Long Island Teacher Creates App To Aid College Planning Process

A West Islip High School teacher developed an app to streamline the college selection and application process.
By Sonaiya Kelley

Long Island Teacher Creates App To Aid College Planning Process
Trish Portnoy, a teacher at West Islip High School, understands that teenagers have an unshakable fixation with their mobile devices.

With that in mind, she created College Push, an iPhone app meant to “support and guide high school students through the college planning, selection and application process.”

“This generation has access to an unbelievable amount of data, but they’re not good at sifting through it and applying to their own journey or path,” she said.

College Push helps students by providing a centralized place to store college planning data and by issuing daily notifications with instructional exercises, tasks and opportunities to explore colleges and universities.

“College Push is basically a college-planning specialist in an app,” Portnoy, of Sayville, said.

Portnoy has been a teacher at West Islip High School for the past 16 years, during which time she’s taught a College Freshman Seminar, which, “is the real life version of College Push.” Over 200 high school seniors enroll in the fall class, where they report to a computer room and are given daily college app-related tasks and assignments.

“What I observed in the classroom is that today’s students appreciate direction and instruction in small doses,” she said. “They rely heavily on their smartphones, but need practice using it as a tool for research, time management and organization instead of just socializing and communicating.”

Portnoy hopes her app will create an accessible, handheld method to access college planning data and will help students stay organized during their senior year.

“They really need to keep their information de-cluttered and readily available,” she said.

The app is free to download, and comes just in time for the upcoming college application season.

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