College and Career Center Tours Sonoma County Colleges

 

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A group of 31 students gather together as the final tour at Santa Rosa Junior College ends.

 

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By: Hannah Jones

Photo Credit: Trina Bernal

The smoke last week and the rain this week didn’t stop the College and Career Center from setting up yet another wonderful college tour. On Tuesday, November 27, Mrs. Marwick and Ms. Wallace took 31 students out to Sonoma County to check out some of the colleges.

The day started out at Sonoma State University where we got to look around the campus a little bit before going on a guided tour of the beautiful campus. On the campus tour we learned fun facts about the college, including how they have two man-made lakes where students can fish with their student IDs as a permit. We also learned that a sapling from outside Anne Frank’s house is planted on campus and that they have the first major to teach about the selling and marketing of wine. On the tour, we also got to look into one of the dorms which according to niche.com, are the number 4 in the state and it really did show. We got to look inside one of the cheapest rooms and it seemed pretty livable. The apartment had a living room and two bedrooms with a separated bathroom, shower, and jack and jill sinks. In the rooms, there were two X-Large twin size beds with storage underneath, two nice-sized desks with lots of drawers, two full-sized closets with a shelf on top and still had enough room to feel a little more like home. After enjoying our rainy tour, we headed up to a small classroom to learn more about the college and its admission policies. The cool thing about Sonoma State being so close to home is that we get a lower Eligibility Index, which tells the college if you are eligible to be selected for admission. They told us about the formula that gives them this magic number and it has everything to do with your GPA and your SAT/ACT scores. For the SAT, (Your GPA x 800) + (Your SAT Score) = Your Eligibility Index. For the ACT, (Your GPA  x 200) + (10 x ACT Composite) = Your Eligibility Index. These numbers are then compared to the minimum Eligibility Index for where you live. For us here in Solano County, our EI is 2950 for the SAT and 694 for the ACT. For those coming from elsewhere in California the EI will vary depending on their distance from the campus. For those coming in from out of state, the EI is 3502 for the SAT and 842 for the ACT.

After that presentation from our schools admission counselor, our tour guide talked more about her experience in the Educational Opportunity Program which offer help to first generation and historically low-income students. There are some amazing benefits that come with being in this program. To start out, first-year freshmen in the program are given an 11-day Summer Bridge Program before the school year starts where they get to take some short classes about adjusting to college, they get to meet the staff and build up communities before school even starts. This is a big deal compared to the regular 2-3 day orientation given to regular students. Another interesting aspect of the program is that the career fairs can help you network and find opportunities for jobs and majors that you might be interested in pursuing. You also get an extra advisor, in addition to your regular adviser, that can help you on a more personal level, which will help them to help you make more personalized decisions. An added bonus to the program is that you will have reserved seating in certain classes. This means that when signing up for classes you get priority over the regular students even if you signed up later than them.  The final benefit that our tour guide shared with us was that people who qualify for the EOP program automatically get the Pell Grant added to their financial aid package. The application for this amazing program can be found on the CSU application and can be filled out after you complete the regular application as to not add more stress to the regular application process.

After hopping back on the bus we went on an adventure trying to find a place to eat lunch. Thankfully we found a cute deli really close to Santa Rosa Junior College called Ike’s Place. It was a quirky place that had some comically named sandwiches and really seemed to be catered for the college environment. After running back in the rain, we met up with our very fun tour guide who gave us a quick tour through the very beautiful Santa Rosa Junior College. The campus has the feel of a University, but the prices of a Junior College. The guide told us that a lot of the students transfer to UC Berkeley and Sonoma State which gives them the opportunity to go to a good school without having to pay those prices for all four years. The school is mostly known for its good psychology and philosophy programs. She also gave some college life tips that I found pretty interesting. She told us that when we get into our classes, we should wait to figure out if we need the book for the class before we purchase it. She suggested that some classes on campus don’t require the book to pass the course. Because it is a junior college she told us that we should look on assist.org to look into what we need to transfer to the bigger universities so that we can get out of there in two years with ease. She recommended that we go on ratemyprofessors.com to look at the teachers we sign up for before we walk into class so that we know what to expect.

The trip overall was very eye-opening to the options open to us here in California. Next week, the College and Career Center will be heading out again to San Jose State, Santa Clara University and Green Circuit so look out for another article to learn more about  our next adventure. Make sure to mark your calendars for second semester tours on January 22, February 26, March 26 and April 30. Make sure to check in with Mrs. Marwick for more information about the upcoming dates.

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