When the idea first came to me, I had my doubts: A radio show? Really?
The notion struck me as so 1940s, and I immediately thought of those black and white photos of families huddled around the radio, listening intently. Would that work in 2014? Would students and families really listen?
Turns out they do. Access College is now in its second season on KPFK 90.7 fm in Los Angeles. And whether people are streaming it online, downloading the podcast, or actually tuning in on Sunday afternoons, there really does seem to be a high demand for information about how to get into college.
Access College is a radio show dedicated to providing the public with better information about college admissions and better access to higher education. It’s an outgrowth of my work in college admissions at Caltech, UCLA and Scripps and my work with students and families in my college admissions consulting business, Colledge. This is my passion—helping students and families successfully navigate the college admissions process.
My years in the college admissions world made it clear to me that more than anything, students and families crave information about what colleges are looking for and how the college admissions process really works. I wanted to find a way to satisfy that craving for as broad an audience as possible, regardless of background or circumstances.
In 2013, we focused on some very basic questions about applying for college: Why go to college? What are the costs of college? What makes a good personal essay? How do you find and communicate your passion?
This year, we’ve delved more deeply, unpacking several specific perspectives on the college admissions process. We went inside Caltech’s admissions office to the get the scoop on how admissions decisions are made at one of the nation’s most selective universities. We’ve looked closely at admissions for students strong in math and science. We’ve done a show on admissions for arts programs. We’ve even done a show on how to transfer from one college to another. And the feedback we’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.
All of our episodes are available for immediate listening on iTunes (search for Access College) and on my website thecolledge.org.
Our final Access College broadcast for this season, “The Future of Higher Education” featuring several WACAC members from our the San Jose conference this spring, will air this Sunday, October 5th, 1:30 pm in Los Angeles on KPFK 90.7 fm.
You’ll also be able to find me here on this blog, with a monthly post on my work in college admissions. I’m thrilled to be part of the conversation here, and look forward to hearing readers’ thoughts and comments as we explore these critical issues together.
By Jenny Umhofer