Freshmen Seminar among resources available to prepare students for college

Every year, thousands of freshmen stumble onto community college campuses without a solid plan of attack.

Students who enter community college without an idea of what they want to do can find themselves stuck for a handful of years taking classes that they don’t need.
This brings up the issue of how high school students and college freshmen are being prepared for the workload transition.

Monterey Trail High School believes in getting their students on the right track early.

“Starting freshman year, we meet with students twice a year, assessing them, figuring out what they want to do,” said Jayne Captein, a career center counselor at Monterey Trail, via telephone. “Hopefully by junior year, the students have a firm plan on what they want to major in.”

Monterey Trails also offers a program put on by California state universities called Pique. Pique is a program that trains parents and students about what they need to do to get into a California university.

Once they have graduated from Pique, they are guaranteed admissions to a CSU as long as they have fulfilled their A-G requirements.

Cosumnes River College has resources to help students find the path to success, including the career center, tutoring centers and a plethora of counselors.

“The counselor led me into the direction I wanted to go and where I needed to be,” said Cindy Stutler, 36, human services major. “They really paved the way for me.”
In addition, CRC also has classes specifically designed to help students decide what they want to major in and how to handle the college level workload.

Most notable is the freshman seminar.

Freshman seminar is a class that has been provided at CRC for six years now and is designed for people coming out of high school to help them have a smooth transition to college life.

“Not only is it a class that will help students make the smooth transition to college, it also fulfills general education requirements,” said tutoring coordinator Sharon Padilla-Alvarado.

CRC also offers a college success class, which focuses on study skills and career development.

Both of these classes help students learn important college life skills such as money and time management.

If new students need more than just classes, CRC also provides a new student guidebook that will be available online in the fall.

This way it is accessible to parents and students, and they can learn everything they need to know about being successful in college, before their first day.

CRC’s curriculum has earned two major statewide awards from the California Board of Governors, and the college has been asked to present it’s innovative information at other colleges.

“The Freshman Seminar awards from the Board of Governors speaks to the commitment CRC has to helping students transition from high school to college,” said CRC Public Information Officer Kristie West. “When students take these classes, they learn how to navigate the college environment and many of them have told me they feel a lot more confident about their goals after taking Freshman Seminar. The awards are testament to these successes at the individual level.”