Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
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College Admission Workshop
As you start thinking about applying to college, there are clear ways to make your applications—and yourself—stand out. Learn the latest insights and insider expertise from admission professionals about how to succeed in the application process. The College Admission Workshop is designed to give promising young women like you the best practices, guidance and top tips for successfully navigating the college application process. Your instructors are Smith’s professional admission staff, as well as visiting admission officers from other top-ranked colleges and universities.
Program Dates for 2021
Accepting students who will be rising 11th and 12th graders in 2021.
REMOTE: July 12–16
You’ve Got This!
You will learn how to write a compelling essay, ace a college interview and speak in public with ease and confidence—skills that will help you succeed in getting into college but will also help you succeed in life. You will attend workshops conducted by top admission and financial aid officers from Smith and other similar institutions. Selected workshop topics include affording college, critical thinking and reading, finding the right fit for postsecondary education, and taking a gap year.
Remote via Zoom
July 12–16, 2021
Classes are Monday–Friday
Additional synchronous sessions may be scheduled. Sessions will be scheduled at the instructor’s discretion and with student availability in mind.
What You Will Gain
A Polished Essay
You will finish the program with a completed, or semi-completed, admission essay to be used for the Common Application, as well as tips to customize your essay if the Common Application is not used.
Public Speaking & Interviewing Readiness
You will gain new confidence and skills for public speaking, specifically when interviewing and speaking comfortably about yourself and your achievements.
By developing skills in critical thinking and writing, including critical reading, revision, creating and defending an argument, you will learn how to read and revise your own work for any personal, professional, or academic writing assignment.
After attending the program, you will come away with a better idea of the type of college or university that is a good fit for you. We will have explored what type of learning environment you thrive in and your areas of academic interest, giving you an opportunity to compile a list of possible schools that are right for you and to which you will want to apply.
The College Admission Essay
Many students find the college admission essay to be one of the most difficult pieces to write because it can be challenging to strike a balance between “bragging” and “boring.” This session helps you find the right balance to ensure that you represent your best self on paper. Deconstruct past students’ essays to examine the most effective ways to write a compelling opening, develop a strong narrative and end with a memorable conclusion. Then, work on your own rough drafts for two Common Application questions. Personal instructor feedback will guide you through the writing process.
The College Admission Interview
One of the most stressful aspects of applying to college is the interview. Learn how to approach interviews, how to handle all impromptu speaking situations, and how to effectively introduce yourself and talk about your accomplishments and goals. This session is based on the public speaking class offered to Smith seniors. You will learn how to give a speech of introduction, overcome stage fright and construct a well-organized talk, all without having to rely on notes.
The on-campus program offers the same options as the remote program, plus the following.
The Transition to College Writing
The first week of this program addresses the transition to college writing. While all good writing shares similar qualities, what makes a piece “good” is context-dependent; the criteria, as well as the assignments, are often very different between college and high school. Based on the Colloquia in Writing course for Smith undergraduates, you will go through all the stages of a college essay: deconstructing the assignment; creating an efficient outline; writing a very rough first draft; making global revisions; and finally, adding the finishing touches to the final draft. This week-long process will help you acclimate to your first college semester as well as write the admissions essay the following week.
Peter Sapira, academic director for precollege creative writing and instructor, received his bachelor of arts in English from San Francisco State University and his master of fine arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In addition to his work with Precollege Programs, Peter also teaches composition and public speaking at Smith College.
As part of his work in the Smith College Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching & Learning, he helps students write grant proposals, graduate school and internship applications and cover letters, as well as essays for classes across the curriculum.