Take The Team Approach To A Good College Fit

Aristotle was an early proponent of “learning by doing”. Consider a hot topic in education these days called Project-Based Learning (PBL).

Yes, the book is still part of the U.S. History curriculum, but increasingly teachers are assigning say, a World War 1 documentary to a class team. PBLs are knocking down the barrier between book-learning and post-academic real-life projects.

It’s time to consider a PBL as an effective method to grow big-schooler knowledge about the college hunt.

There is so much more information about college classes, professors, application tricks, essay tips, undergraduate cultures and more than there was just 5 years ago.

It seems to me that it is time for high-schoolers to recruit a cadre of college-eager peers, say four or six like-minded students who agree to set up a calendar of obvious tasks and regularly meet for progress reports. The group’s goal would be to guide each other through the rush-to-apply process. In K-12 education, PBL has evolved to address core content through rigorous, hands-on learning. The PBL skills learned seem a perfect fit for college prep, whether discovering the quirkiest essay prompts of the University of Chicago, why Boston College kids refuse to use lunchroom trays or how Oberlin students can hang a Picasso in their dorm rooms.

Bonus points to inviting members to your PBL group from other schools who will no doubt have a fresh perspective on what’s important.

— Mike Ryan