Cumberland is Proactive in College Planning and Admission
by Lee Campbell, EdD
College acceptance…it is the greatest perceived need of any high school senior (with the possible exception of a new car, a new phone and a girlfriend or boyfriend); however, it may not be the greatest real need. The real need is Jesus. His way, His plan, His calling, His purpose is always best. This is why TCS places such an emphasis on college acceptance. Now, I use the word “college,” but in reality, some students choose technical school or the military. What I really mean is life’s next step.
This focus is our way of letting every child know that they have a future and a hope. It’s a real-world expression of God’s acceptance. The need for students and parents to see hope for the future may well be the root of the college acceptance cheating scandals we see on the news. Just today, I read that one parent spent $6,500,000 on their child’s acceptance—I could start a college with that much money! Your caring staff of professionals at TCS diligently and purposely try to meet our students' need to know what comes next in several ways: through a multi-year paradigm of learning preparation, college exposure, specific training to understand college variables, HOPE tracking, test preparation, Life Planning, and Active College Planning.
The sequence begins in the seventh grade when we meet with the students and hear their hopes and dreams. If you want to know what they said, please call us, we have a recording of it. In the 8th grade year, we complete the Explore project. The largest and most comprehensive research project and presentation a student has ever done by a factor of ten. They will produce a life story and so much more. This project is presented in the spring to their peers and invited guests. This presentation will take students from birth to death and incorporates every course that must be taken in high school and college. For fun, it includes what type of car they dream of driving. This is learning at its best when the student becomes the teacher and stand up for who they are and how God has made them. This project creates transferable life planning skills (for when they change their mind), it is a great global awareness of time exercise (teaches them to frame daily decisions in context of long-term goals), it makes them better researchers and presenters, and it builds one’s self-concept. Pathway Connections test results are presented allowing them to explain their personality, learning style, career interests, gifts, and multiple intelligences. We offer this project for 8th graders and seniors to create or revise.
Regarding the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships, we track your student's actual HOPE GPA from their sophomore year on, serving as a preventative and tracking measure to help your student avoid missing eligibility by a few points. Regarding the most important score for scholarships, the SAT (or ACT), we offer the PSAT three years in a row, SAT prep, a free Accuplacer (in partnership with Chattahoochee Tech), and then help each student register for the test three times their junior year.
The end of the junior year and the beginning of the senior year at TCS is when things really crank up. This is when, “Active College Planning” begins. We don’t passively send you emails about what you should do. We meet with each family in person and develop a plan. Afterwards, we work with your student to complete the application, thereby teaching each student a whole new set of skills. During this season, we will visit several colleges and have even more college admissions representatives on campus to share information about their college or university.
If all goes well, we will meet our most important goal—showing the love of Jesus to each student. Our second goal is to see that each student has a life plan leading to their future dreams which includes college acceptance beyond TCS. All this leads up to the spring of their senior year and scholarship time. Our goal is that you would “make a profit” in college scholarships. Your commitment to your student as expressed in the gift of private Christian education is an investment in their future. This gift should reveal both your love and the love of Jesus to them. At the end of the day, how great would it be for them to know Jesus and be accepted to college without a $6,500,000 bribe?