College Admission Workshop


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

We are currently planning for in-person and online options for summer 2021. We hope to have more information about what our offerings will look like by early 2021.

Happening Now! Smith Precollege Online

Join us for one of our online programs. Choose from weekend crash courses and non-academic community workshops. Our online opportunities are for students in grades 9-12, plus any interested current gap year students. Visit Precollege Online.

As you start thinking about applying to college, there are clear ways to make your applications—and yourself—stand out. Learn the latest insights and insider expertise from admission professionals about how to succeed in the application process.

This one-week College Admission Workshop is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors to give promising young women like you the best practices, guidance, and top tips for successfully navigating the college application process. Your instructors are Smith's professional admission staff, as well as visiting admission officers from other top-ranked colleges and universities.

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to write a compelling essay, ace a college interview and speak in public with ease and confidence—skills that will help you succeed in getting into college but will also help you succeed in life.

Classes are held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Attendance is required at every scheduled event. You will attend workshops conducted by top admission and financial aid officers from Smith and other similar institutions. Selected workshop topics include affording college, critical thinking and reading, finding the right fit for postsecondary education, and taking a gap year.

What You Will Cover

Throughout the week, you’ll participate in the following classes:

  • How to write a college admission essay

Many students find the college admission essay to be one of the most difficult pieces to write because it can be challenging to strike a balance between "bragging" and "boring." This session helps you find the right balance to ensure that you represent your best self on paper.

  • How to ace a college admission interview

One of the most stressful aspects of applying to college is the interview. We teach you how to approach these interviews, how to handle all impromptu speaking situations, and how to effectively introduce yourself and talk about your accomplishments and goals.

  • How to give an introductory speech

There are settings in which you may be asked to give this type of speech, often called "A Speech of Introduction," whether at a conference, a job interview, or an academic class. This session is based on the curriculum for the public speaking class offered to Smith seniors. You will learn how to give a speech of introduction, overcome stage fright, and construct a well-organized talk, all without having to rely on notes.

  • How to write a college-level essay

Based on the Colloquia in Writing course for Smith undergraduates, this session will help you learn both the basic and advanced techniques of creating a thesis and supporting an argument throughout an essay. You will also learn the differences in requirements and expectations between high school and college essays.

What You Will Gain

You will finish the program with a completed, or semi-completed, admission essay to be used for the Common Application, as well as tips to customize your essay if the Common Application is not used.

You will have prepared for and gained new confidence when interviewing, learning how to speak comfortably when talking about yourself and your achievements.

After attending the program, you will come away with a better idea of the type of college or university that is a good fit for you. We will have explored what type of learning environment you thrive in and your areas of academic interest, giving you an opportunity to compile a list of possible schools that are right for you and to which you will want to apply.

Our Faculty

Peter Sapira

Academic Director and instructor Peter Sapira received his bachelor of arts in English from San Francisco State University and his master of fine arts in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In addition to his work with the summer programs, Peter also teaches composition and public speaking at Smith College. As part of his work in The Smith College Writing Center, he helps students write grant proposals, graduate school, and internship applications and cover letters, as well as essays for classes across the curriculum. He has had short stories published in Anarchy, Inkwell, The Carolina Review, The Black River Review, The Literary Review, and the Pleiades. Folio Literary Management currently represents his first novel, Billy Hill.

Morgan Sheehan

Morgan Sheehan-Bubla received her BFA from Tisch at New York University and MFA from the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. At Smith she introductory college writing with a focus on rhetoric and persuasion. At Western New England University she teaches composition courses that prepare students for college-level essays and writing beyond the classroom. In the summer Morgan teaching YA fiction in the Smith-Young Women’s Workshop and helps students hone their application essays. Morgan has had plays produced in the United States and Britain and is a published poet.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Smith College Precollege Programs welcomes international students each year from around the world into our programs. You'll find that our small classes, similar to the undergraduate experience at Smit ... Read More

Smith College Precollege Programs welcomes international students each year from around the world into our programs. You'll find that our small classes, similar to the undergraduate experience at Smith, offer exceptional learning in an environment where women are taken seriously and inspired to excel as leaders. Smith is located in the northeastern region of the United States, an area with some of the highest concentrations of international students anywhere in the country. Read less