On February 9, 2022, BSD held its 10th Annual College Conference for high school students. With several hundred students and families in virtual attendance, this event was one of the most highly attended college conferences ever arranged by the BSD.
The evening began with a keynote address by Dr. Alvin Sturdivant, Vice Provost for Student Development at Seattle University. Dr. Sturdivant discussed how students can find a college or university that is a “fit” for their passions and professional interests. He shared stories of his personal academic journey and suggested ways that students can gauge whether a college or university reflects their personal values. He also touched upon ways families can make college more affordable.
After the keynote, students and families were invited to attend three breakout sessions, each of which lasted for 30 minutes and included a moderated opportunity for attendees to ask questions. The sessions which drew the largest number of attendees were:
- College Application Process 101 – A session led by Spanish-speaking counselors from Bellevue High School, Big Picture, Interlake, International, Newport and Sammamish for families from each of their individual schools. This session covered topics including: Naviance, the college search process, and critical college timelines.
- Private Colleges & Universities Panel – This session included admissions counselors from the University of Redlands, George Washington University, University of Puget Sound and Gonzaga. These admission professionals provided an overview of the method their admissions teams evaluate applications.
- Putting Yourself on Paper: Writing the College Essay – Jennifer Townsend, Bellevue High School teacher, led this session about the importance of writing a well-thought-out college essay and the significance of showing, rather than simply telling, your personal story.
The College Conference had a total of 21 separate sessions for attendees to select from and presented the perspectives of 45 different presenters/panelists. Additional topics covered included College Success for Students with Learning Differences, connecting Career and Technical Education pathways to Post-Secondary Options, and four separate sessions on financial aid and options to make college affordable for families.
The recordings of the 2022 BSD Virtual College Conference are now available on our College Conference webpage. Supporting documents provided by presenters have also been linked.