It’s all about finding the right match, so it’s best to start there.
As a counseling program, we are deeply committed to helping our students discover the school that best matches their skills, talents and interests. Additionally, we want students to find the collegiate culture and environment that fits them best. We hope that students will find a place that excites and inspires them on the next leg of their education journey. This transition is significant both for students and their families, and CSW has a dedicated team of college counselors who work with students and parents to help, encourage and support them in this process of self-discovery.
Informally, the college planning process begins the moment students enter CSW, with academic advisors and teachers working closely with families to help select courses that balance both academic rigor and the students; own unique interests. Students will reflect on their strengths, current skills, passions, as well as areas of support. They will be challenged to begin thinking about how they want to contribute to the communities that they are a part of and identify both academic and personal goals for the next few years. The advisor, student, and parent all work together to identify resources and steps that can help the student move in the right direction. Midway through sophomore year, all parents and guardians are invited to attend Mindful Academic Planning, which is co-sponsored by the Academic and College Counseling Offices. At this important program, the Director of College Counseling will lay out some important advice for the college search process, and the Academic Dean will provide guidance on course selection and other important academic topics.
Students are matched with a College Counselor in December of their junior year. Throughout the winter and spring, juniors meet with their counselors at regular intervals to get to know them well, engage in self-discovery, explore college options, discuss standardized testing, and review the college application process. A wide selection of programs is offered to students and parents to help acclimate them to the college admission process in a contemporary context.
Nearly all our graduates pursue higher education at four-year colleges and universities or a four-year degree program at schools of art or music. A few students take a “gap year” between high school and college to travel, work, or volunteer, however, we encourage all seniors to apply to colleges while they are enrolled at CSW.
CSW graduates are accepted and matriculate at an increasingly diverse and broad range of colleges and universities, and our college matriculation record reflects our commitment to helping our students find that best match.
As counselors, we embrace a philosophy that allows students and parents a safe space to explore, reflect on, and embrace the college process with a sense of agency and excitement. We try to structure a process that is highly personalized as opposed to a “one size fits all” program. Our program is relationship-based, where, more than anything, we strive to know and work with students and parents in a way that is authentic, open, and available.
Lastly, and most importantly, our approach to our program and the college search process absolutely reflects the school’s progressive, student centered mission. We value fit for the student, mindfulness in the process, and quality of educational experience over rankings, raw selectivity and perceived prestige. We were one of the lead school’s on Harvard’s Making Caring Common Campaign.