College Town is facing an unprecedented year, and yet this year is gearing up to be the best yet! With a new model, streamlined curriculum, and students ready to engage and grow in an online space we are ready for the school year to start.
This year College Town is moving to a cohort model. In these grade-specific groups of 10-12 students will have the chance to dive deeper into material tailored for their academic and college-bound journeys. Each cohort will name themselves based on majors in their “College.” 8th graders will tackle The College of Business. 9th graders will grow in The College of Engineering. 10th graders will explore in The College of Science. And finally, 11th graders will take on new heights in The College of Social Sciences and the Humanities. From sharing a quote of the week for reflection, announcements, or a meaningful takeaway, and taking on their academic journeys together, these cohorts will allow students intentional space to learn from each other and ultimately grow together in their academic and personal lives.
To further facilitate this growth, the College Town team has introduced this year’s theme: Compass Year (Leading from your Values). This theme hones in on defining self, increasing confidence, and personal leadership growth. Students will understand and explore what their personal values are, and by the end of the year students will embody more equitable and valued-based leadership. Along with Leadership Development, Academic Readiness and College Knowledge complete the trio of topics covered this year, and aim to prepare students for practical success in leading from their values Students will receive weekly tutoring, regular grade checks, and 1-1 support from volunteers and Achievement Coaches along with regularly scheduled college forums, lessons on financial readiness, and how to ultimately choose the college of your dreams to prepare students for their upcoming college journey. All lessons in the fall will take place on Zoom, with the hopes of returning to in-person meetings in the spring.
As our College Town programming promotes a holistic approach to student success and engagement, students will also participate in monthly speech nights and community service events. This year’s speech night prompt encourages students to think about the historic moment they are living in, how this time has encouraged growth in their own lives, and how they continue to live and lead from their values throughout. This year’s community service requirement likewise encourages reflection from students on where they find themselves locally. In the fall semester students will choose a topic of focus (Immigration, Homelessness, Climate Change, or Education) and write each month about the history of the issue, its root causes and current impact, and why it matters to them personally. In the spring students will take their reflection into action, completing community service projects around San Diego respective to their chosen topic. Both speech nights and community service allow students to deepen their reflection and impact throughout the school year.
While this year is not what we expected, it is still full of promise for our students – with new ways of learning, growing, connecting, and facing challenges together. We look forward to what this year brings and to our continued support of a resilient, engaged, and optimistic student body. School year 2020-2021, here we come!