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Upper School

Counseling & Guidance

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Ursuline Academy’s Upper School Counseling Program focuses on providing you with personalized academic, career, and college counseling services, as well as primary prevention and wellness programs, crisis intervention, and assessment and referral for you and your family. Within an atmosphere of trust, warmth, and acceptance, our counseling staff works with you in a variety of ways to promote self-reflection, self-confidence, and goal setting, which lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy relationships, positive choices, and solid career paths. Because our Upper School Counselors are conscious of the particular issues and concerns of a high achievement-oriented female adolescent population, you will benefit not only from their extensive years of experience but also their warm and nurturing approach to everything from the college process to personal issues. All Upper School Students are required to see their Counselor once a quarter but are encouraged to visit the Counseling Department as needed.

In addition to our extraordinary College Counseling Program, our Upper School Counseling Department provides individual and group counseling, as well as consultation services with parents and faculty. You can also participate in our Peer Counselor Program, which teaches you more about the counseling process and how to properly intervene in situations both in and out of the classroom to resolve conflict and promote understanding. The Counseling Department offers special assemblies, career awareness programs, and individual workshops on issues related to substance abuse, human sexuality, and stress management in our Wellness and Theology curriculum. Additional services available to you and your family include testing assistance, continuing parent education, professional referral services, liaison services between outside therapeutic providers and school personnel, and case management of accommodations for students with identified learning differences.

College Counseling Program at Ursuline Academy

At Ursuline Academy, we pride ourselves on providing you with the support and resources needed to not only excel in our Upper School but also at the college of your choice. In keeping with that tradition, our Counseling Department has developed and perfected a comprehensive approach to help you understand the college admission process from start to finish, which is why 100 percent of our graduates consistently attend the four-year college or university of their choice.

As a Freshman, you first meet your Counselor and gain a better understanding of our four year College Counseling Program at our September Back to School Night. With the help of your chosen Faculty Advisor you will navigate our comprehensive course catalog, which sets you on the right academic path from the beginning by aligning our courses with your academic interests. In the fall, you also meet one-on-one with your counselor and learn about our extracurricular activities, including clubs, service opportunities, and leadership programs. Your Freshman college review process begins after you take the EXPLORE® Pre-ACT test in February and receive your individual results. At that time, your Counselor works with you to explain what colleges look for in a potential student and how you can best prepare for the process. In the spring, you select your Sophomore courses with assistance from both your Counselor and Faculty Advisor.

As a Sophomore, your Counselor works with you to identify career and life goals through our Career Counseling Program, which begins with the completion of a career readiness survey. With your personalized results in hand, you explore a variety of career awareness opportunities and informational resources tailored to your specific interests, paving the way towards a potential career path. In October, you take the PSAT/NMSQT® as practice and receive your results in January. At that time, you again review the admission criteria for the college of your choice and work with your Counselor to identify the steps and resources necessary to achieve your goals, including access to the Naviance System for College Research, the largest college and university information database in the world.  In the spring, you and your family attend our Choosing the Right College Program, which helps you as you begin visiting and communicating with colleges who come to our campus in the fall of your Junior year. In the spring, you select your Junior courses with assistance from both your Counselor and Faculty Advisor.

As a Junior, you again take the PSAT for practice and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in October. A review of your individual results takes place in January with your Counselor. The College Counseling process formally begins in January with a detailed timeline of steps, which includes administering and individually interpreting the Self-Directed Search to confirm or identify possible majors, determining a list of colleges, refining that list, and preparing for campus visits. With over 100 colleges and universities visiting our campus annually, you gain a better understanding of what you are looking for in your college experience and have a realistic list of schools to begin visiting before you leave for the summer. The Counseling Department’s series of parent and student programs, beginning with Junior Parents’ Night, helps educate families about the realities of the college admission process, provides a packet of valuable information about all phases of the process, and explains our internal process. It also includes a college strategy session from a renowned college admission expert, providing an insider’s view of the process, and a Financial Aid Workshop for Junior and Senior Parents to make them aware of the many options available for financing a college education.

As a Senior, you hit the ground running and begin paperwork for college applications on the first day of school. Your Counselor administers a needs assessment and works with you individually as often as necessary to move your college applications forward. All applications are reviewed for quality control, and all supporting documents are gathered and submitted officially through the Counseling Center. You have access to classes on how to submit your applications in a timely manner and scholarship information on a daily basis. In February, a member of the Dean of Students Office at the University of Delaware conducts a Senior Transition Workshop to prepare you for the adjustment to life on a college campus academically and socially, with a particular emphasis on campus safety and personal security. Our Counseling Department tracks admission results throughout the year and assistance is given, if needed, in helping you decide which college to attend. You will receive unlimited support during every phase of the college selection, application, admission, and financial aid processes.

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