July 12, 2021

York Country Day School Creates Individualized Roadmap for Student Success in College

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Starting in 8th grade, students at York Country Day School begin exploring the college-research process to help them find the best fit.

Stella Kibinda can quickly name the things that are important to her in choosing a college: good engineering program, close to home, and school spirit.

For the 2021 high school graduate from York Country Day School (YCDS), that criteria helped her narrow down her lengthy list of accepting schools, which included Drexel University, Virginia Tech, Temple University, and Syracuse University, among others. She chose Penn State’s main campus, where she will start in the fall and study Biomedical Engineering.

“I don’t think I would be ready for college if it weren’t for York Country Day School,” she says. “If I didn’t have their support, I think I’d be clueless about where to start.”

Early Advantage

At York Country Day School, students embark in the College Counseling program in 8th grade. With the help of Mr. Jake Doll, Director of College Counseling, students prepare for the transition into upper school classes while keeping an eye on the end goal: finding a college or university that’s a fit for them.

Many times, Doll says, choosing a school is about what feels right. It’s about liking the campus, enjoying the food, and making connections.

For 2021 graduate Emily Lambert, who will study English with a Concentration in Creative Writing at Boston University, she developed her “college wish list” in 10th grade. She wanted to be in a city, to be surrounded by a diverse student body, and to enroll in a university known for its reputation and prestige.

Attending a Creative Writing course at York College of Pennsylvania solidified her career path. During junior and senior year, YCDS students take at least one York College course each semester, resulting in several credits that can transfer and give them an advantage when they begin their college education.

Finding the Right Path

The success of the program, Doll says, is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan. Through helping students identify career aspirations, to meeting with families, reviewing application processes, and even conducting mock interviews with real college representatives, each student is given an opportunity to find the right path.

Doll also helps with determining the right financial fit for a student. For students like Kibinda, that meant helping her earn a full scholarship to Penn State and remove the burden of cost from her decision in choosing a school.

“Now, I can take part in every opportunity presented to me,” she says. “That’s going to change my future for the better.”

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