As CTA is a college preparatory high school, nearly 100% of our graduates continue on to a four-year college or university. Many of our graduates will spend a year in Israel between high school and college.
This year, known as a GAP year, is being encouraged by more and more universities. Colleges have discovered that when students enter college a year older, already having spread their wings, they enter as more serious and focused students. This web-page details some information both on the college application process as well as the post-high school year in Israel. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Upper School Counselor.
College Counseling at CTA is a thoughtful and individualized program designed to help each student find the right fit for college – a place where s/he can develop to his/her fullest potential.
Beginning in the Spring of sophomore year, students will meet with the High School counselor to begin the self-examination necessary in making what islikely the most important decision the student has ever made in his/her life up to that point. Students are encouraged to enroll in the most challenging courses that are appropriate and work for the best grades possible.
As a Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School, we encourage students to carefully consider the importance of Jewish life when selecting colleges. At the student’s request, the college counselor will help students search for schools that offer a kosher meal plan.
For more resources, go to Mrs. Delman’s College Guidance and Counseling page here.
Mrs. Eliza Delman, CTA High School counselor holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. She is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors.
Post High School Year in Israel Like so many other Modern Orthodox Jewish Day Schools in America, much of our energy is spent trying to develop in our students a connection to the Land and State of Israel. Actually going to Israel to study is the natural culmination of years of Jewish Day School learning.
Spending the post-high school year in Israel is, for many of our students, a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to spend so much time immersed in Judaism, in “the place where it all happened,” without other distractions and responsibilities. For those who have been fortunate enough to embark on this experience, it is viewed as a most cherished time in life.
Is the Post High School Year in Israel for Everyone? Nothing is for everyone. For various reasons, not every 18 year old is ready to be so far from home. Certainly it is a challenge, but it is a challenge that the vast majority of our students are ready for. The key is finding the right place for each student to go – a place where s/he will feel comfortable and happy.
There are two basic types of experiences – programs and schools. Programs are more experiential and less academically oriented. Some programs stress Zionism or community service or hiking or even army training. Schools are more intense opportunities for academically oriented students to really work on their skills in Jewish learning. Yeshivot are for boys and Seminaries are for girls. Students who return from the Yeshivot and Seminaries are much better prepared and inspired to continue their Jewish learning as adults throughout their lives.
How can I find out about these places? Right now, we are working on a list of schools and programs where CTA graduates have gone. A more complete list is available at Yeshiva University’s Website by clicking here. CTA students should speak to the CTA Judaic faculty and graduates and friends and family who have experience with these schools and programs and can give you more information.
How Does this Affect College? CTA seniors are carefully instructed to call the Admissions Offices of the colleges in which they are interested to ask if those colleges accept deferrals. This means that CTA seniors apply to college, get accepted, and then request a deferral for a year of study abroad. The vast majority of colleges accept this, but the students must check to make sure. Some schools say that they do not accept deferrals, when in fact they do for such academic purposes as this one. No matter what their websites say, it is always good to call and speak to an actual Admissions Officer.
Most colleges will look very favorably upon this experience. Students who spend their post-high-school year doing something enriching usually make better college students. They enter college a year older, more mature, and more ready to settle down and focus on academics. On a more personal level, these students come to college with much deeper and stronger Jewish identities.
An article written by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen on the subject of Israel, preparing students for life was published in Jewish Action magazine and can be found here.
Students who go on to study at Yeshiva University/Stern College or Touro College will easily transfer their credits and begin college as a sophomore. At secular colleges and universities, students may be able to receive some elective credits after meeting with the college’s academic advisor. The students will likely need to bring an official transcript and course descriptions from their school in Israel. College Admissions officers are not normally aware of how this works, and they will probably not be able to answer questions of this nature. These questions should be fielded to the appropriate academic Dean’s office.