AFFIRMING THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUALS
The Office of College Placement and Guidance at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School strives to support the academic, spiritual and interpersonal mission of the school by affirming the development of individuals. Five counselors (including the Dean) are available to students while our administrative assistant handles day-to-day administrative operations. College Placement and Guidance uses a developmental model for our program. We strive to meet the students where they are as individuals and address the challenges that they will face in our ever-changing world. Development of respect for all people as well as trust and rapport are priorities for the members of our team. As a result, counselors meet with students from the outset of their entrance into Bishop Eustace and remain with that group for all four years. Our program begins with an orientation program for our freshmen. Entering students are gathered in small groups for five meetings throughout the academic year. Topics covered include high school adjustment issues; academic expectations; study skills; exam preparation and services provided by the office. Students have individual meetings with their counselor to complete the course selection process. All students are encouraged to make appointments with their assigned counselor for individual meetings whenever they would like to share concerns and successes.
In the second semester of sophomore year, small groups of five to seven students meet with their counselor to discuss career exploration and college preparation testing. Students are provided with interest surveys and leading personal questions in order to draw out values, preferences and goals for future occupational and career decisions. The process helps students to find common themes among what a student likes to do (interests), wants to do (values) and can do (abilities and talents). The sophomore sessions introduce students to the online and paper resources that will assist them in this process. The results of PSAT and PreACT testing are shared and analyzed. Students are encouraged to research summer programs and to begin visiting local colleges. Individual meetings are required for course selection and available upon the student’s request.
While reference is made to college planning from the students first day on campus, the process begins in earnest during junior year. Our juniors are encouraged to meet with college representatives who visit in the fall and are typically excited about attending the regional college fairs in the area. Parents are encouraged to attend our Junior Parent College Night in November. Students once again come together with assigned counselors for a series of interactive meetings on college planning and the college search process. The calendar for these meetings is typically once or twice in the first semester followed by six or seven meetings during the second semester. The primary goal is not simply informational, but rather the development of a “college consciousness” that encourages a student to discern important personal values and preferences which can then be matched up with higher education sites fitting to same. Since Bishop Eustace is a college preparatory school, considerable time and attention are devoted to this process. Beginning in January, parents are invited to a personal college planning conference with their child and his/her counselor. We encourage families to make college visits an integral part of their life during the junior year at Bishop Eustace. Our parent nights provide the tools for parents and students to make the most out of this critical time in the student’s academic and personal journey.
In senior year, the college search and selection process continues with a series of meetings between counselors and students in the first month of school. Support is given to the college application process and each student is encouraged to access their counselor for individual attention at this critical time. Programs that address financial aid, the application essay and life at college are all made available to seniors as well during their last year at Bishop Eustace. A Senior Parent Financial Aid Night is held in October.