Now that Arielle has officially graduated from high school and is officially on her gap year, we are now starting to prepare for her college applications. So far, she has applied to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Hong Kong, after I personally received a phone call from their Assistant Director of Admission) strongly suggesting that we already do our online application because slots are getting filled up. (What?!! Slots for 2016??? And I thought we have more than enough time!). As for applications to local colleges and universities for Academic Year 2016-2017, they have not opened yet.
What steps are we doing to prepare for college? What steps have we done so far? Here’s my personal list to give you an idea of my preparation and mindset needed:
1. First and foremost, we identified the course that Arielle wanted to take. I mean, the course she really wants to take up. We didn’t have a problem with that because Arielle is dead set to take up Animation. That is her top choice. But it would be good to have course choice #2 and #3 because these are usually asked for in applications.
2. We check the websites of the different colleges and universities for announcements, especially on application and testing dates. This, we do often, most especially because we have decided to take a gap year which means Arielle did not go through the applications and entrance exams with the rest of her batch. We are doing to do it on our own, with assistance from TMA, our homeschool provider. Aside from the dates to take note of, I go through the admission requirements of each university and familiarize myself with the kind of documents we need to prepare and submit.
3. We have identified our school choices (although still praying about it!). This goes with #1 because if you are really after the course your child wants, then you go for the school that offers it or is known for it.
4. We visited the different school campuses. We did last year in order for Arielle to get a feel of the environment and how it is like to be in a school! After all, homeschoolers have had their homes and the real world as their classrooms. We visited Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, University of Asia & the Pacific, Meridian International, and more importantly, SCAD Hong Kong.
5. We paid the Admissions Offices a visit. In our case, we asked questions with the local universities about college applications with our gap year in mind (which is not commonly taken by students here in the Philippines) and the current issue on DepEd’s K12 program, to clarify some issues and make sure that by Arielle will have no problem applying for and entering college in 2016.
6. As for SCAD-HK, we scheduled a campus and residences tour in one day to know exactly where the campus building is, their facilities, the accommodations they offer to students, and again, to ask all our questions about their admission requirements! We asked about what entrance tests are required (IELTS, TOEFL, or an English proficiency test for SCAD), how to apply for a scholarship, if transferring of credits is accepted, the student population profile of SCAD-HK, various opportunities of SCAD students, etc., etc.! Doing a tour gave us a chance to know more about the school and how the staff are. The SCAD personnel have been very accommodating from the time I first emailed them to this day! That’s a big plus!
7. I closely coordinate with TMA, our homeschool provider, with regards to our different college applications. I inform them all the admission requirements and when we intend to start processing our applications. I make sure I give them updates so that we get to work hand in hand on this quite stressful task. So far, these are SCAD-HK’s admission requirements which I’ve already forwarded to TMA.
8. We already submitted Arielle’s application to SCAD-HK online to start the long process. I was told that after completing the online application and paying the application fee of $40, an admission representative will be assigned to us to help and guide us in the whole process. I am loving the assistance I am getting from SCAD so far! Did you know that they paid for our taxi fare when we had to go back to our hotel after doing their Residences tour? Their Residences happen to be faaaar and commute took almost an hour to our hotel. Wow! Mike and I appreciated that very much!
9. Arielle got accepted as one of the interns for Young Star of Philippine Star (I believe she was the youngest among those who applied because she said everyone else in the registration list were at least 18 yrs old!)
and for Flow Surf Yoga Samba. Internship is really part of our plan for her gap year to prepare her for college with the work habits, to further enhance her skills and develop her character and the discipline. This is her first work for Flow Surf Yoga Samba.
10. We are about to start building her portfolio, especially for SCAD. Right now, this IS the one stressing me out because Arielle has to make more 10 to 20 2-D artworks (and if possible, 3-Ds) in order to show her BEST WORK. And we have a long way to go! We plan to enroll her in art classes to really learn traditional art and are on the lookout for art and animation-related workshops to make sure that she is able to showcase different media, techniques, her other skills, and what is vital is her CREATIVITY and her IDEAS. This is the time TO IMPRESS in order to get in the school that we want!
Since we’ve decided to be intentional on our parenting, on the education of our girls, and our family lifestyle, it looks like my role as a homeschool mom isn’t over yet. Now that we will be releasing Arielle to the real world SOON, she needs me, her mom, her teacher, her coach, her counselor (and the list goes on!) by her side more than ever!