New committee promotes BVH college-going culture

Members hope to encourage students to apply to college

Numerous+college+pennants+hang+in+IB+English+HL+Teacher+Eric+Helle%27s+classroom+as+he+instructs+his+seventh+period+Speech+and+Theater+course.++Helle+is+among+the+BVH+staff+members+who+are+part+of+the+College-Going+Culture+Committee.
Numerous college pennants hang in IB English HL Teacher Eric Helle's classroom as he instructs his seventh period Speech and Theater course.  Helle is among the BVH staff members who are part of the College-Going Culture Committee.

Numerous college pennants hang in IB English HL Teacher Eric Helle's classroom as he instructs his seventh period Speech and Theater course. Helle is among the BVH staff members who are part of the College-Going Culture Committee.

Benjamin Ayala

Benjamin Ayala

Numerous college pennants hang in IB English HL Teacher Eric Helle's classroom as he instructs his seventh period Speech and Theater course. Helle is among the BVH staff members who are part of the College-Going Culture Committee.

Benjamin Ayala, Staff Writer

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Benjamin Ayala
Numerous college pennants hang in IB English HL Teacher Eric Helle’s classroom as he instructs his seventh period Speech and Theater course. Helle is among the BVH staff members who are part of the College-Going Culture Committee.

The College-Going Culture Committee, a program that was implemented at Bonita Vista High this semester, hopes to change the BVH culture to view college as a viable option. The committee was built from the fact that only about 30 to 35 percent of kids go to 4-year universities according to Principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D. By the year 2022, the committee’s target is for 90 percent of BVH students to have that opportunity.

 

“I think the overall idea is if a kid comes to BVH, what is the path that kid is going to take when they graduate? Can we ensure that every student that comes to Bonita Vista High School has the opportunity to pursue that same kind of path?” IB English Teacher Eric Helle said.

 

Helle is one of over 20 BVH staff members who participated in the College-Going Culture Committee’s first meetings in early September.

 

“The committee reflects on the current culture of the school. It looks at where we have parts of our culture that are conducive to success and the programs that we see high number of kids graduating and going into 4-year schools from. Then, are there parts of our culture that really need critical addressing,” Helle said.  

 

Assistant Principal Jennifer Barker Heinz is one of the organizers of the committee’s meetings, states that teachers are motivated to attend meetings because they hope to change the BVH attitude towards college.

 

“We shared things that we can definitely improve on. It was open, we wanted it to be an opportunity to come up with a plan. The goal, is to make sure we’re fostering an environment where any kid could walk into anybody’s office and they should be able to talk about college and get answers,” Heinz said.

 

This meeting was organized with the purpose of having various perspectives from different teachers and their departments on the school’s culture on going to college.

 

“The teachers that were a part of the committee’s first meetings  are taking the ideas back to their Professional Learning Communities and getting some inputs from their departments about how they feel about our strengths and areas that we can improve on,” Heinz said.

 

Among the other staff members on the committee were Del Rosario, who sat alongside the other staff members and discussed his perspective on the BVH college-going culture.

 

“In the end, I would want the vast majority of students, which is about 90% or more, to be admitted to a 4 year university and have the prerequisite skills if they choose to go, to be successful. Ultimately, I would want all of our students to really understand what the possibilities of the wide array of careers with a college degree are,” Del Rosario said.

 

The College-Going Culture Committee wants to help students see the new opportunities created by attending a 4-year university.   

 

“Once we have that evaluation of where we are, we can really talk about what we’re doing to create that college-going culture and then, most importantly, what additional supports, structures, events, awareness campaigns we could take so that college becomes more of an option for our students,” Del Rosario said.

 

The staff members that joined the committee are motivated with the mentality to improve the college-going culture at Bonita Vista High. By creating systems to help guide students to the path of a four-year university.    

 

“One of the strengths are that there are a number of faculty members that believe that we should have a college-going culture. There are a number of staff members who have a vested interest in creating that kind of culture and all the support systems and safety nets that need to be in place in order to ensure that kids have access to higher learning,” Helle said.

 

The committee intends to continue meeting after fall break to develop a plan of action for promoting a BVH college-going culture.

 

“I really believe in importance of education. A four-year university is a gateway to having so many choices. Ultimately, I want students to be able to follow their passions and live purposeful meaningful lives that fulfill them,” Del Rosario said.

 

About the Contributor
Benjamin Ayala, Staff Writer

I am a 11th grade student  writer for the The Crusader. Journalism is, in my opinion, a very challenging extracurricular that takes an enormous amount...

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