Local pens guide for college-bound students


Center Moriches resident Trish Portnoy, CPA, MS Ed., has been teaching CTE subjects at West Islip Public Schools since 1997. In 2007, she revamped the curriculum for the course for College Freshman Seminar and by 2012, over half the graduating class were enrolled as graduating seniors.

Her background in accounting, she said, allowed her to divide large projects into smaller, more understandable components that, combined with her outcome-oriented curriculum, enabled her to structure a course and compose a book: “How to Help Your High School Senior Apply to College.”

Her first book, “College Apps: Selecting, Applying to, and Paying for the Right College for You,” was a textbook useful to school districts and their students who were interested in offering the course she created.

In 2022, she then published an e-book, booklet/quick-read titled, “How to Help Your High School Senior Apply to College.” Why did she write it?

“The magnitude of the student loan debt crisis was caused by a lack of awareness/education during this critical time, as well as not using data-based decision-making prior to selecting and attending college,” she said of her passion to help.

In response to her new book, she will also be hosting “Applying to College with Trish,” a 10-week workshop that will assist high school seniors and motivated juniors through the college application process. The group will meet weekly for two hours to review topics related to higher education, college applications, financial aid, and decision-making strategies.

The workshop fee includes 20 hours of small group instruction, plus the College Apps Binder reference sheets and exercises, and the parents’ resource, “How to Help Your High School Senior Apply to College.”   

Her course, she said, intends to reduce stress and anxiety around the college application process for both students and parents. In addition, the workshop activities allow students to have a vested interest and ownership throughout this sometimes-daunting process. 

“The course hopes to reduce the potential for a challenging working relationship between parent and child through a detailed structure of organization and time management,” she said. “Ultimately, the student, with input from their parents and high school guidance counselor, is the lead on this project.”

The workshop runs this fall from September through November for high school juniors and seniors and again in the spring 2024 for high school juniors only.  Locations will vary according to enrollment. To pre-register for the workshop visit www.ApplyingtoCollegewithTrish.com.

For more information about Portnoy or her book visit www.TrishPortnoy.com. To purchase her book visit amazon.com.


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