Academic Advisors Adapt to the Pandemic

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Sydney Wolfe

The guidance office has many resources for students to utilize including information about college admissions and work permits.

Sandhya Ganesan, News Editor

One of the crucial necessities of the college admissions process is having a school academic advisor help you along the way. From a student’s very first year on campus, academic advisors are there to advise them on class choices and ways in which to complete credit requirements, however, with the pandemic their role in the lives of current seniors and juniors has changed. 

“For me, our goal in guidance has been to give an experience as close to normal as possible,” said academic advisor for Ci-Gh, Kathleen Levinson. To give that experience to students, the whole department has hosted the annual college visits and met with sophomores to make their three year plans. 

The shift in the advisor’s role began when the school started to shut down in March. Since then, academic advisors have had to deal with shifts in schedules, and adjusting their meeting times to cohort schedules. “Many many colleges had webinars available to advisors to get up to the minute information and they even had these webinar series to continually update with them. The biggest questions we were getting was about SAT and ACT and those questions are always college specific, so it was nice that if I couldn’t jump on to a webinar, I was getting college information,” said Levinson. 

Colleges were changing their testing requirements, which was a problem for seniors applying to college and juniors this year. “Information was changing rapidly and the colleges were doing a good job of keeping everything updated” said Levinson.

We don’t know what’s going to happen next fall and now is the time to be applying for college. Whether you’re applying to Saddleback or applying to a four year, now is the time to start or click submit. You are giving yourself an opportunity for yourself in April”

— Levinson

College representatives have also been meeting with students online after school, which normally would have taken place in person during tutorial or lunch. The representatives sign up through online forms that Levinson and her team sends out. College representatives share this form around and the form helps recruit people and SJH uses the colleges affiliated with Regional Admissions California Colleges as well. 

 “It’s been really popular, more kids from different grades have been able to jump on as well as parents. College advisors like it too because they are able to reach a greater amount of people,” said Levinson. 

The popularity of these webinars has encouraged her to reconsider plans for the future and how the college visits will be conducted when the need for social distancing subsides. Levinson knows that colleges are taking everything by semester, so she does not have a clear answer to students who ask her what college will look like, but she is optimistic for the future. “Colleges are definitely adapting and they know kids want to be back on campus and they are adapting, but they are thinking about their kids in spring right now,” said Levinson. 

It is no secret that online school can be particularly dreary, and with the current uncertainty, many students have struggled with focusing on school and motivation in general. 

“My advice is that we don’t know what’s going to happen next fall and now is the time to be applying for college. Whether you’re applying to Saddleback or applying to a four year, now is the time to start or click submit. You are giving yourself an opportunity for yourself in April,” said Levinson. 

While the application season may be coming to a close, academic advisors are continuing to meet with their students during open office hours as well as extra one on ones through the program Calendly.“ Academic advisors are here to help support you through the college admissions process,” said Levinson.