College Counseling Program
The Office of College Counseling works with all Whitfield students and families in grade appropriate ways. The college counseling program is focused around the Habits of Mind and Heart. The focus of each phase of the college counseling program is designed to help students understand their strengths, interests, talents and needs in order to assure the student graduates with the best fit opportunities for him or her.
A brief outline of the program by grade level is:
Middle School: Raising Awareness
Through announcements at assemblies, middle school students become aware of the breadth of colleges and universities Whitfield students are admitted to and choose to attend. Through the Advisory and Health and Wellness programs, the students explore and identify their particular strengths. The college counselors are always available for parents and even host a parent coffee each winter to answer any questions families may have.
Ninth Grade: Establishing a Good Foundation
In conjunction with the Advisory and Health and Wellness programs, the college counselors meet several times throughout the year with ninth grade students to assist them in identifying and developing their strengths through coursework, extracurricular involvement and external opportunities. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the role that performance in the classroom has on college opportunities.
Tenth Grade: Preparing for the College Choice Journey
Work continues through the Advisory and Health and Wellness programs. The emphasis of programming is to encourage students to apply their strengths to potential areas of study in college and then to begin to explore a variety of types of colleges and universities. In addition, all sophomores sit for practice standardized tests (ACT and SAT). Tenth grade students generally are involved in some kind of college counseling activity at least one time per month.
Eleventh Grade: Exploring and Choosing Appropriate Options
Beginning in eleventh grade, work moves from groups to individual meetings between the student, family, and a college counselor. Multiple programs are offered throughout the year on the college choice process and the scholarship and financial aid processes. Standardized testing begins in earnest and test prep courses are offered at Whitfield. Students take a class in the third trimester with their college counselor that allows them to learn how to identify and research good fit colleges as well as begin to prepare application materials. The programming continues into the summer with workshops that allow students to complete the vast majority of application materials prior to the beginning of the senior year..
Twelfth Grade: Putting It All Together
Work continues on a one-to-one basis between the student, family, and college counselors. Seniors take a class with their college counselor from the beginning of school through December. After that, work continues through the Advisory program. The college counselors are involved in helping students and families manage each step of the college application and selection process including application completion and proof-reading, essay development, resume construction, financial aid and scholarship applications, and assistance with special opportunities like athletic recruiting, honors programs, and leadership programs.