Essays, Learning Design, Peace

For the past three months, we have been working with students from around the globe to finalize their U.S. college application packages. For admission, our students are writing essays for the common application (the application that can be used to apply to over 1,000 universities and colleges) as well as unique supplemental essays for the University of California schools, University of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and many more.

Students come to us with a range of essays: some half-baked and others near completion. Some filled with A.I content and others filled with toiled over sentences about the nuances of their feelings. Our job is to help students bring their writing to a place that shows the best version of themselves for a college campus.A high quality college application essay is much more than “good writing”; it is more than varied vocabulary, complex sentence structure, or a strong narrative arc. In fact, “good writing” is only about a third of what college admissions officers are looking for. The other two thirds answer the following two questions: Who are you? And, what will you contribute to our college campus?

To answer those questions, students need to spend time reflecting on who they are, who they’ve become through their experiences, what unique skills they have, and how they want to move forward in the world. These reflections take time, and they are profoundly impactful to the quality of their writing and the quality of their self-knowledge – both of which will allow them to confidently and authentically navigate college and career.

We love this process. In the Fall seasons, we look forward to continuing to help students in their final stages. In the Spring seasons, we look forward to providing space and facilitation for students to start working on these essays earlier. We’ve seen, over and over again, that the more time students have to reflect on their stories, the stronger their application will be. Our College Essay Course does just this: through a fun and engaging environment, students come together to write their college essays. By doing so, they are better prepared for college application season and for life.

On a more personal note, we have some exciting news:

Mike recently accepted a position as an Educational Development Specialist at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He will be working in the Office for Teaching & Learning to spread high-quality pedagogical practices throughout the University and help faculty bring their ideal classrooms to life. He is very excited about this position!

Alongside Elie’s work as Peace Teacher at Lafayette Elementary, DC’s largest public elementary school, he is speaking at Peace of Mind’s annual conference in DC on January 27th. Elie has also begun writing about peace on our InnerView blog.

We are grateful to be able to balance positions that push our practice while continuing to build InnerView. We’re in this for the long-term, and we look forward to working towards more just, student-centered, and peaceful education systems.