Our dedicated College and Career Counselor, Farris James, is pivotal in preparing our students to address the ever-important question, "What lies beyond high school?" She not only assists them in exploring their post-secondary aspirations but also empowers them to create a clear roadmap toward achieving their dreams.
At Assets, students are guided to explore a variety of postsecondary plans that fit them as learners. In a typical year, approximately 95 percent of our students pursue higher education immediately after graduation. This journey towards college is a collaborative effort involving the students and their families. In addition to offering comprehensive support for students throughout their college application process, Mrs. James coordinates many college visits.
These college visits involve representatives from various universities visiting Assets to engage with our students directly.
"I think it is very helpful for students to learn the different types of schools out there," said Mrs. James. "They also learn about application processes, financial aid, scholarships, student life, and get a preview of what college life may look like."
During the fall semester, juniors and seniors are allowed to sign up for and attend visits with college admission representatives as long as they receive clearance from their teacher for that period. In the spring semester, students in grades 10 to 12 can participate in the sessions where these college representatives come to our campus.
When possible, Mrs. James likes to open college visits to all high school grade levels, as was done recently for the special 3-college session “Colorado Colleges Talk-Story Session.” Representatives from Colorado School of Mines, University of Northern Colorado, and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs shared detailed information about their campuses and programs, but also information about accessing supports on campus and helpful tips for thinking ahead about college planning in grades 9-12. It is helpful to start college and career awareness early so students can begin to set high school goals aligned with postsecondary plans.
“I’m interested in the University of Colorado because it has engineering, STEM, science, and wrestling,” said Kaiona ‘27. “I also want to experience snow.”
“The students were engaged,” Louisa Dudley, Colorado School of Mines Associate Director of Admissions said. “I like that the parents came also.”
Jason Wagner, Dean of Student Life and Mentorship Coordinator, a University of Northern Colorado alumnus, told the students about his experience.
“I went to UNC and was a part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE),” said Mr. Wagner. “This made my out-of-state tuition much more affordable. I applied for as many scholarships as possible, and it was successful. I graduated with no debt and earned my degree in secondary education.”
College visitors who come to Assets share how students can advocate to access needed supports on campus, such as accessibility, or other academic supports or learning communities.
What is also important about the college visit, is that students get to ask questions about the programs. The visits by college representatives to our schools serve as a vital link, especially because many schools are not on Oahu or in Hawaii.
“College representatives visiting Assets provide a connection, someone who can speak not only to the offerings at a university, but to the culture, the region, and other nuances that are harder to glean from a website, “ Mrs. James explained. “It is much harder for Hawaii families to do visits in person to colleges that are not in the state because we cannot simply drive down the road.”
The significance of external events such as college open houses, college fairs, and family visits to college campuses cannot be understated, as they offer opportunities for students to learn more detailed information about possible schools of interest.
When possible, Mrs. James also plans field trips with students to visit colleges on the island. For example, last year, Assets High School students visited Hawaii Pacific University, University of Hawaii- West Oahu, and Honolulu Community College.
College visitors also share wisdom with students and families about how to successfully transition to college. In March 2023, Mrs. James held an event in partnership with University of Portland called “Finding the Right Fit College & Thriving workshop.” The session provided valuable information. Click here to watch the video