2011 and 2012 graduates report college life to be "easy"
Students who graduate from Tech Valley High School are well prepared for the academic rigors of college, TVHS graduates report.
Members of the classes of 2012 and 2011 report success in their classes and being ahead of their fellow college classmates — thanks to the challenges put before them by TVHS.
Class of 2012 graduate Siana Botts reports academic success at New England College, where she is studying early childhood education.
In one of her first classes of the year, the professor announced students would spend the semester learning how to create a digital portfolio to save their work in while at college. TVHS students create digital portfolios in their freshmen year of high school.
"The whole purpose of my first class of the day is to make a digital portfolio to show and save our work for the next four years... The teacher spent the first 30 minutes answering questions about what a portfolio is," Botts said.
Meanwhile, at Ithaca College, fellow 2012 graduate Nate Hileman said the self-direction skills TVHS nurtured in him are paying dividends in college.
"Self-direction is the biggest skill I learned at Tech Valley. It was the hardest thing I had to learn at TVHS, but it is paying off the most," he said. "I had real issues with self-direction in 9th and 10th grades, but I came around and now it the one skill that is helping me to succeed in college."
Class of 2011 graduate Rose Biggerstaff concurred about self-direction and time management skills being huge assets in college.
"I look around every day and I see people struggling with things such as time management and communication — things that I learned to do in high school," said the Sage College student.
Fellow 2011 graduate Chelsea Naylor, who has recently helped her college professors link with TVHS for professional sharing, also concurs about how prepared TVHS graduates are for college life.
"Tech Valley's workload is much like the workload here at college. ... I can't thank Tech Valley enough for easing that stressor for me," she said. She and classmate Cody Bellair added that the communication skills they learned at TVHS were also very important at college.
"I had a workshop on presentation skills in my engineering class that reminded me of my days as a freshman at TVHS. Easy stuff now," said Bellair, who attends Union College.
Class of 2011 graduate A.J. Pelland said his education at TVHS led him to change career paths in college.
"Tech Valley taught me how to look at a problem from all angles and consider all of the possibilities and then try to find the best possible solution to the problem. My major this year is Electrical Engineering Technology (EET), and innovation and problem solving definitely play a major part in my learning now," said the Hudson Valley Community College sophomore. "In fact, it was the reason I switched my major from Auto Body Repair to EET."
Kate Berdan, who graduated TVHS earlier this year, said the knowledge imparted on TVHS students has some unexpected benefits.
"Tech literacy is the most important skill I learned. It's amazing how many people have never even heard of Google docs. Plus, it makes you tons of friends when everyone comes to you for their computer problems!" she said.
Ninety-five percent of TVHS graduates attend college. Many attend institutions such as Ithaca College, NYU, Union College, RPI and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
The top photo shows Class of 2012 graduate TVHS Nate Hileman.
The bottom photo shows Class of 2011 graduate Rose Biggerstaff