Part 2: Individualized College Planning for Prospective Students at Your Fingertips

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Part 1 of Individualized College Planning for Prospective Students at your Fingertips here


How Ownership Translates into Empowerment

Prospective students don’t want to be passive. They wish to cultivate knowledge that can be used to self-motivate the educational process. The cookie-cutter progression of planning for college, and planning a path through college is no longer appealing. Even the largest corporations have realized the inherent value of customization. Margalit also asserts,

The opportunity to take part in a process and influence the end result promotes emotional attachment that leads to psychological ownership, the feeling that something is ‘mine’ even without legal ownership

Arguably, the hardest part of university admissions is connecting with students, and helping them to see how they “fit” at a given institution. Counselors want potential students to view campus as their home, see faculty members as their mentors, and proudly display the school’s emblem on their car’s bumper. These are the signs of a “psychological ownership” that belies a level of commitment, and belonging; the coveted sense of “fit”.

Engaging in the process of planning a course through a degree program, and on to self-directed life goals, imbues students with a feeling of attachment: this is the exact feeling admissions counselors try to elicit during every interaction with an accepted student. Awato simply cultivates this sense of attachment and ownership through customizing the university’s offerings to students’ interests, seamlessly.

This level of ownership is crucial to the ultimate feeling of empowerment. Although, many people may assume that the students of today’s technology-driven, hyper-connected, global climate must feel a greater sense of control than generations preceding them, ironically, this is not the case.

Featured on Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Gray emphasizes.

“…the data indicate that young people’s belief that they have control over their own destinies has declined sharply over the decades.

Empowerment Leads to Enrollment

With more choices than ever before, shouldn’t young people perceive that they have a high level of control in their lives? So many overwhelming, vague, and generalized options may actually be leading to the anxiety seen in so many students today.

Students tend to flounder without

  • clear goals
  • determined ideals
  • actionable plans

As Katie Reilly reports for Time, college students, and colleges, are being crippled by the rise in emotional roadblocks to success:

“In spring 2017, nearly 40% of college students said they had felt so depressed in the prior year that it was difficult for them to function, and 61% of students said they had ‘felt overwhelming anxiety’…”

The struggle these students are facing has major ramifications to their college and career paths. Depression leads to a loss of function that keeps students from attending social events, internships, and even basic classes. This inhibits a student’s ability to learn and engage on campus, and can eventually create academic issues that may force them to abandon their goals. The anxiety that overwhelms some students can even cause them to withdraw from college before degree completion. Once students have made these choices, it is particularly difficult to overcome the hurdles to a future college education.

The feeling of loss over internal control in one’s life has a direct correlation to an increase in depression and anxiety, so the reverse is also true: Gray posits, “ [those] who believe that they are in charge of their own fate are less likely to become anxious or depressed”.

Giving students defined goals, helping them uncover their innate motivations, and aiding them in creating a personalized course of action is what Awato can do from the start. Preventing some of the causes of depression and anxiety in college students is a clear way to circumvent the negative repercussions of those struggles, and replace them with a sense of passion and purpose.

Colleges Need Empowered Students

Once we can give potential students back the control that the ambiguity of overwhelming choices takes from them, we will see happier students. Students who are;

  • less anxious
  • self-motivated
  • empowered
  • focused
  • determined

These are the students who make healthy life-decisions, motivated by excitement, and not fear. These are the students who can commit to a college, commit to a field of study, and commit to a career path, as they take the reigns and decide to live their best lives.

These are the students that enhance campus life, and reap the full benefits of the college experience. Those benefits should begin before classes do.

The Hechinger Report highlights how several strategic universities are realizing the benefits to beginning career-planning as early as possible. While colleges like Grinnell, Washington University, Clark, and many more have created programs to engage first-year students on a career-planning track, one problem facing all institutions is thin resources. Without enough career counselors, or funding for expanded career-grooming courses and experiences, it is still hard for universities to find a competitive edge with this new vision. Awato alleviates the burden on college staff, and moves up the timeline for success-planning in a way never-before possible.

Cutting-edge college programs are pushing the envelope by investing in long-term planning with first-year students. Awato offers the innovation of starting that incredibly important process with prospective students. Answering students’ top admissions questions can then become a connection that provides emotional attachment, psychological ownership, empowerment, and purpose. Prospective students can become partners with the institution that helps them plan for their dreams. Awato is the bridge of that partnership. Let us show you the future of college admissions success.

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