Education Beyond High School

An Interview with JAHS College Advisor


College Advisor Denis Dwyer helps students prepare for life after high school.

With the seniors about to graduate, John Adams’ college advisor Denis Dwyer was very busy assisting students through the college application process. He stated that the most popular schools among the graduating students are the CUNY colleges because students seem to be attracted to the variety of available programs, the close proximity to their homes and the reasonable costs of the schools. Although many students are still unsure of what they want to major in, others have expressed interest in nursing, business and criminal justice programs.

“While it is nice to know what you want to study while still in high school, college affords you the opportunity to explore interests and decide after you get there. Besides, many students will change their minds in college anyway,” Dwyer said about the indecisions.

“It is a wonderful feeling and one that I enjoy sharing with students,” Dwyer said when asked how he feels when a student shares their dream school acceptance news with him. “People work very hard to achieve their goals and it is gratifying to see that hard work pay off.”

Dwyer mentioned that the most ideal time for a student to start the college-planning process is well before their senior year since it is less stressful then, and it is more helpful for students to have an idea of where they would like to go come senior year. Students could apply and submit their college applications in the early fall of their senior year this way. “I also recommend that juniors begin to research applications, sit for the SAT or ACT, start gathering recommendation letters and begin their college essay before senior year. It just makes things easier for them,” he said.

Regarding starting college in the Spring semester, Dwyer noted that the decision is one which should not be taken lightly since it requires a definitive plan as it may not always be beneficial to students; competitive colleges also do not view it positively.

A piece of advice that Dwyer would like to give to students soon attending college is that “transitioning to and attending college is a potentially difficult challenge. However, the payoff is great when you achieve your goals. Use your time in college to explore your interests and develop your skills and character so that you can become your best version.”