College search

The Hardest Part of the College Search

We know our families value the support we provide in our webinars, blog posts, website resources, and the latest news via our newsletter and social media. Much of that sharing is about the mechanical parts of the college search process. This part has data, can be researched, and feels tangible to families. You can find lots of help with the college search. But these mechanical parts are not the most important part of the search. What is?

When we talk about what At The Core is, we always start at the heart…at the “core.” Success for our children is built on a foundation of self knowledge and the ability to leverage that knowledge for strong decision-making. Students also gain the knowledge and tools to research careers and conduct informational interviews with professionals.

This knowledge (and use of it) gives a student confidence and clarity to make future decisions about the college they attend, the major they choose, the learning experiences they pursue, and the first career on the horizon.

As adults, we get that, right?

We choose a project because we know it will align with our strengths or because it matches our interests. We have spent a lifetime exercising that self assessment muscle, but how clear were we when making these choices before entering college? Wouldn’t it have been nice to have someone to provide us with some help in this area?

Our high schoolers don’t know how important self assessment is, and few have a natural sense of how to do it well. They know they like (or don’t like) a certain kind of class or teaching method. They know they are good at a thing (or struggle in another spot), but they can’t identify the wider range of personal elements they possess and connect them to potential careers and majors.

Here’s a simple example. A student may think “I’m good at writing so I should be an author.” Maybe, but not necessarily. Maybe you also prefer to work with a group instead of by yourself and maybe you value a financially secure lifestyle. See how those pieces fly in the face of the author idea?

And many families get stuck right here. They turn back to the “mechanical” parts of the college search and hope that the major and career stuff will work itself out in college.

Since founding the company in 2012, the cost of college has continued to soar.

We can no longer send our children off with the hope that they will figure it out. The sooner they can take possession of their traits, skills, interests, etc., the sooner they can engage with activities that support their development (even during the HS years!).

I know this uncertainty can be uncomfortable – for the whole family. It really boils down to what’s at the core of your student, and they need that self assessment muscle–that ability to figure themselves out. That is the hardest piece of the college search!

When our students learn how to do this, they all use the same word when thinking about their future–excited.

This fundamental truth is important to stress.

It is what At The Core is all about…our mission! Guided Self Assessment was created because students didn’t know how to do this thinking. They need a professional to walk them through – to teach them – the process. Online assessments are inadequate for something that is SO personal and in-depth. (Wondering about all the ways Guided Self Assessment is different from online assessments your child may take? We’d love to share all about that!)

The Guided Self Assessment process is unique and comprehensive. Each student is paired with a single “matched” facilitator for the process, and that facilitator is only working with that single student. There are no group sessions. The process has been described by students as: insightful, probing, eye-opening, and beneficial. And students describe our conversations as relaxed, easy-going, enjoyable, exciting, and personal. We are honored to walk alongside each family on this journey.

If your student is in grades 10 & up, we encourage you to spend 30 minutes in an online family meeting. This meeting is purely informational…not a sales pitch. There is so much more to tell you about how it works, what you can expect, etc. Reserve your spot.

As one student put it: “It is more than just choosing a college or college major. It’s a lifetime worth of valuable skills learned.

As parents ourselves, we are always striving to impart the wisdom and support that will carry our children toward future success. Guided Self Assessment can be that thing that positively impacts your child and family exactly when you need it.

We’re always here for questions by email or phone at (614) 404-0646.

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