On the Spot Admissions!
Posted on 11/21/2019

Report to Room 143. Bring your SAT or ACT scores and a laptop or smart phone. Fill out a short online application. Sit down for 5-10 minutes with an admission counselor. Boom – you may receive an acceptance letter to become an Eastern Washington Eagle next fall.
There’s beauty in how Rogers High School in Puyallup has simplified and streamlined the college admissions process for its high school seniors. We found this out by spending a recent morning observing an “On-The-Spot Admissions” event at Rogers, during which more than two dozen students received good news, an acceptance letter, an EWU pennant, and black and red pom poms

Trinity is a senior at Rogers, who was admitted to Eastern Washington University via an ‘On-The-Spot Admissions’ event at Rogers. She plans to pursue a career in secondary education and wants to be a principal.

“Some people don’t know how to apply to college,” said Rogers senior and Running Start student Trinity. Inviting admissions staff from two- and four-year public and private institutions to come to Rogers makes it “easy” and instills confidence in students, she said, particularly for first generation college students. Trinity 

said the guided, hands-on assistance from AVID teacher Colleen Pancake made her feel “confident and prepared.”

Pancake, who was named a Puyallup School District Teacher of the Year in 2017-18, said the idea to invite colleges to Rogers blossomed out of a conversation three years ago with a friend of hers who worked in admissions at Central Washington University.

“After Central came, and it was a success, we thought, ‘Why can’t we partner with other schools for similar events?’”

Soon after came Eastern, Washington State University, Boise State, Pacific Lutheran, and local two-year colleges like Pierce College, Green River Community College, Highline College, and Clover Park Technical College. A few of the students remarked that the school’s approach turned what used to be an intimidating application process into an exciting recruitment exercise. Students felt wanted, and that gave them more confidence as they were planning their path after high school.

At first, the events were only offered to AVID students. But Rogers Principal Jason Smith – who was named 2019 Washington High School Principal of the Year – said the events became so popular, the school decided to open them up to all seniors. Now hundreds of students show up annually at these events and walk away with relief, confidence, and a plan for the future

On this particular day, 87 seniors signed up for the opportunity to meet with staff from Eastern. Ismael was another one of those seniors. Ismael – who has been an AVID student since 7th grade – wants to study criminal justice and become a police officer.

“Eastern is where I want to be,” Ismael said. “It’s my top choice.”