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Student workshops in Wisconsin

03 Nov, 2020
Student workshops in Wisconsin

Students at Kings at UWO-Fox Cities have been taking part in a number a workshops this semester to help them prepare for their transfer applications.

Kings run regular workshop sessions throughout the year for all GO program students to introduce them to the American college system, and give them the information and resources they need to have the best chance of transferring to a great university.

Building your student profile workshop

At the start of October, Center Director, Chihae Lee, hosted a workshop on ‘Building your Student Profile’. When applying to US universities, the Admissions Officer will take a holistic approach when considering your application.

"Attending College in the US is about more than just going to classes — it’s about getting involved with your wider school community and taking part in extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, societies, internships, and volunteering. Competitive schools accept students with competitive profiles, and extra-curricular activities can help you present yourself as a well-rounded and committed person."

As many of our UWO-Fox Cities students this year are currently studying online from home, Chihae shared a video with some tips for things you can do from home to build your profile ahead of submitting your college applications. Examples included:

  1. Taking online courses to learn new skills and get official certificates
  2. Starting a COVID-19 related initiative, such as fundraising or raising awareness
  3. Creating your own online community, such as a blog or online group for people with a shared interest
  4. Seeking out a remote internship

Specific examples of extra-curricular opportunities available at UWO-Fox Cities Campus include Student Government, Campus Activity Board, Clubs, RA, Tutoring and Work Study, and opportunities to volunteer in the local community.

The workshop finished with an inspiring quote to encourage students to seek out and pursue something that interests them:

“Whatever your interest, there’s probably a way to explore it. Live it up! You could discover a new hobby, meet new people, or find the inspiration that changes your major — or even career.”

Mock admissions workshop

In the next workshop, Kings Wisconsin Progression Advisor, Kayla Johnson, hosted a ‘Mock Admissions’ workshop, in which attendees put themselves in the shoes of a University Admissions Officer and reviewed three sample student applications in order to gain a better understanding of the application process.

Kayla highlighted the fact that Admissions Officers in the US will always do a holistic review of an application, meaning they will consider each application in its entirety, looking at things like as personal background; test scores; talents and interests; characteristics; accomplishments; and academic background.

Other things that Admissions Officers are looking for, and that you should consider carefully, include:

  • Transcripts — what grades have you received? Is there an upward or downward trend? How are you progressing?
  • Essays — what does your essay tell the Admissions team about yourself? Is the grammar, spelling and punctuation correct? What qualities or talents do your essays reveal?
  • Extra-curricular activities — what have you done outside the classroom? How committed are you? Have you taken on a leadership role?
  • Letters of recommendation — what do your recommendation letters tell the Admissions Officer about you?
  • Personal information — is there anything about your background, family or circumstances that you want the Admissions Officer to be aware of?

The workshop attendees then assumed the role of Admissions Officers at University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked through three sample student applications together to decide whether the application decision should be Accept, Defer, or Deny.

The workshop was highly useful and helped give students a better understanding of what Admissions Officers at top ranking US universities are looking for.

Choosing a College workshop

Last week's workshop in Wisconsin focused on how to choose a college. With over 4000 universities and colleges in the US, it can be overwhelming and difficult to know which are the best options for you. Kayla, Kings Progression Advisor, ran through some of the key factors to consider when choosing which schools to apply to:

  • Selectivity — how many students were admitted vs. how many applied.
  • Location — weather, geography, attractions and amenities, regional identity, demographics, safety, urban vs. rural.
  • Size — are you looking for a large or small campus and student body?
  • Programs and Academics — majors and minors on offer; special programs and certifications; double majors; class size; student:faculty ratio; access to research.
  • Student Services — the student experience; activities; international student services; libraries and technology; campus safety; residence life.
  • Entry requirements — GPAs; test scores; application and fee; personal essay; supplemental essays; financial forms; minimum transfer credits; coursework.
  • Cost — tuition costs; financial aid; scholarships.

The session finished with Kayla showing students which universities some recent Kings alumni have gone on to attend, including UC Berkeley, University of Wisconsin Madison, Boston University, UCLA, University of Rochester, and others. She also encouraged all students to book a one-to-one university advising session to discuss their personal plans and goals in more detail.