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A College Coach for a Sophomore?

When is the right time to hire a college coach? Ted Murguia outlines the opportunities that comes when starting early.

“I see the value of a college coach, but isn’t that just to help with college applications?”

I hear that from surprised parents when it is suggested that college coaching can start as early as freshman year and often sophomore year.  But why?

Personally, I much prefer starting early with students because there is a lot more value in the relationship. The simple math is this: if I start working with a senior in September as he or she is contemplating applications, there is nothing I can do about the past; the grades are the grades, the class choices are done, the extracurricular activities are what they are--all I can do is help present history in the best possible light and perhaps suggest a better balanced college list.

If I start a relationship with a sophomore, I can help make wise choices in classes (if you are thinking of pre-med, challenge yourself in chem and bio; if you’d like engineering as an option, set a path for AP Calc BC, which could include a summer of geometry); I can identify enrichment opportunities even for the best students. I can also help students be thoughtful and intentional about their extra-curricular activities and prepare the student to answer the question many colleges ask, such as, “How are you going to contribute to our community?”--and be able to back it up with well-informed opinions and evidence in behavior. If the student is a photographer or a writer, let’s start building a portfolio outside of school, and let’s get it published. If the student is an athlete, let’s put a plan in place to do community service with your team, or teach little kids how to play. As a sophomore, the opportunities to build an action-proven story are endless; as a senior, all we can do is write about the past.  

So yes, I am a huge fan of starting early.