Education & Enrichment Living In Hong Kong Schools

Is Your High Schooler Prepared For College?

The process of preparing high schoolers for college reminds me a little of the transition from non-parent to parent. Let’s face it, some of us were more focused on the birth of our first born than the years that followed. The birth was merely a gate to the true impact zone of parenting. Many of us were ill-prepared for the “parenting” part.

In much the same way, as parents of high schoolers, we tend to have tunnel vision on the elusive college admission. We forget there’s an enormous change to deal with on the other side of that admission “gate”. Starting college is a huge life transition for our kids, no matter how smart they are. We owe it to them, to prepare our high schoolers for college.

The Secret To Success At College

What does it take for a student to be successful at university? How can we best prepare our high schoolers for college? What skills are integral for helping students persist in rigorous college and career settings?

These are powerful questions. Dr Elizabeth Micci, principal of The Harbour School High School (THS), recently wrote on the subject. She stated, “Post-secondary experiences can vary across institutions within individual countries, let alone across the world.” She continued, “but in many cases differentiating oneself in the university classroom is predicated on ultimately being able to contribute something original to your intellectual environment.”

She also noted that the “regurgitate, rinse, repeat” strategies employed by some educational institutions in the past are rarely effective in the long term. This is especially the case for students seeking admissions at universities where the academic programme is rigorous and assistance isn’t prevalent.

Career Collaboration

When it comes to preparing our children for the workforce, these themes of contributing original thought and collaboration remain relevant. Dr Micci points out, “The job market places an increasingly high premium on collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking.”

Dr Micci adds that THS understands the importance of preparing high schoolers for college, an enormous transition. And to help parents better understand about preparing high schoolers for college and the nuances of this process, the school is hosting a free information session: “High School Information Series – College Transition”. The session is open to all parents, not just THS parents.

Event Details:

What: High School Info Series – College Transition

When: 6pm-7.30pm. 20 February, 2019 (Wed)

Where: The Harbour School (The Garden), 138 Lee Chi Road, Ap Lei Chau

Click here to register for this free event


About the expert speakers:

Dr Elizabeth Micci, THS High School Principal

Dr Micci began her career in education with Teach For America. She taught secondary English before going on to co-found and administrate a college preparatory academy in Houston, TX. Next, she returned to graduate school for her Doctor of Education Leadership degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She joined The Harbour School in 2017 as a researcher and member of the high school humanities faculty. Dr Micci was named High School Principal at THS in July 2018.

Dr Jadis Blurton, THS Founder and Head of School

Founder and Head of The Harbour School, Jadis has worked for over 30 years in education, child psychology and educational psychology. She’s practiced clinically, teaching at university, and working with schools. In Hong Kong, she is the founder and clinical director of the Blurton Family Development Center. Jadis is the 2009 recipient of the American Chamber of Commerce Ira Dan Kaye Award for Community Service.

Dr Monaliza Maximo Chian, Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Chian holds a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). As a fellow at UCSB’s Center for Education Research on Literacy, Learning and Inquiry in Network Communities, she conducted educational research studies and mentored graduate students. Dr Chian has 20 years of experience in California public schools. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Azusa Pacific University.

Dr Sam Crickenberger, Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Crickenberger is a marine ecologist who has worked in the US, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Hong Kong. He received his PhD from Clemson University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina. Dr Crickenberger is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong. He has mentored students in research and future career plans, and has taught a variety of biology courses.

Guest Moderator: Tim Hoffman, Counsellor

Tim’s interest in counselling began over 30 years ago with his work in a psychiatric hospital and a suicide prevention service. It continued with his recent work as a therapist at the Training Institute for Mental Health in New York. In between, he has spent 22 years as a consultant and partner in a global executive search firm, and nine years at IBM. He has now returned to his original goal of becoming a psychotherapist.


The Harbour School has three campuses in Hong Kong and holds regular open days and school tours. For more information, contact or visit

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