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The Role of the GA College Counselor

Cori Rosen and Karen Mason

One of the many ways that independent schools differ from public schools and many religious private schools is that independent schools provide professional college counselors as opposed to guidance counselors.

While guidance counselors are generally responsible for scheduling, personal counseling, intervention, career counseling, and college counseling, GA College counselors devote their time to college counseling while other professionals at GA, such as House Heads, advisors, and the personal counseling team, lead work in the other dimensions of a guidance counselor’s role.

At GA, a team of professional college counselors guides students through the college search, application, and choice processes.  College Counselors are assigned to students in the Spring of their sophomore year and work with their assigned students well beyond graduation.

GA’s college counselors have developed expertise through a variety of professional activities:

  • Visiting College Campuses
  • Attending Conferences and Meetings
  • Meeting with college representatives   
  • Researching latest admission trends (through professional e-lists, news sources (Chronicle of Higher Ed./ Higher Education News/College Counseling Newsletters), and college updates for counselors

GA college counselors present at conferences and serve on boards and college advisory groups. In their work with students, college counselors offer the following services:

  • One-on-one meetings beginning in the spring of sophomore year
  • Strategies to initiate the self-reflection key to a productive college search
  • Advisement on standardized tests and test preparation
  • Consultation on course selection and extra-curricular opportunities
  • Development of a college list with the student
  • Council on the latest admission trends and practices
  • Arrangement of opportunities for students to meet with college representatives in small groups in the fall and at a college fair each May
  • A seminar in junior year focused on the college search and application processes
  • An English course in junior year focused on writing the main college application essay
  • Assistance with applications and essays
  • Advice on financial aid and scholarships
  • Guidance for prospective student-athletes through coordination with coaches and the College Counseling Athletic Liaison.
  • Guidance for visual and performing artists through coordination with visual and performing arts faculty.