New RAMS program to aid in college process

This year, the counseling staff and administrators are implementing a new program called RAMS (Resourceful Adults Mentoring Students). Every month, there will be a flex-day so that each grade level can meet with their magnet to learn about the college process.

Ms. Mina Todd, the new Goal Clarity Coach at Manual, is in charge of the new program.

“This year, every student in every grade got a red folder which has lots of helpful information to get students thinking about college. Each grade’s folder is a bit different based on where they are in the college process,” said Ms. Todd. “For example, freshmen and sophomores get the basic info to get them thinking, and juniors and seniors get more information and more detailed information for them to narrow down their choices to the best college for them.”

The first two hour-long sessions were in mid September and October. “I think it was helpful, I definitely care about college right now and I think it’s nice to look at it early and have teachers to help,” said Matt Stump (9).

Abby Fischbach (10), a YPAS piano major, thinks differently about the RAMS program. “I think that choosing a college is very specific to each student and can’t be easily covered by a one-size-fits-all seminar…. I think the best thing that students can do to explore higher learning options is to go online and talk with their parent or guardian outside of school,” she said. Another YPAS student, a vocal major, Erika Winn (10) doesn’t benefit the most from the RAMS program. “You can’t really talk about how to prepare yourself for college with singing. You have to audition, practice, and put yourself out there,” she said.

Every RAMS day, students will go to a classroom with students in their grade and magnet to hear teachers discuss the college process. Parents originally initiated the new set-up for students to be with their magnet. “It makes sense because each magnet’s students have different needs for college,” said Ms. Todd.

“We [the counselors] have gotten a lot of great feedback from teachers. They’re the ones that make this go and give us feedback on how it went and what we can improve,” said Ms. Todd. “When you start anything, there’s trial and error and involved and we’ve definitely had to tweak some things”

Each month’s RAMS session covers a different topic in the curriculum from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). The program is not required at any level, but it’s among the Manual counselors’ efforts to keep Manual the best and ahead of the curve.

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Farren Vaughan, former Co-Editor-in-Chief, attempted to organize focus groups. She plans to become better friends with Bob Woodward and study multimedia journalism and political science at Virginia Tech.