School of the Future is a college preparatory secondary school. Throughout high school, students are supported in learning how to prepare themselves for applying and getting into the college of their choice.
Bridge to College
In the ninth and tenth grades, students take a class called Bridge to College. In this class, students learn how to set long- and short-term goals, the importance of good academic work habits, how to set expectations, and how to identify strengths—and those are just some of the concepts learned in the course. As students move up to the eleventh and twelfth grades, they have opportunities to focus more on preparing for the college application process.
SOF visited Pennsylvania on October 20-21 for an overnight college trip. Schools visited were Temple University, Drexel University, Franklin and Marshall and Ursinus College. 10th, 11th and 12th graders got to visit large and small public and private colleges in urban and suburban settings.
SAT and ACT Prep
SOF has tenth and eleventh graders take SAT and ACT prep classes twice a week during the daily schedule for a very small fee. Working with a prestigious outside company named Revolution Prep, all tenth and eleventh graders have an opportunity to receive excellent SAT and ACT prep training for when that important national test comes along. We feel this is a great equalizer in terms of making sure all students have a good chance of getting into the school of their choice. Low-fee test prep is one of the many important things made possible by Parents Association funding.
In eleventh and twelfth grade, a time known as Senior Institute, students take a college class once a week taught by Felix Shen, our high school college counselor. In this class, students learn how to apply to college, the types of colleges they might be interested in applying to, and how to write the college essay.
Along with this college class, we offer courses that have been certified by the NYC Department of Education as “College Readiness Courses,” such as calculus, physics 2, and AP classes in environmental science and English Literature. We also offer Baruch College classes, taught by visiting professors to our school. Students can take these courses at SOF and/or they can take college courses at Baruch and Hunter College, as well as NYU. In all college courses, students can earn college credits.
SOF juniors and seniors are also given the opportunity to visit colleges in upstate New York and Boston. There are several colleges that make the effort to come to SOF to present their colleges to our students. We are proud of our College Readiness program; it has helped our students over the past several years get into such prestigious colleges and universities as New York University, Tufts, University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis, Wesleyan, Pomona, Cornell, University of Virginia, Columbia, Barnard, University of Southern California, Middlebury, and Stony Brook as well as New York State Universities and many more.
The Internship Program at SOF
The internship program is an exciting opportunity for students to gain career experience in areas that interests them. Through unpaid internships, students are able to acquire job skills, meet new people, and develop their professionalism. Students at SOF choose to intern for a variety of organizations: businesses, schools, community service organizations, museums, arts organizations, and many more.
Here’s a sample from this semester:
NYC Councilmember Corey Johnson’s Office
Columbia University Physics Lab
Dewitt Head Start
The Intrepid Museum
Bullfrog and Baum Marketing Agency
Finish Line Physical Therapy
Prospect Park Zoo
ELR Media Group
Ethik Clothing Company
For one semester during both junior and senior years at SOF, students have available time on one day a week to attend an internship. Internship students are dismissed at 12:10.
Students also attend an internship class that meets once a week. In this class, students learn skills such as how to create a professional résumé, be successful in a job interview, create a budget, and use a credit card responsibly. They also discuss their experiences at their internships.
Students are assessed for their work at their internship site and in internship class. Supervisors at the internship sites complete final evaluation forms that determine most of the students’ grades. The remaining portion is based on the work students complete in internship class.
Here is what some of our students have said about their internships.
“I started an internship at Bellevue Hospital where I am volunteering as an assistant to nurses. I was put in the oncology department which deals with patients that have cancer or need to get chemotherapy. In this internship I was put to do multiple tasks including: organizing files for different patients, answering the phone, assisting to the nurses’ needs, offering patients food, water and supplies etc. I was able to adapt quickly to this new environment, which was both challenging and fun. This experience is helping to set me up for the real world, because I will have to learn to be independent; this is also related to the field I would like to study which is pre-med!” – Ashley ’19
“Interning at a non profit has been enriching for a myriad of reasons. I’ve learned that you can make a career based on something you are passionate about. I’m also gaining so many skills that I couldn’t have gained in school or at home. I feel prepared in a sense.”
– Aicha ’19
“I loved participating in an internship as a high school student because it helped me figure out what to major in in college. It also helped me understand and experience what an office job consists of. Also, it was great to be able to find an internship that was so close to my interests. Because I have a strong interest in fashion and marketing, my internship at ELR was perfect for me and it helped me learn so much about the industry that I am trying to enter after college. Lastly, it is great to be able to have a real internship on my resume before entering college and this will give me an advantage when trying to find new opportunities after/during college.” – Julia ’18
“Participating in internship as a high school student was a really good way for me to become acquainted with working in a professional environment, as well as develop the proper skills so that I can work under any condition. By being in internship class I also matured into a more focused and cautious person, doing things for the better of the group instead of for personal gains. I learned how to balance my time, and work in the most efficient way that did not allow for my life outside of internship to clash with my life in my internship at the Coding Space.” –Blaise ’18