Navigating the road to college can be exciting, liberating, and sometimes frightening. The good news is that students have plenty of support and resources at The Park School. We take pride in our graduates who go on to post-secondary education well-prepared for the rigor of the coursework they will encounter, and able to successfully navigate the sometimes ambiguous pathways of a new educational environment.
Park’s college counseling process is highly individualized as we guide students through four distinct roads that ultimately lead to college acceptance:
- Grade 9: Using the college preparatory curriculum to aid the journey to college
- Grade 10: Personal direction as a pathway to college selection
- Grade 11: The college selection process
- Grade 12: The college application process leading to successful acceptance at the “right fit” college
Although parents and students may meet with the college counselor at any time, the formal college counseling process begins in the junior year when Karen Miller, Park’s Director of College Counseling, works with each student and his or her family to find a cluster of colleges that constitute a “good fit” for the student. Through research the student narrows down the possibilities to a number of colleges that are considered the “best fit.” While most students will develop a “dream school,” in reality there is always a cluster of colleges that could fit this bill.
Karen also guides students through the process of taking college entrance exams (The PLAN, ACT, PSAT, and SAT) and writing application essays. This work continues into the fall of senior year as students and their families continue to explore appealing college characteristics, academic interests, and potential long-range professional plans. In the early winter, students solidify their final college list and begin completing and submitting college applications, which is organized and facilitated through the college counseling office in order to more effectively track the various forms needed to complete the process. Karen also works with families who have questions regarding the various ways to finance a college education.
While the college process is often a very intense experience, it is not unusual for Park alumni to return to talk with Karen about graduate school because they developed such a powerful counselor/student connection.