What do College Counselors or Consultants do? Why would I want this kind of help?
College Counselors can provide many different services along the way to finding a college and securing a place in a chosen school.
Many consultants specialize in a particular kind of placement: sports recruiting, Ivy League, NESCAC schools, Performing Arts, and so forth. Others specialize in particular programs such as those necessary for students who, perhaps, have had a rocky road through secondary schools…there are many colleges that offer what is known as First Year Programs, These programs are hand-holding, very supportive, and assure a parent that the first year will go well for these students who have had a history of transitional missteps. Many students do not fit the typical mold of what the entertainment industry has stereotyped as high school graduates.
Adolescence is a time fraught with emotional and biological changes. Many parents are kept at arms length by their teen, and therefore, the idea of hiring someone to assist in this process, which is rather complex, is very helpful and strategic.
Traditional college counseling and consulting starts in the winter of sophomore year in secondary or high school. The initial consultation typically involves a discussion and review of transcripts, PSAT/PLAN scores, and an understanding of who the student is based on interviews with parents and the student together. What comes from this meeting….
- Assessment of who the student is, and what potential has to be developed or should be developed for a segment of potential schools or prized programs
- A timeline is developed for selecting specific courses to be taken in junior year, standardized test preparation ( if necessary ) and optimum test dates, starting a student resume of activities (not the one generated by the Naviance system), a selection of best opportunities to spend for the 12 weeks during summer as rising junior to capitalize on furthering a student’s experiences and talents
- Encouraging the student to work hard and continue on a set path for the best potential college placement
- A history of academic experiences, parent and student desires, and an awareness of any special needs or goals This is what you should get from the initial consultation hours or sessions.
For many, simply creating and having this action plan is all that is needed. For others, continual support throughout the two years from sophomore winter to senior winter is necessary as the student needs guidance. There is a myriad of information regarding colleges and placement; traditional guidance counselors rely heavily on systems to winnow the choices and go from best information, not able to do thorough research. Many cannot answer every email or question asked along the way…it would be a 24/7 job!
Many parents are not familiar with the entire college process as it is today, as it has been slightly more than a decade or two since they were in high school. Many are ambitious and read, research, and interview everyone they know who has recently been through the process. Remember! Adolescence is fraught with biological and emotional changes, and many teens simply prefer to keep their parents at arms’ length. Sometimes, it is a relief for both the parents and the teens to have another person, who is knowledgeable and skilled to turn to for support.
The majority of students I work with have been classed under the ADA Act as 504 Plan students. Most are quite intelligent but are challenged by traditional learning methods. Many of these students hit their stride and thrive in college! Finding the right fit can be crucial to enhancing this process. I also spend a lot of time with students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability or a psychological/emotional disorder, which requires attention in order to for the student to progress in traditional academic settings. Test Anxious students, and those with globalized Anxiety disorder, often have particular challenges that need constant guidance, as these students are easily derailed or discouraged. Many of the students I work with have been diagnosed and have a series of testing reports to support their diagnoses. Some are on medications to help mitigate some the particular challenges they experience. Schedule a session today and learn more about what we can do to help you achieve your goals.