Monday, October 21, 2013

College Counseling @ the Prep

Ms. Romm on a visit to U. of Michigan
As I begin to write, I reflect on my last four years at St. Joe’s Prep. I would be remiss if I didn't share with you that I love my job, and the same can be said for my colleagues in College Counseling. Working with our students is an act of cura personalis, a phrase meaning care for the whole person. As college counselors, we are most interested in helping your son find the best college for him. Benchmarks like GPA and standardized test scores help guide us in this process, but Mr. Halligan, Ms. Pinto, and I work beyond the numbers to help our students identify their top priorities in the college search.

Prep students receive a college counselor assignment halfway through their junior year. As parents, you may wonder what you and your son can do before then to get a leg up. Start with career exploration and keep it light and fun, so your son does not view this as a chore. Through conversation, help your son identify fields he does well in but also enjoys. He can then research job options within that field. Visit one of my favorite sites not only to see a wide range of jobs for each field, but also to find potential employers, and to receive great tips to get ahead.

It can be easy for our young men to veer towards well-known colleges. Remind your son to stay open to colleges that may be off his radar, especially those farther from home. Colleges aim to build freshman classes that represent all 50 states, so your son’s application will stand out nicely in Arizona, Ohio, and sunny Florida. Keep in mind there are Jesuit colleges and universities located all over the country, so if your son craves a caring, faith-based, service-oriented community, he has excellent options both in and beyond our Tri-State area.

As your college counselors, we offer services that anticipate and meet the needs of our students and parents. We enjoy working on career and college exploration one-on-one with our students as well as guiding them through college applications and the college essay. In the classrooms, we cover several topics, including major selection, demonstrating interest to colleges, and essay writing. We also host multiple evening presentations and workshops for parents, including panels of college admissions reps, financial aid nights with college directors of financial aid, and Junior and Senior Parent College Nights to prepare our parents for the road ahead.

Although the college process, with its many layers, can appear intimidating, the ends will absolutely justify the means. Words cannot convey how gratifying it is to see our students - your sons - excited and ready to head off to college at the end of their senior year.  From beginning to end, and even beyond, know that your college counselors will be here with you and your son every step of the way.

This blog post was written by Ms. Amy Romm, College Counselor.

No comments:

Post a Comment