College Counseling Year-at-a-Glance

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College counselors Kate Grant and Blythe Butler support students throughout the year at all different stages of the college search.  Our yearly timeline is described below.  For a listing of college counseling events for the current school year, go to the 2013-2014 College Counseling Events calendar.

The back-to-school retreat for seniors sets the stage for a busy fall of applying to colleges and making decisions. Seniors go over details of the Common Application.

College representatives begin visiting Catlin Gabel to meet with juniors and seniors and visit throughout the fall and winter.

September – December
Seniors meet individually with their college counselors to create and prune college application lists.

Seniors continue meeting in their “PODS” groups formed the previous February. PODS are small group college counseling groups where they discuss college visits, constructing an application list, essay writing, and testing.

Catlin Gabel hosts a mini college fair for all interested students

All sophomores and juniors take the PSATs. Learning specialist Cindy Murray provides diagnostics, strategies, and support for students who have difficulty with standardized tests.

College counselors review all seniors’ college lists and provide feedback to students and their parents. Family meetings to review and refine lists are optional (and popular).

Junior parent potluck where college counselors offer a preview and answer questions about the admission process

Kate and Blythe host a college financial aid information evening for parents and students in any grade.

Senior parent potluck with a guest college dean of students who talks about the high school to college transition and parent-student relations.

Panels of recent graduates meet with seniors to talk about their college experiences including some retrospection about the application process.

Kate and Blythe host an evening for juniors and their parents to hear from college admission officers and kick off the college counseling process.

Juniors spend a day off campus with the college counselors reflecting on their own goals for the future and preparing for individual meetings with Kate and Blythe.

Parents of freshmen and sophomores are invited to come hear guest speakers from local colleges talk about college admission in the coming years. (In 2012-13 Reed College president John Kroger and dean of admission Keith Todd were our guests.)

February – December of the next year
Soon after their January kick-off meeting, all juniors start a series of meetings with their college counselor. Meeting frequency is tailored to the needs of each student.

All parents of juniors are required to join their student for a follow-up meeting with a college counselor after the initial student-only meeting. Historically, the college counselors have met with students and parents together on request. Now we make these joint meetings a requirement to ensure that students feel unified support for their decisions at home and school.

Juniors begin attending small group college counseling “PODS” where they discuss college visits, standardized tests, constructing an application list, and essay writing.