“A lot has changed, and it’s changed really quickly,” says Chris Rodriguez, the new college counselor. It’s a statement that applies to almost everything right now, including the college admissions process.
As a new faculty member, Mr. Rodriguez was drawn to Lovett because he has counseled Lovett students and worked with members of the college counseling office in the past, so he was “very familiar with Lovett as an institution and the types of students it produced.” He did not, however, anticipate that a global pandemic would completely alter his new role at our school before it even started.
“With college counseling, it’s a very relationship-oriented profession,” he explains. “Not being able to meet with students in person immediately, having half of the students here on one day and half on another, is very challenging.”
Instead of the typical face-to-face meetings in the college counseling office, students and parents will now be connecting with their counselors remotely through Google Meets. This is certainly an adjustment for everyone, especially the students who are trying to navigate the already stressful world of college admissions. However, the new, global shift to digital meeting platforms has also presented students with some new opportunities.
“One potential upside of going virtual is that it really allows students to talk to admissions reps from around the world,” Mr. Rodriguez points out. “Representatives that would not usually travel to Atlanta from other countries or selective colleges are having more [high] school-specific meetings.”
Students now have the ability to connect with a wider range of colleges and universities. The tricky part may be figuring out which of these schools give them the inexplicable spark that can come from an in-person experience.
“So often, students will have an immediate reaction to a school when they visit,” Mr. Rodriguez says. “They love it, they hate it. [COVID-19] really has put a lot more on students to be creative by looking at schools on YouTube or connecting with current college students to learn about different schools.”
I have no doubt that Mr. Rodriguez will be able to help his students find the college that is the perfect fit for them just like we have found a new college counselor who is the perfect fit for us.