Account of our annual Central NY College Workshop

From October 3rd through Oct 5 of this year, our Senior College Admission Initiative (SCAI) students embarked on a whirlwind 2 night 3 day tour of some of the best state universities and small liberal arts colleges in Central New York. Covering 11 schools, the workshop began in Elmira College, and worked its way to Alfred University and St. Bonaventure University for day one, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, Rochester Institute of Technology, Nazareth College, and University of Rochester for day two, and finished off at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, SUNY Oswego, and Le Moyne for day three.

Unlike the cookie cutter college visitations that most students receive upon arrival at an admissions office, our students were given personal in-depth experiences guided by A. Philip Randolph/CCPI alumni. By connecting current students with alums from their high school, our seniors were given first hand experiences of what it’s truly like to come from their exact high school to these selective colleges. With each campus visit, CCPI students had meals in the campus dining halls, indulging on never ending frozen yogurt and real talk with the college students about the trials, triumphs, and transitions moving on from high school to college.

The Central New York trip also provided the scholars with crucial admissions interaction. They gained exclusive access to the admissions officers not only in charge of their individual applications, but also the faculty and staff who will personally advocate for their student financial packages. Executive Director Charles Thompson has spent the last 2 decades teaching students how to develop relationships with key admissions and financial aid officers at universities. He also coaches students of the value of leveraging acceptances to maximize your financial aid package.

Throughout these campus tours, the CCPI scholars were given assignments to fully engage and research the campus: what was the diversity breakdown? What visual images and photos embodied student life? The students worked day and night to interactively absorb everything there was to learn about the college application process and, most importantly, if each individual school was the right fit for them. The core goal of CCPI is to expose our scholars to higher education opportunities that will enable them to access their true potential and successfully thrive after high school.

Below are photos from our last workshop we took with our class of 2017 seniors this past October: