College Academy at Broward College has many benefits

Melaina Lawrence

Staff Writer

  Broward College is home to many gems. Among them, is College Academy. Full of bright and resourceful students, the small population interacts with the college’s staff, professors and organizations in an enriching and mutually beneficial connection.

  Because College Academy caters to students who want to be academically challenged, some have shied away. Elvis Rodriguez, now College Academy senior, wrote the school off as a “small school full of nerds,” initially. Despite reservations, he applied with the intent to improve himself and achieve more in a rigorous environment. Now, after spending a year there, his fondest memories involve studying in library rooms with friends. 

  The “small, familial community of students relying on and getting to know each other” that Assistant principal Jenny Thelwell notes separates the small high school from a regular one quickly became a part of Rodriguez’ routine and ultimately what he loves the most. In his College Academy restricted courses, he enjoyed the friendly teachers, who were more than willing to offer help at any given moment and students offering up the same in the form of social aid.

  Director of Student Services, Jodie Weinstein, describes College Academy in one word as “advantaged.” Being both a current student or an alumni holds weight in ensuring success after high school. 

  Being in College Academy offers students experience in a collegiate environment, a networking pool of like-minded people and best of all a free degree. 

  Nya Hitchman recalls expecting her new school to be academically challenging and so she felt intimidated and nervous. Through constant support from counselors and friends, she learnt how to balance her new learning environment and most importantly, though it was hard, nothing was out of her comfort zone or too overbearing for her, simply different than what she was used to.

  Transitioning from a larger high school to College Academy can be a culture shock. but here are some tips from the senior class of 2023:

  Join clubs. There is something for everyone at College Academy. Clubs are a great way to start your school year networking and in an environment that will help teach you accountability—remember that you are not limited to only CA clubs. BC offers a wide variety of clubs that you can take part in and also gain leadership experience.

  Try not to stay in a clique.

It is nice if you have friends from your previous high school, but remember to branch out, meet new people and gain new experiences. This campus is your oyster. 

  Study, and Study some more. It is a bit on the nose, but always ensure you are dedicating enough time to study. Find methods that work for you and use them to ensure you stay successful. A perk of being in this college environment is that a plethora of resources such as office hours, the ASC- are here to help you navigate studying. Our seniors recommend study rooms because they are secluded and provide a quiet place for studying as a group, but in a way that makes it engaging.

  Learn formats for scholarly essays. Writing at the college level is quite different from writing at the high school level. Speak to professors about what is required of you and learn official formats such as MLA and APA and use them when needed.

  Don’t stress. ‘It may feel overwhelming, but it will eventually be manageable”, senior Emma Ahearn, said after her first year. Though it may seem like everyone else is thriving while you seem to be having a hard time, slow down. Be mindful and remember to seek out your resources, whether you need academic, social or personal help there are tools created to help you navigate them. Speak to your counselors, teachers or even the senior class about any concerns.

  Be organized. Create checklists, take the time to prioritize workload, make goals and keep up with them, use the varied supplemental tools at your disposal such as a planner (digital or physical), timer clocks, sticky notes, legal pads. 

  Lastly, Have Fun! Try not to feel guilty for taking breaks or for not doing work, work, work 24/7. Make time for yourself to do things you like whether it is with friends or by yourself.

College Academy students. Image Courtesy of Melaina Lawrence