As a college preparatory school, Canisius High School works to ensure that all students are prepared for the transition to college. Beginning in junior year, students are asked to consider what they want to do in life and careers they may want to pursue. From there, the guidance department helps students identify relevant majors and narrow down potential college choices.
Seniors take a course called “College Planning” which walks students through the college application process. They learn to write and update resumes, write college essays, and complete college applications. The course concludes in January with visits from recent Canisius alumni who discuss their first year in college.
I attended one of these sessions with alumni this week where current seniors heard from Matt Donnelly '18, a pre-med student at Xavier, Chris Cholnacki '18, a nursing major at D’youville, and John Minogue '18, an electrical engineering major at Fairfield University.
These visits help give seniors a realistic expectation for college life. While hearing about college from a teacher is one thing, hearing from alumni with whom they are familiar can help seniors understand first-hand how college differs from high school life.
The group I sat in with discussed a variety of topics from dorm life to classes, and perhaps most importantly, how college places the onus on the individual to really succeed. Though college may offer greater freedom to students, with this freedom comes the responsibility of effective time management and self-accountability. Though the message was certainly serious, it was couched in a jocular and enjoyable conversation.
Beginning this spring, the Canisius guidance department plans to make some slight adjustments to the college planning program. Students will soon start the conversation about college in the spring of sophomore year before working on the application process during junior year.
Pictured at top, left to right: Ray Miranda '18, David Downing '18, Randolph Chi '18 and John Minogue '18 talked with members of the class of 2019..