Summer College Essay Workshop offered Virtually

The College Essay Workshop is a workshop that will help rising seniors understand what college admissions officers desire in a college essay. The workshop will focus on the principles of good writing, including the components of a compelling narrative. 


According to flyers posted around the school, students get to plan, draft, write, share, and receive feedback from multiple writing teachers. They will learn about creating an application with purpose and consistency through example essays and readings.


The workshop will be held August seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth. There are two time options available for students, who can choose the time that works best for them. The time options are 7:30-10:30 am or 10:30-1:30 pm. 


This workshop is for seniors only and will happen via Zoom and Canvas. Students can sign up via Arena Scheduling in Skyward.


The workshop is moderated by English teachers Elizabeth Jorgensen, Terri Carnell and Rebecca McCann.


Seniors who have taken the workshop say they enjoyed it and suggest it to other students. 


Senior Sarah Larson said this workshop was beneficial in the essay writing process. 

Larson said, “When I had done the workshop, it went really well. A lot of other people I know, who were part of the workshop, felt a lot more confident in how our essays sounded because teachers had read them in-depth.” 

Jorgensen said she’s offered the College Essay Workshop for over a decade, alongside other teachers, both in an in-person and virtual setting. 

Jorgensen said, “Students have told us that it works really well to offer the CEW virtually. So many of Arrowhead’s students are traveling in the summer or attending camps or working, so Mrs. Carnell and Mrs. McCann and I are so pleased that the virtual setting has continued for the summer of 2023; we are eager to provide rising seniors a chance to start working on their college essays.”

Jorgensen said she hopes seniors can leave the workshop with at least one essay completed. She said, “It’s one thing students can check off their to-do lists. If their essay is done, once they get back to school in September, they can focus on Homecoming or homework or sport practices.”


Senior Shay Stemper said participating in the College Essay Workshop was very easy. She said, “People post the link to their essays on a discussion board on Canvas. Various teachers and students are able to access the essays and provide feedback. They leave comments with suggestions, and they also leave compliments.” 

Stemper says she got into the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point where she was really interested in going to school and is excited to start there in the fall. 

In addition to discussion boards, there are also live sessions. 

Jorgensen says live sessions cover tips or techniques, providing students with the opportunity to read and discuss topics or example essays. 

In addition to the College Essay Workshop, Jorgensen says students are also encouraged to sign up for Flight. Senior Flight is a focused opportunity for seniors to prepare for life after Arrowhead. This workshop covers college applications, transcripts, choosing the right college, exploring majors and careers, obtaining letters of recommendation, scholarship opportunities, financial aid and senioritis. 

“Flight pairs really well with the college essay workshop,” Jorgensen says. “And it’s the same week.”

Using a variety of methods, including guest speakers, computer searches, projects and lectures, students who successfully complete Flight will acquire skills to make a college transition positive. According to the AHS Curriculum Guide, flight is highly encouraged for all college-bound seniors.


Rising seniors interested in signing up for Flight and the College Essay Workshop, should login to their Skyward account and go to Area Scheduling. Both Flight and the CEW are listed in the summer school course options. If students have problems or questions, they should see their guidance counselor.


Senior Gabrielle Marshall attended the College Essay Workshop last year and she told Jorgensen that, “Thanks to you and the other teachers that help with the college essay workshop, I was complimented on my essay.” 


Marshall received the following message from Brian Troyer, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Marquette University: “Every year, I select a small number of all admission essays to highlight, and I particularly enjoyed reading yours. Your thoughtful and articulate presentation of ideas helped us gain a fuller picture of you and how you might fit into the Marquette community. I appreciate the effort you invested and encourage you to continue to develop your strength in writing. It will be an important component of your work here at Marquette.”


Jorgensen says that she’s particularly proud of students like Marshall who take the CEW seriously and use the time to finish essays they’re proud to submit to colleges. 


“It’s rewarding to know that the time Mrs. McCann, Mrs. Carnell and I spend time at the CEW matters for Arrowhead’s students. I am so proud of Gabrielle and all of the other students who got into their dream schools,” Jorgensen.