A strong student-teacher relationship is the foundation of our pedagogy. With a relatively small student caseload, our Director of College Counseling is able to establish a close working relationship with each student and family.Our comprehensive program is designed to prepare each student to be the strongest possible applicant that he or she can be. Individually tailored to the needs of each student, our program is an in-depth, detailed process which helps each student find the college, university, or post-graduate career path that fits him or her best.
Open and frequent communication with parents and families is key to each student’s success. Parents and guardians are always welcome to take advantage of the Director of College Counseling’s expertise by whatever means work best for them - meetings, phone calls, text messages and emails are all important ways to stay in touch. This individualized and detailed college counseling process brings its own satisfying reward as many find the process almost as enriching as the final choice of college itself.
Each October, all students are encouraged to attend the annual college fair on The Gregory School campus at which they are typically able to meet admissions representatives from a hundred or more colleges and universities. Students at every grade level are expected to take advantage of this unique opportunity. In addition, in order to effectively prepare students for later testing experiences, all tenth and eleventh graders take the PSAT/NMSQT (preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).
The college search and selection process begins in earnest in December of junior year, when students and their families meet with the Director of College Counseling as a group and get started on sharing information that is critical to the next steps in the process. Each junior and individual parent/guardian is provided access to Naviance Succeed/Family Connection, an internet-based program,that helps to guide students and track their progress through the search and application process.
In late winter and early spring, juniors and their families meet individually with the Director of College Counseling to discuss plans, goals, and expectations going forward. Over time they explore educational and career interests, create resumés, learn about different types of colleges and college environments, and discuss every element of the application process, including interviewing, standardized testing, and the components of an application. Most students leave for summer break with a short list of colleges and universities in which they are interested and many use that time to visit campuses across the US and around the world.
In fall seniors meet with the Director of College Counseling in a classroom format for the entire first quarter of the year. They will typically spend approximately two-and-a-half hours each week working on completing the applications themselves and working to perfect any essays or short answers for schools that require them. Most students will have completed their college applications by mid-October, which frees them up to focus their efforts on the critically important academic demands of their final fall in high school
The college counselor’s door is always open, and support is available to every family until each senior has completed their application process and decided where they are going to go the following year.