Map Reveals Diverse Plans for Graduates


Vaughn Luthringer, Staff Writer

Walking through A-Hall, it’s hard to miss the maps on the wall, covered with pins for colleges.

Career Center Advisor Joan Batcheller is the mind behind the map, and there’s a big story behind all those pins. “It’s [the map] a tradition, so when my kids were here ten years ago, people built houses,” Batcheller explained. Each house represents a different school that a graduating student will be attending.

The map not only boasts of the college plans for current seniors, but also provides a link for future seniors. “Other students can get ideas of all the different variety of schools kids are attending,” said Batcheller. “If they’re interested in a school, let’s just say University of Rochester, they know that there’s a student there, they can contact me, and then I can put them in contact with a student that’s there so they can learn more about that school from one of our students.”

Batcheller explained that recently, students have become more adventurous when it comes to college choices. “Fifty percent of our kids go out of state now, and it’s something that kids are more open to,” she said. “California is a great state, but finances are a big part of that.”

According to Batcheller, students are more open to the idea of going to a lesser-known college, and receiving scholarship money, rather than attending a popular, expensive university.

In addition,more students are attending community college. “A lot of our kids go to community college. It’s a big thing that you see now, thirty kids went last year,” Batcheller said. “I think community college is a huge change in our way we do things, a lot more kids are going,” she added. “$1,200 to go community college versus $35,000 to go to a UC, so you can save a lot of money by going to community college.”

“Everyone has different reasons for why they chose the school, how the process was for them,” Batcheller said. She mentioned that students in leadership are typically best prepared. “They [leadership] all have a different story to tell, and I think that’s true about the college process,” she said. “Some people start it early and they had no stress, because they were on top of it, and other kids who waited until the last minute, and had more stress.”

Senior Maria Wong, has chosen to stay in California by attending UC Berkeley. “I applied to thirteen schools, and Cal was the only one in-state that I applied to,” she said. “I always thought I would go to a small liberal arts college.”

Wong’s small school interest was Hamilton, a liberal arts college in upstate New York. “2000 students, super different compared to Cal,” she said. “But I realized I really love the Bay Area, and I just really liked all the people who I was meeting at Cal, and academics are so great.”

At Berkeley, Wong will be participating in a program called Global Edge, in which she is able to study abroad as a freshman. “I’ll be living in Berkeley for my summer, taking classes, and then during the fall, I’ll be living in London with other Berkeley students, taking classes, hopefully traveling around Europe.”

While many Campolindo graduates will follow Wong to a large university, senior Kaley Grupe is an example of the growing trend that runs counter to the traditional path. She’ll be traveling to the City of Refuge Ministries in Ghana. “Both of my parents are from Germany, and that’s a very European thing to do, to just sort of take a gap year and go somewhere,” Grupe explained.

“It’s always a nice way to start a conversation with people, because they’ll see it, and be like, ‘Oh woah, where are you going? What are you doing? Why are you going?'” Grupe said. “It’s nice to do something a little different and a little more interesting.” Grupe made her house for the college map by hand, as opposed to other students, who had pre-made stickers with their college name at their disposal.

Each year the college and career center hosts an event where seniors create their “houses” for the college map.  This that do not attend are still welcome to make a “house” and provide it to Batcheller so that she can add it to the map.