Message from Terry Ward, College Counselor
College Admissions: One counselor’s perspective.
I believe that the process of college admissions is a learning experience, an opportunity for students to discover more about themselves and their capacities. I believe a college counseling office should encourage every student to engage in this process as a substantive personal search, not the careless pursuit of a “name” school.
But the college counseling process should not be the first time a student thinks carefully about their future. There is certainly no need to “lock in” one’s future plans for education and occupation in Grades 9 or 10. But there is great virtue in encouraging students in those grades to explore their proclivities, attributes, and interests, starting with the very first days of high school. Such an intentional process of self-discovery will prepare them well for adult life. It also might help them find direction in high school. And this effort certainly will serve them well in the college search. They will be well equipped to make college choices that suit them best. This is crucial, because the greatest goal in college counseling is to make smart choices that lead to fulfilling undergraduate college careers that prepare them well for whatever comes next. Life is long, at least we hope it is, and college is but a first step in a substantive adult journey. One’s college education should be a springboard into the future.