Central to the RISE Network mission is supporting student transitions, including for 12th graders entering into two or four-year college, military, or career trajectories. All of our RISE Network schools hold various events in the fall to support seniors in their postsecondary planning and preparation. Based on student feedback from the previous year’s SAT Day, Naugatuck High School (NHS) refined the structure of this event and held a more inclusive Postsecondary Day to provide information and resources to students customized for the specific pathways they are planning to pursue.
Jack, a senior at NHS, said that he is interested in earning a four-year degree in physical therapy, followed by a doctorate program. He attended the workshop at NHS to get support on the Common Application in an environment where his peers and counselors would be available to help. He said, “the workshop and completing my Common Application helped me reflect on my past four years at Naugatuck as I prepare for what’s next.”
The workshop and completing my Common Application helped me reflect on my past four years at Naugatuck as I prepare for what’s next.
During the four-year college workshop, Post University representatives presented their top 15 tips for the transition to college and provided advice for students on what will help make their freshman year successful. They focused on academics and residence life, in an effort to prepare students for what life truly looks like in college. Following the interactive presentation, students said they were walking away with helpful advice to navigate the “newness” that they will experience in college.
A two-year college workshop was hosted by representatives from Naugatuck Valley Community College, who spoke to students about the application process, degree offerings, certificate programs, and clubs and sports on campus. They also provided information about college affordability, the PACT program, and stressed the importance of completing the FAFSA application.
RISE Postsecondary Success Coach Rebecca Kruge, who attended the event, said she was pleased that nearly every student in the 2-year college workshop indicated that they had heard about FAFSA, as this is an important piece of the postsecondary puzzle. “[Naugatuck High School’s] team is really investing in postsecondary strategies and being creative,” says Kruge. “Their partnership with RISE has allowed us to think through how we ensure all students have access to the information they need to make an informed decision about their postsecondary plans,” she continued.
Also participating in the Postsecondary Day event were NHS school counselors, who provided a block of time where students could meet with them to work on their Common Application, two or four-year college applications, set up their Federal Student Aid IDs, and start their FAFSA applications. Students said that they valued this opportunity to ask questions and get one-on-one support, and that they left feeling that they had accomplished something important.
David, a college-bound student interested in environmental and/or broadcast science, said that “it’s hard to find the motivation to complete the application and start the FAFSA, and this workshop provided a great space to get it done!”
This workshop provided a great space to get it done!
In addition to college-based resources, the NHS Postsecondary Day also included a military workshop, during which recruiters from different branches offered an open Q & A session. Students who attended said they appreciated the casual atmosphere, where they were able to ask questions and learn about the experiences of recent members of the military.
Finally, during a career workshop, YMCA staff offered resume feedback, reviewed job descriptions with students, and provided interview tips. Students participating in this session asked thoughtful questions about their resumes, preparing for job interviews, and navigating balancing home and career life.
The Postsecondary Day at Naugatuck High School was a great way to kick off their postsecondary application campaign, inclusive of students on all pathways. The workshops provided a valuable experience for students, who came out of their respective sessions feeling more knowledgeable and ready for the next steps they would need to take to prepare for their futures.
Visit the RISE Network Resources Portal and select the college and career goals categories for dozens of resources for families and graduating seniors!