Employees and Their Children Get College Admissions Advice

Duke Admissions gives University employees and their children insight into admissions

: Duke Admissions gives University employees and their children insight into college admissions process

Jill Chaskes Foster’s daughter, Michaela, just wrapped up her first year of high school, but Michaela and her mom are already thinking about college. 

As her daughter mulls over potential schools, Foster is wondering how to plan for future college visits. 

“I’m an information seeker by nature,” said Foster, undergraduate program assistant for the Department of Biology. “I feel calmer when I do my research.” 

Foster gained insights during “College Knowledge,” a seminar hosted by Duke’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions in May. The seminar was open to full-time Duke University employees with children in 8th, 9th and 10th grades. 

About 350 Duke University employees and their children attended the free session to learn about choosing appropriate classes in high school, when to start visiting colleges and how to select extracurricular activities. Information about the Duke Children’s Tuition Grant Program is also presented.

“College Knowledge” does not focus on admission to Duke or any specific college. Families interested in learning more about admission to Duke are encouraged to sign up for an information session and tour through the Duke Admissions website.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag and Admissions Officer Sonam Aidasani led the workshop.

Jill Chaskes Foster, center left, attended the Duke Admissions seminar to learn more about preparing for college. Her daughter, Michaela, far right, just finished her first year of high school. Photo courtesy of Jill Chaskes Foster.“We wanted to share our experience with Duke employees at a point when it would be particularly helpful,” Guttentag said. “We’ve found that the earlier families have useful information about college admissions the less stressful it can be. Families can feel more in control of the process.”

The seminar convinced Jill Chaskes Foster that she doesn’t need to schedule tours with university admissions offices just yet for Michaela. It’s better for them to have an informal walk around campuses.

“Michaela is interested in so many subjects it’s hard to know where she’ll land,” Foster said. “Better to just let her experience campuses organically by walking around. All of the nitty-gritty detail can come later.”  

Get the “College Knowledge” presentation slides here

Other workshops will be announced in the future.

Have a story idea or news to share? Share it with Working@Duke.