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Published on March 24th, 2012 | by Staff 12-13


College center relocates to Business Building

ROAD TO COLLEGE: The College Center moved to the Vusiness building and updated technology to expand opportunities for college-bound students. (Molly Chaikin/The Samohi)

Alison Guh
Staff Writer

After months of preparing, Samo’s College Center moved to its new home in B115 and awaits updated technology to help students with their college application process.

“What we really want is to blitz you with information college-wise when you walk in,” college counselor Frank Gatell said. “I like to call it the ‘Times Square’ reference – when you walk into Times Square, you instantly are inundated with information. That’s what I’m hoping happens here.”

The College Center recently moved from their previous location in the administration building to their current location in the business building. According to Gatell, the move had been planned for a long time to allow the College Center to become more technology-based.

“This was a plan for quite a while,” Gatell said. “Even years ago, we had the idea of having the College Center in this location. The whole [move] was also to try to make [the College Center] a little more current and up to date.”

According to Gatell, the move will likely be completed after Spring Break.

“We can say we’ve done ‘Phase One’ of the move,” Gatell said. “’Phase Two’ is the audiovisual, computers and monitors stuff which will hopefully be done after Spring Break. We still have files in the administration building that we haven’t moved over because we’re still figuring out what’s working and what’s not working space and function-wise, but we’ll have everything over here eventually.”

The student body’s response to the move has been largely positive.

“At first, it seemed intimidating to go to the College Center because it was out of the way in the administration building,” junior Nobuhide Ajito said. “Now, [the College Center] is centralized in the school and I think it will be easier for everyone.”

Inside the new College Center, there is a room that will be used by both the College Center and the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) for lectures and presentations.

“We’re going to invite college representatives, when they come, to not only give a lecture about their university, but to go online and show you their university so that those [representatives] who are ready to present that way can give you a virtual tour of their campus,” Gatell said. “On top of that, because we’ll have more computers, there will hopefully be more interaction between the student and the representative, talking about the school, maybe going over the application.”

Furthermore, instead of going to students’ classrooms to make presentations about preparing for college, students will now come to the College Center.

“Instead of going to their classrooms, we’d like classes like Freshman Seminar and English classes to come here,” Gatell said. “When you talk to a student in their English class, they aren’t thinking about college, they’re thinking about English. What we’re trying to do is when you come in here, you start thinking college, or better yet, what’s going to happen after Samo.”

The counselors have also begun creating tutorials for students to assist them in learning the fundamental steps of the college process.

“We’d like to start building tutorials talking about the key points of the steps to applying to college because after a while, repeating yourself does get tiring,” Gatell said. “Of course that’s the job and every year, there’s a new group ready to go.”

Ultimately, according to Gatell, the new college center in the business building will assist students in their transition from Samo to their lives after high school.
“[The new College Center] will not only help students at Samo to get to the next level, but I think it will also get the necessary abundance of information for them to make a good decision for themselves and their futures,” Gatell said.

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