Juniors learned how to change a tire during their Journey class while displaying Catalina's culture of encouragement and eagerness to try new things.
The Journey Program
The mission of Journey, our comprehensive advisory program, is to impart Santa Catalina culture to our students, advance their leadership skills, and ensure them excellent college placement. The program includes grade-level weekly Journey classes, individualized one-on-one monthly advising, and Journey Days focusing on topics such as leadership, college counseling, career exploration, service, and philanthropy.
Students learn the importance of organization and dependability, conflict resolution and diplomacy, how to delegate and problem solve. They also learn practical skills such as writing a proposal, creating an agenda, running a meeting, working with different personality types, and drawing on the strengths of group members to maximize a group’s potential.
POINTS = Personal Objectives in Navigating Toward Success
Through the Journey program, students create personal values statements. They learn the importance of having a personal mission and a long-term vision for themselves. They create an action plan.
The POINTS Portfolio, something unique to Catalina, is the tool our students use to map out and reflect upon their journey to college and beyond. They record their academic plans, save important self-reflections, log their activities and achievements, and archive examples of their best work.
The choices and achievements our students make while at Santa Catalina have long-lasting effects—not only on their college possibilities but also on their career paths. Beginning in grade 10, our Journey program paves the way for a smooth college application process by senior year. We believe that the more fully each student knows herself and understands her deeper purpose in life, the better equipped she is for college.
A well-developed POINTS Portfolio allows each senior to enter the college application process fully organized, confident, and able to pinpoint which colleges and universities are the best match for her.
For new students, Catalina enculturation is an important piece of Journey. The newest members of our community learn about our school culture, history, traditions, and standards to ensure their smooth transition into Santa Catalina. We believe that our core values of excellence, responsibility, service, and spirituality should be at the heart of every interaction.
During freshman year, the Journey program introduces students to the history and culture of Santa Catalina School and helps them understand our traditions, values, and mission, and what is expected of them as students and as members of our community. Activities in Journey classes help girls forge relationships with new classmates and build confidence in themselves and each other. They learn about our values at Santa Catalina, as well as the values of other organizations and institutions, and they create their own personal values statement. They begin to build their POINTS (Personal Objectives in Navigating to Success) Portfolio, writing reflections in it, and recording their activities. Freshmen advance their leadership skills by planning and hosting the annual Halloween Dinner, getting to know their peers better. Sophomores serve as peer mentors to freshmen through the Journey program.
During sophomore year, our advisory program guides sophomores through a year of self-reflection, with the goal of them coming to a deeper understanding of what their gifts and talents are. They also reflect further on their personal values, create a mission statement, and set long-term goals. They learn what their top five strengths are by taking the StrengthsQuest© assessment and explore ways to further develop their academic and personal strengths. They learn how to form complementary partnerships with classmates, teammates, peers, and adults by seeing the strengths in others, and they learn important life skills, such as how to interview for a job, produce a résumé, and give an inspiring or thought-provoking speech. They further develop their POINTS Portfolios.
The Journey program helps sophomores develop their leadership skills by teaching them how to be mentors, and pairs them with a freshman mentee whom they meet with regularly throughout the school year during Journey class time.
Junior year is the year in which students focus on strategic planning for college and career. With this in mind, Journey classes offer self-assessment and college planning support so that each student can determine her top priorities for higher education. Students further develop their POINTS Portfolios, refine their personal values and mission statements, and create a personal vision statement. Students work with our college counselors to create a short list of colleges to which they plan to apply in the fall of senior year. They prepare for and take standardized tests in order to produce the strongest college applications possible. A special emphasis is placed on college research and writing in the form of résumés, cover letters, and essays.
Senior year Journey classes explore more than just the college application process. Students explore what "taking the next step" looks like and learn what it means to make a graceful exit from Santa Catalina School. They put the final touches on their POINTS Portfolios. Students also learn about key topics to ensure them a successful transition to college life.
Our advisory program culminates for students in the spring of senior year with the public presentation of senior reflections. The senior class also hosts the College Fair in May, representing the college to which they have matriculated for the following year, acting as admission representatives, or hosting an information table about their gap year plan. The senior reflection, directly linked to the school’s mission and vision, demonstrates the growth and learning throughout a student’s Santa Catalina journey. It requires that a student demonstrate that she has mastered the habits of mind that are the hallmark of a Santa Catalina School alumna.