Titan 101 changed and improved for incoming freshmen

The Class of 2017 will be under a new and improved Titan 101 program, according to Assistant Principal Trinity Klein and senior Student Body Vice President Laura Tao.

At the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, the administration along with then Student Body Vice President Kabir Gill implemented a program solely for freshmen called Titan 101, with the purpose of easing the transition from middle school to a high school environment. However, after mixed feelings about the effectiveness of the program and ultimately negative feedback from participants, the administration administered a survey late last school year. The survey was intended to determine the effectiveness of the program as well as places for improvement, and the administration used the survey results to revamp the Titan 101 program for freshmen this year. Approximately 75 percent of last year’s freshman class completed the survey, and parents were given the option to provide feedback via email.

According to Klein, general topics of the new Titan 101 program include an introduction session at the beginning of the year, two meetings with their counselors, Homecoming boot camp, a finals-preparation session, a Not In Our Schools week meeting, and more. The refining of the Titan 101 program was an effort made by many—including Klein, Student Activities Director Lisa Hall and Tao. Tao is involved in leading Link Crew and helped coordinate Freshmen Orientation (considered a Titan 101 meeting). “My main responsibilities so far for Titan 101 have been organizing my end of things with the [Link Crew] leader groups, and giving feedback on the schedule to Ms. Klein, the head of Titan 101,” Tao wrote in an e-mail. “As the year progresses, I’ll be more heavily involved in attending and planning meetings, as well.”

According to Tao, most of last year’s freshmen felt that they were wasting their time meeting once or twice a month. “This year, we’ll only have about half the Titan 101 meetings [than] we did last year,” Tao wrote. “Tentatively, we’ll have seven of them throughout the year, which is less than once a month.”

In addition, the administrators of Titan 101 addressed other common distresses. “We redid the whole curriculum, kept things that were useful and got rid of anything that wasn’t,” Klein said in an interview. “We’re really depending on the good stuff.”
Tao also insists that the new program will be much more efficient. “We’re also making sure that the meeting time will be spent wisely.”
According to Klein, the main issue last year’s freshmen were concerned about was dealing with the extra burden that Titan 101 seemed to place on their daily schedules. Specifically, the now-sophomores were concerned about missing Tuesday Tutorial time as well as missing other prior out-of-school and extracurricular commitments. “We did the best we could to mitigate that conflict,” Klein said.

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