabama, Tulane, and Boston University, just to name a few. The college representatives were shocked but thrilled that they weren't speaking to Juniors and Seniors. That was a first for most of the college reps. In my 21 years in the education profession, I’ve never heard of this service being offered this early at any public or private school. In fact, many private schools leave the college guidance to their parents alone.
Our smaller size is actually going to benefit your child in many ways. They get one-on-one individualized time with me. Once the Junior year rolls around, College Counseling will be a weekly, and sometimes a daily task until that acceptance letter and decision come. The national student to counselor ratio is 350:1 in smaller high schools, while the larger public high schools have a 500:1 ratio. Those numbers are staggering and quite frankly ridiculous. The 11th-grade year is by far, the most important grade in shaping collegiate futures. Most College Admission Counselors, don't pay attention to grades their Senior year. Just to give you an idea of how competitive college admissions are let me break down some numbers.
There is a projected number of 164,404 high school graduates this year (3 million in the U.S.)
There are 142 colleges in Florida (86 Public and 56 Private).
UF had 37,000 Freshman applicants alone. These numbers show why it was important that our administrators got the ball rolling early.
We are going to create a schedule, where your child will be pulled from a special area class (no core classes), and we will begin to build a college/career profile. We will go over PSAT results and GPA's, and show what colleges are accepting that score range. We will go over the short term and long term academic and career goals. I will also give them information in print to bring home to you. We will also get them on their selected school's database so they can start receiving emails and correspondence.
We are going to also take a mock ACT test on Tuesday, April 11th. Over the next five weeks, we will be preparing our students for practice tests, tips, and testing strategies in each of the 4 ACT sections, which include: English, Math, Reading, and Science. The 5th section, the essay is optional. All of your children's teachers will play an important part in the ACT process. Ms. Parks will cover the English/Reading, Ms. Wright will cover the Science, and Mr. Ranaweera will cover the Math.
I will also be setting up a counselor's blog every month that will include important information like test dates, links, subscriptions, news updates, pre-college summer programs, and tangible databases. I will be very hands on, and available anytime you or your child needs me. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thanks again for all of your support.
Rashaan Foster, MABC.
Director of College Guidance/Dean of Students/Athletic Director