Helping high school kids with the transition to college

Taylor Carney

Saddleback College is geared toward achievement for students coming fresh out of high school this fall 2011. With guidance from the Outreach program and counselors, the transition from high school to a college setting will be a smoother process.

“Our job is to get students prepared for Saddleback and to help them get enrolled,” said Leslie Humphrey, director of the Outreach and Recruitment Program for Saddleback.

She works with the Capistrano and Saddleback school districts to make sure students are prepared for college.

“This year we are trying to promote an applied Psych 140 course that would be available to high school seniors their second semester,” Humphrey said. “The class is a college course for educational and vocational planning that is strongly recommended for new students.”

The first semester of college is a turning point for many new students and gives off a different energy than high school.

“College and high school are completely different,” Bree Stombaugh, 18, business said. “High school is more fun, but college is where you start deciding what you want to do in life and that’s exciting.”

Stombaugh went to Dana Hills High for the majority of her high school career, but graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 2011.

“College is challenging because in high school parents and teachers are constantly discussing your grades with you, but here, instructors are just giving you a grade,” Stombaugh said. “On the other hand, I like college because you’re going at your own pace and all the responsibility is on you. No one is here to baby you.”

Though students are responsible for themselves, Saddleback’s Outreach and Recruitment Program is here to help them make the most out of college.

With universities’ tuition on the rise, it’s no lie that the economy’s status will have an everlasting effect on students.

“The number one barrier for high school students to attend college is the issue of financial aid,” Humphrey said. “Students chose Saddleback because it’s location, it’s lower cost, and reputation as far as degree programs and transfer.”

The Outreach program is intended to inform students about the many great opportunities that Saddleback provides while also informing them about financial aid.

“I decided early to attend Saddleback because I had good advice from my family and friends who have attended community colleges,” Stombaugh said. “Choosing a community college saves me money down the road too.”

Though outreach may seem similar to a counseling program, they are different in the fact that outreach helps students arrive at college and counseling helps students once they get in.

“Saddleback is introducing me to college life and giving me the time to prepare for more opportunities,” Stombaugh said.

“We work with the counselors,” Humphrey said. “I think that for an incoming high school student it is extremely important to meet with a counselor at least once every six months to make sure they are staying on track.”

Stombaugh has met with counselors twice already this semester and plans on meeting with a transfer counselor in the future. 

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