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Supporting high school students with “The College Experience”

Group photo of seven adults in business casual attireAs high school seniors across the country prepare to transition into college, many are feeling uncertain about what the next few years will look like. This is an important area where College Possible near-peer coaches provide guidance and support to help students succeed in their post-secondary education.

Throughout April, College Possible Omaha visited its partner high schools to host “The College Experience,” a panel discussion featuring college students and professors who shared their insights on what it takes to make a successful transition into college. The panels emphasized the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with professors, as well as time management, communication, and relationship building.

Panelists included representatives from our partner institutions including the University of Nebraska Omaha, Doane University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and Wayne State College. Each panelist brought their unique perspective and experiences to the discussion, highlighting the importance of finding a supportive community while in college.

Another key message that emerged from The College Experience panels was the importance of being open to trying new things and exploring different paths while in college. Many of the panelists shared stories of changing majors or discovering unexpected passions and emphasized that it’s okay to not have everything figured out right away. “Don’t be afraid to change your path,” said Andrew Stem, journalism and media communication instructor at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

This sentiment was echoed by other panelists, who emphasized the importance of taking advantage of internships, study abroad programs, and other opportunities to gain new experiences and insights.

At Millard South, the panel included a recent graduate who is now attending Nebraska Wesleyan University. “The best advice I can give you is to sit up front and talk to your professors. It says so much about who you are as a student, and you will build amazing relationships,” she said.

At Westside, a panelist who graduated a few years ago shared his experiences and advice for current high school students. He said, “A big part of transitioning into college is recognizing that everyone is in the same position as you. College is a big time for growth.”

At North High School, a College Possible student panelist from Nebraska Wesleyan University shared his experiences and advice for incoming freshmen. He emphasized the importance of finding a community on campus and how he’s been able to accomplish that due to the small class sizes. He said, “It’s a very close-knit community, and I think a lot of students could benefit from that.”

Ultimately, the message from The College Experience panels was clear: college is a time for growth, exploration, and self-discovery. By building relationships with professors, finding a supportive community on campus, and being open to trying new things, students can set themselves up for success and find the path that is right for them.

In April alone, over 200 high school students heard from current college students and professors, and the series will continue throughout the month of May. Although many of the students who participated were part of the College Possible program, the series is open to all junior and senior students who are interested in learning more about how to prepare for the upcoming fall semester.

Know a high school student who could benefit from College Possible’s near-peer coaching? Find location and eligibility requirements here.

Check out our Facebook and Instagram to see more photos of The College Experience. 

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