The College Counseling Program at Wardlaw-Hartridge mirrors the mission of the school to prepare students for the next step in a world of global interconnection. The emphasis of the program is on guiding each student through a process of learning and discovery that will culminate in admission to the colleges that best match the student’s interests and strengths and will offer them the appropriate academic and personal challenges following graduation. In concert with teachers and advisors, the college counselor guides students as they select an appropriately rigorous course load, and move through the steps of self-assessment, college admission testing, information gathering and goal setting, and finally, the application process.
Through programs for parents of freshmen through seniors, families are exposed to the realities of the ever-shifting college landscape. Formal college counseling begins in the junior year with classes, taught by the College Counselors, in which the focus is on mentoring students as they assess their strengths and aspirations. The course for juniors includes topics such as making the most of the college visit, essay writing, and completing a college application. Through individual meetings with juniors and their parents, the College Counselors help students to create an appropriate list of colleges to investigate. While we believe that students need to play the lead role in the process, we provide support and encourage parents to work closely with us in preparing their children as they navigate this exciting and defining step in their passage to adulthood.
In the fall, the College Counselors meet with seniors in a weekly class that focuses on the details of the application process. More than 70 representatives are invited from college admissions offices to visit Wardlaw-Hartridge in the opening months of school, providing information and contact for all students, particularly for juniors and seniors who are required to attend 2-3 information sessions. The visits also provide the counselors the opportunity to build the relationships with college admissions offices that are an integral part of our ability to give full support to our seniors’ applications.