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Starting the “Prep” at a College Prep School


“I think it’s too early for me to start thinking about college yet, but maybe as a junior or senior.”

“I started looking at colleges around a year ago.”

“I have thought about college, but I’m still trying to figure out where to look.”

“I started thinking about colleges around sophomore year and started looking in junior year. It’s been a steady process.”

Four students–Noah Bartling, Gray King, Matthew LaSala and Jake Wier.

Four different grade levels–freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

Four different perspectives on when to start thinking about college.

With Rockhurst being a college preparatory school, part of the focus is to put students in position to be ready to further their education. College provides a unique opportunity for students to explore their interests and passions. It offers a diverse range of majors and courses that can help students delve deeper into subjects they love. By attending college, students can gain valuable knowledge and skills that will shape their future careers.

“If you want a full degree, if you want a technology degree or any other various degree, college is a great place to get started,” said counselor Carol Dougherty.

College education goes beyond academics. It helps students develop life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. These skills are highly sought after by employers in today’s job market. The earlier students start considering college, the sooner they can begin laying a solid foundation for their future success.

“There are many companies out there, so if people want to go into business or sales that might be a really good community to go to, or any other field as well,” said Dougherty. “A college graduate will likely have a better chance of getting a good job as well as just simply having more knowledge.”

Rockhurst tailors its classes to prepare students for college. This extra preparation and the learning experiences that come with it can benefit students throughout their post-high school life.

“Rockhurst gives students exposure in terms of the colleges out there as well as prepares them with a heavy workload,” said college counselor Fola Okediji. “We discuss with students the process of engaging with colleges and trying to figure out what they should be thinking about.”

The college counselors present students with information as early as freshman year through events such as “Making High School Count”–a program intended to help underclassmen and their families start to think about their long-term future–as well as college fairs. The college counselors start having individual conversations with students around the mid-point of their junior year. Those, of course, continue throughout senior year as well.

College is not just about academics; it’s also a transformative period of personal growth and independence. Living away from home, managing finances, and making important life decisions help students become self-reliant and adaptable. These experiences shape their character and prepare them for the challenges of adulthood.

The process of looking for college or figuring out what to do after high school can be stressful and scary. Some students that are unsure what they want can begin to panic.

“Some get pressure from home. Others think they need to be in a highly selective school. Anything of this nature puts a lot of pressure on students,” said Dougherty.

The college counselors–Okediji, Kyle Johnson and Darren Meeker–are available to help students navigate the entire process. They also have information students and parents alike can access on Rockhurst’s website.


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About the Contributor
Sam LaSala
Sam LaSala, Staff Reporter
My name is Sam LaSala, and this year will be my first on the newspaper staff. In the past, I have always loved to write and talk to people for information that could be used on writing projects. I am extremely social, outgoing and creative. These attributes give me the confidence to say that I will be a great addition to the Rockhurst High School newspaper team. I want to write for the school newspaper, because I would love to be able to use my writing skills to my advantage to cover stories and other intriguing topics. Newspaper will not only be great for me now, but in the future as well. This subject can improve my writing skills now and give me more knowledge, and it will also look great on my resume for future schools and jobs. At the moment I am not involved in any clubs or extracurriculars at Rockhurst, but this sophomore year I plan to join a club and use it to my advantage as well. Getting involved in a club could get me more introduced to the school and other aspects as well--especially for the future. My goals for the future are to get above a 3.8 GPA and, possibly, even become a leader for various projects at the school. With these intentions in mind, I hope that they could boost my resume to get into as good a college as possible. As I progress in the newspaper this year I am enthusiastic to see what else it brings to the table.
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