During the 8th grade year, students meet in their advisory groups with the college advisor. This time is focused on the interests of the students themselves, helping them to identify academic and extracurricular interests. This information is then used to help them plan their academic and extracurricular life in high school, all while recognizing that plans can change. Ultimately, students will enter the high school armed with general information about different types of colleges and what they have to offer, but more importantly, with a fuller understanding of themselves. Individual meetings with the college advisor are welcome!
The 9th grade year is designed to help students think about how to make the most of their high school years. Advisory groups continue the topics discussed in 8th grade, and students are able to meet with our college counselor individually as well. Additional topics of discussion include how to choose meaningful extracurricular activities, how to decide on productive summer activities, and how to lead a balanced life. The students also take the PSAT 8/9, which gives them practice taking standardized tests. Finally, all high school students, including 9th graders, are encouraged to attend presentations from the over 40 colleges and universities who visit our campus each year.
Now that the students have a taste of high school life, the 10th grade year grows more focused on the process itself. Students are strongly encouraged to attend presentations from visiting colleges, and they use that information begin researching potential colleges and universities. Students are counseled in how to continue to pursue meaningful extracurricular activities, both during the school year and the summer. 10th grade students all take the PSAT in order to continue their standardized test preparation. As the year closes, students are guided through the process of choosing appropriate IB courses for their 11th and 12th grade years, based on their individual interests and goals.
The 11th grade year is focused much more on the actual college application process, including a detailed discussion of how to use all of the available resources, including the Common App and Naviance Family Connection. Students have regular individual meetings with their college advisor to discuss their individual research and plans. Topics of discussion include scholarships, how to create and update a college list, how to navigate teacher recommendation requests, and how to create an impactful annotated extracurriculars resume. In addition to taking the PSAT again in the fall, students create a standardized test plan, including individual discussions about whether to choose the ACT vs. the SAT, or SAT Subject Tests in individual subjects. Finally, students are instructed on how to demonstrate interest for colleges and how they should approach college visits.
The 12th grade year is the culmination of the college advising process. Students enter 12th grade having completed a significant amount of college research and visited colleges in which they are interested. Students continue to attend college presentations and work toward solidifying their college list. Topics of discussion during individual meetings with their college advisor include their finalized college list, annotated extracurriculars resume, standardized test plan, and college essays. Students are instructed on how to apply to colleges and which application process (Early Action, Early Decision, or Regular Decision) makes the most sense for each college they apply to. Once their applications are submitted, students are instructed on any further steps they may need to take, depending on their individual plans.