Saipan now has college prep academy

Saipan finally has its first independent college advising service.

The Saipan College Prep Academy is run by Keith Tessen, who has 15 years of experience in college advising as the long-time college counselor at Saipan International School.

Tessen has been SIS’ college adviser since the day the SIS high school first opened. Over those 15 years, he has helped many students get into their dream schools, including Ivy League schools, Williams College, Carnegie Mellon University, and many more.

Last year 10 percent of SIS graduates were accepted into Ivy League schools, and other members of last year’s senior class enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley, Boston University, Emory University, Rutgers University, and Pepperdine University.

In addition to college advising for high school seniors, SCPA will offer college prep courses for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors as well. These courses will be designed to introduce younger students to such topics as the different types of colleges and universities in America, how to choose colleges to apply to, how to research a college or university, financial aid, extracurricular activities, and standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, and TOEFL.

As a former professional writer and editor for ACT and other companies, Tessen also offers essay writing courses for middle school and high school students. The courses will help students learn how to write effective persuasive, narrative, descriptive, and expository essays. Juniors and seniors will get a great deal of practice writing college application essays. Tessen has edited more than 1,500 college application essays over the years for SIS seniors.

Tessen has a master’s degree in American History and has spent 15 years teaching the Advanced Placement U.S. History course. Students who are interested in possibly earning college credit by passing this AP course can sign up for the class at SCPA.

SCPA also offers a supervised quiet study room at SIS for students. Ellen Choi, who speaks both English and Korean, will be supervising the students and offering help in their studies.

Students and parents who wish to obtain more information about this unique academy can call Choi at 285-1669 or email Tessen at (PR)

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