December 06, 2017

TGR EDU: Create’s Private College Symposium

Teachers at the TGR EDU Create Workshop

Over the next several weeks, high school seniors from coast to coast will finish submitting their college applications. It can be a stressful time for students, and for many high school college counselors and educators, guiding their kids to the application finish line can be just as challenging.

To combat this challenge, the Tiger Woods Foundation hosts a one-day Private College Symposium biennially at the TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, California. As part of TGR EDU: Create’s professional development programming, we welcomed over 100 high school counselors and educators this fall to partake in free workshops and seminars providing information about private universities and liberal arts colleges and how to support students in accessing these unique learning environments.

Teachers discussing workshop topics

The symposium included workshops presented by industry professionals regarding selective admissions, supplemental essays, scholarship case studies, the Coalition Application, TGR EDU: Explore and other topics related to both college admissions and financial aid.

Teacher writing in a book

The morning kicked off with a reflection on access and opportunity at private colleges, led by Patty Amador-Lacson of Grinnell College and Sonya Smith of Princeton University.

Teachers playing with papers

Sonya Smith highlighted the many benefits of attending a private college—higher graduation rates, a web-like support system, smaller student to teacher ratio, stronger alumni network—and reinforced to the room the many resources available to help underserved students attend private universities and liberal arts colleges.

“You are a name, not a number at these schools,” Smith said.

Teacher speaking about building relationships in college

Patty Amador-Lacson, a first-generation college student herself, is dedicated to keeping diversity alive and well at Grinnell College in Iowa. She believes whole heartedly that the benefits of attending a small college are second to none.

“At a small college,” Amador-Lacson explains, “you are part of the fabric of the institution. There is a level of confidence that comes from being at a small, private school. Students feel valuable, valued and worthy.”

Students talking in the school

Packed with a dozen workshops and seminars, attendees spent the day in a variety of sessions from Supplemental Essays: Tips and Strategies to The X Factor: What “IT” Takes to Land a Scholarship.

Teachers lecturing about reading students differently

Adam Sapp who oversees admissions for Pomona College led one of the more popular workshops, Highly Selective Admissions. He covered timely topics from student mental health to college graduation rates for foster kids. He asked his workshop participants: “Are you seeing DACA kids come to you and now know what to do?”

Quotes of the day on the boards

Al Trundle a 10th and 12th grade high school counselor from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District attended the Private College Symposium for the first time ready to soak in as much information as possible.

“I’m here to get as many tools in my tool kit to help as many students as I can. I’m trying to show parents and students that the benefits a higher education can bring back to their families are huge. I thoroughly believe that education is the item I’m selling. And I know I’m a pretty good salesman, but I’m here today to get better.”

Redefining what it means to be a champion.