College Counseling Aligns with Crossroads Values

Jemile Dragovic ShinnUncategorized

At Crossroads, we often say “small is an asset,” and that our size encourages authentic relationships between students and our faculty. For college counseling, knowing our students – their talents, and their aspirations – makes the process of finding the right college and navigating the application process less stressful and more personal.

Led by Becky Ford Haffner, Crossroads’ college counseling provides individual support to students and their families, emphasizing the importance of students’ priorities and perspectives as they research schools and interests, imagine what environments might best suit them, manage deadlines through the application process, and make the decision about which college or university to attend after graduation.

College counseling now begins with informal connections as early as ninth grade. Students and parents can expect a full suite of support through senior year:

Ninth grade

  • Assist students with choosing appropriate courses
  • Outreach during freshman enrichment and advisory to emphasize the importance of doing well in classes and exploring interests outside of class

Tenth grade

  • Offer SAT prep in the fall and ACT prep in the spring
  • Practice PSAT in October and practice ACT in April
  • Whole-grade meeting in the spring (with parents) to interpret test scores
  • Career aptitude assessment in advisory

Eleventh grade

  • SAT prep in the fall and ACT prep in the spring
  • Take the PSAT in October and the ACT in February during the school day
  • Mock admissions night
  • Begin individual advising meetings with families and students with the goal of creating a school list
  • Visit with college representatives on campus
  • Use of college application software

Twelfth grade

  • Visit with college representatives on campus
  • Use of college application software
  • Individual support for students through the application process
  • Essay writing workshop and one-on-one feedback
  • Assistance with FAFSA completion through Financial Aid Night
  • Help with deciphering financial aid offers and searching for outside scholarship opportunities

Becky references another motto at Crossroads to guide her thinking about the college counseling program. “Our halls say ‘the best place to find yourself is to go to the place where you don’t have to be anyone else.’ The goal is to find the college where that’s true for each of our students; where they can really flourish as themselves, whatever their goals are for the future.” She notes that there are several right places for every student, and college counseling is focused on how we get them to one of those places. “Each student gets the individual support they need, tailored to what’s most important for their well-being and success. That feels really important to me in connection to our mission and values,” she adds.

Equally important to Becky is ensuring students grow in their level of responsibility and maturity as they navigate the admissions process and in college. “Beyond being prepared for the academic rigor of college, we know our students are leaving Crossroads prepared to advocate for themselves,” Becky adds. “We often hear our graduates tell us ‘I was encouraged to be myself and I was encouraged to speak up in class and knowing how to do those things were really important on campus.’”