Nzinga Suluki-Bey Capstone

I wanted to create a capstone that would stay with the SLA community even after I left. After that idea I talked to college counselor, Mrs. Hirschfield. We concluded that the website should be more accessible and visually appealing. I built upon the freshman and sophomore page because the college process shouldn’t start Junior year. After going through what was needed and what needed to be fixed on the old website I made a template that would bring all of my and Mrs. Hirshfield’s ideas together. While making the template I also sent out a survey to understand how the student body felt about the current website and where they wanted it to improve. Most of the students said that the website wasn’t appealing and they could never find anything. They students gave great praise to the content, but also thought that as a freshman they didn’t think the website was for them. The website also has the bulletins in order by date and you can see all of them at once instead of scrolling through a document. Their is a full page of test prep and how to link college board and khan academy. There are videos of seniors going over their college process so that students know what they are headed for their senior year. There’s a video on the homepage that goes over how to navigate the website and if someone is looking for something how to find it. I learned that with this website the college process won’t be that hard.

Link: The link above is to the improved SLA College News Blog. The link will be changed to one bought from Wix Sites. It will also be updated with current information!

                                      Annotated Bibliography

“5 Questions To Help You Design an Effective College Website.” Verified Studios, 8 Feb. 2017, This article is more about the tech of a website and if it’s marketable. This resource gives a lot of background on how to make your brand create a web presence. It goes in depth with asking the person questions and if this strategy might work for them. For example 47% of people click off a website that takes too long. If websites don’t work well on social media or isn’t presentable on other devices most teens won’t go on it. A website must also have good visuals because most teens don’t read. The article goes over good design. How does your website break up code and how does it go over the information a person is seeking? This a helpful tool for my capstone because it lets me understand how I can improve the design of the current website.

Dix, Willard. “10 Ways To Make The College Application Process Less Painful, More Successful.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Feb. 2016, This article goes over the stress of what college does to students and how parents can distress their children. It goes over the process of actually applying to how to not put all the money obligations on the student. This article is specifically for adults. You can see that by how it is directed at what people could say or do and how other adults or parents should refrain from asking about majors and not speaking for you student/child. The first two suggestions are for parents and their students. The article unlike most college processes don’t mention the counselor. Your counselor is your allie and your shield from everything. A lot of people also forget about recommendations although they could save an application. This article will help finalize the content and what should or shouldn’t be stressed in a person’s college process.

“Helping Your Teen Decide What to Do After High School (for Parents).” Edited by Steven Dowshen, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2018, Kids Health is a popular website that most adults use for children and then a lot of high school students use the website to help break down certain topics. This particular article talks about how efficient students need to be before junior year. It used to be that students could look for schools a few months before senior year or during senior year. Now schools are harder and they want more than just grades. This article talks more directly about the process of finding schools or what we call “best fit”. Fit means economically, academically and socially. The colleges could mean all three of students and parents likings or some could meet just two. This article breaks down what students need to do and how far in advance. It gives an intro course almost into Sophomore and Junior year. This article will be more of a background on what students need. In my capstone it will not be anything big since I have the resources that go over this topic.

Hess, Abigail. “The FAFSA Is Now Open-Here’s Why Every Student Should Fill It Out.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Oct. 2018, This article from CNBC goes over why students of every economical background should fill out FAFSA. FAFSA is a way colleges and universities know how much financial aid to give a student and certain students are eligible for what is called a pell grant. A Pell Grant is given to people who make under $30,000 a year. CNBC brings up the fact that people who make a lot of money may not want to apply because they will only receive loans, but the contonter argument is that child can be independent and receive money next year. The FAFSA is a universal financial aid that many students don’t want to fill out, but most schools require that you do. With my capstone I hope to make this very apparent and explain FAFSA in a more detailed way and lay out a students many options.

Hirschfield, Karina. Personal Interview. 23 January 2019 Ms. Hirschfield is a college counselor with Science Leadership Academy. She is currently the only college counselor of Philadelphia that has a CAL Program or College Access Leaders. Ms. Hirschfield will help with my website for the college magazine.

“Home.” PhillyGoes2College.Org, “Philly Goes 2 College” is another nonprofit in Philadelphia that helps middle school, high school, and adults with higher education/learning. This website breaks down a lot of the necessary tools for the college process. It gives information on financial aid, conversations about which college to choose, how to find money outside of what schools can give and they break everything down by grade. This site is visually appealing and you can find everything easily. This website also has scholarships which allows parents to use this site for their high school student who is less fortunate. I will use this source has reference for my website and magazine. The content is strong, but more geared towards adults.

Hoover, Eric. “What They Want .” The New York Times, 1 Nov. 2017, The New York Times wrote an article on what colleges want. It isn’t a spelled out of each college in America, but it goes over key points and how times are changing. The overarching information is that colleges no longer want the student with the highests test-scores or the biggest gpa. Colleges and universities want a well-rounded individual that cannot just add to their community, but also set their school up for success. Each new freshmen admitted is a person who can market their school. If a student isn’t a good representation of the school you probably shouldn’t be there. This article also pinpoints that the college process is insensitive. If you aren’t the student their looking for then that isn’t the school for you. The article does a deep dive into how colleges are trying to go beyond the classroom to find the perfect student by adding different requirements on their college admissions materials. Some schools are allowing portfolios to see if students are good presenters. This article gives me a good insight into the application process which could add a lot to any website or magazine on the college process.

Mayfield, Lindsey, and Julie Mayfield. “7 Tips To Make a College Decision as a Family.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, The US News is a good source for the college process, but this blog specifically talks about the decision of choosing the place you live for four years. Every college is different and this article directly says “There is probably more than one school at which you can thrive.” This a very important thing that most seniors don’t realise. This article goes on to say that seniors must beware that you have to eat, sleep and communicate at the school you go to. The article breaks down choosing a school from a money perspective that no matter your circumstance the amount of aid you receive is an input into your school choice. The current magazine on the college process goes over a list for choosing the best school. The thing that needs to be improved is in this article; it needs to be for students and students have to relate to it. They don’t want a whole bunch of questions they won’t someone to spell things out for them. I’m specifically going to use this resource to help students choose a school through the website and magazine I am doing.

Selingo, Jeffrey. “Colleges Are Tracking Prospective Students’ Digital Footprints.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 17 Apr. 2017, This article gave an insight into what most colleges/universities are looking for. The article first follows Saint Louis University which had a demographic that wasn’t very diverse and they all came from the same area. The reason a lot of schools are trying to broaden their demographics is because their graduation rates are decreasing. A colleges graduation rate is very important because it shows the type of students that go their. This article specifically went over how a school like Saint Louis increased their graduation rate and a broader demographic by buying from big data or high school students. A lot colleges get 40% of their information from SAT’s and ACT test when students feel out surveys about majors and different schools. This data allowed schools to know which students they want and which students they need. A lot of schools used this data and now have 20% of students who are eligible for pell grants which means more colleges or universities accept students who make less than $30,000 a year. This information from this article would most likely go on the website I will create because it will give an insight into a college mind and how they market to students. This also allows high school students to know that colleges are look at you when they send you marketable things or even emails.

“Step Up to College.” Home - Philadelphia Futures, The Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that has a college process magazine called “Step Up to College.” This source will help me better understand the college process on an educational level other than a personal. I can use resources and explanations on their website for my college process magazine. This source also gives me insight into what high school students want in a magazine and on a website and what is beneficial to donors and adults.