Upper School
College Counseling

Four-Year Journey

Our Director of College and University Counseling works with each student beginning their freshman year culminating in their senior year through the application and acceptance processes.

At CCA, we help students approach the process of choosing a college as an opportunity to challenge themselves, to learn about themselves, and to enjoy thinking about not only college and their future but what they are getting out of CCA.

This is really a four year journey that we characterize as stages of exploring who they are and what they want of life and then finding a college that will be a good fit for their personal hopes. As the college counselor, I promote this process differently in each grade


List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9

    I meet with the 9th grade as a group a few times during the year to encourage them to use their CCA experience to identify interests and to invest in passions. The core questions we promote are “Who am I” and “What’s important to me?” I talk about the ways that their passions can shape their college experiences and their eventual careers. I begin teaching some basic things about colleges and help students map out potential four-year plans for themselves.
  • Grade 10

    I meet meet with the 10th grade as a group to help them learn about the variety of college environments available to them. While they are still developing their sense of what’s becoming really important to them as individuals, my theme for the sophomore program is “What’s out there?”, in terms of options for college and options for potential careers. I encourage them to attend some of the presentations by college visitors and to visit some colleges, a variety: a large university, a small college, colleges in urban, suburban and rural areas and so forth.
  • Grade 11

    Juniors spend a good amount of time each week with the 60+ visiting college admissions officers in the fall. In the winter, they have a class with me once a week, and they start meeting with me individually. I also bring parents into the process in an individual meeting. All of this exploration is intended to help students answer for themselves, “What might best fit me?” in terms of college. My goal is for each student to finish the year with a tentative list of colleges that match her or his interests, rough drafts of key application essays, an activities résumé, a start on the Common Application, and a completed self-study questionnaire--for both parents/guardians and students.
  • Grade 12

    The theme for this year is “Where will I choose to go?” Much of the work for completing applications and earning admissions has already been done by November. After November students are refining their understanding of their top-choice colleges and continuing to hone their interests. We meet in large groups, small groups, and individually. When acceptance letters come, I try to help families with their decision. When financial aid or merit scholarships are in the balance, I help them compare the awards and communicate their needs to the colleges. When a student is on a Wait List, I work with the student to maximize their chance of admission. Throughout the process, I advocate for all students with the colleges.