The Michael A. Vanacore College Center


The college counseling office believes there is a “right fit/best” school for every student. Students are supported at every step of the college application process, from discovering strengths to overcoming weaknesses, researching colleges, registering for standardized tests (SAT, ACT, and/or TOEFL), meeting with college representatives, visiting college campuses, interviewing, writing application essays, completing applications, submitting transcripts and recommendations to selected colleges, and navigating the financial aid and scholarship application process. We ensure that each student’s college process is a rewarding and positive experience; meeting students where they are and bringing them beyond where they imagined possible.

College Counseling

COLLEGE ADMISSION SEMINARS

The college counselors facilitate a series of seminars about the college admission process beginning in the freshman year and continuing through their senior year. College admission seminars for postgraduates are included in their Postgraduate Seminar course.

COLLEGE COUNSELOR RELATIONSHIPS

We assign sophomores to college counselors in January and meet both individually and in small group sessions through the year. We continue to meet with students into their junior and senior years. We are counselors and confidants; we are a resource of information from the onset of the testing process all the way to financial aid and final college selection.

COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVES ON CAMPUS

Each year Cheshire Academy hosts over 125 college representatives in the fall who meet with students; we also sponsor a spring college fair on campus for sophomores and juniors that draws nearly 200 college representatives from around the world. Cheshire Academy juniors meet one-on-one with representatives from colleges for mock interviews. Cheshire Academy juniors meet one-on-one with a representative from a college for a mock interview, prior to our students being invited to explore myriad college options present.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

We involve parents in every part of the process and invite them to our junior College Day program and college fair. We also send important emails directly to parents about critical events or dates in the admission process. At Cheshire, we take a holistic approach to finding the best fit for each student; while many students enter our office with an idea of what schools they would like to attend, part of our role is to encourage students to read, explore, and evaluate a larger range of well-matched colleges. Through our hands-on College Counseling process, we inform and support students and their family during this important life milestone.

SENIOR COLLEGE WORKSHOP

We involve parents in every part of the process and invite them to our junior College Day program and college fair. We also send important emails directly to parents about critical events or dates in the admission process. At Cheshire, we take a holistic approach to finding the best fit for each student; while many students enter our office with an idea of what schools they would like to attend, part of our role is to encourage students to read, explore, and evaluate a larger range of well-matched colleges. Through our hands-on College Counseling process, we inform and support students and their family during this important life milestone.

The College Process

FRESHMEN

This first semester session focuses on what all students should be doing their four years of high school. This session is NOT about college choices but about the focus on academic preparation, involvement, and activities in high school.

SOPHOMORES

The Road to College, Part 1
This second-semester session focuses on those components of the college admission process that students can directly affect or control, such as academic and test performance, community involvement, and extracurricular participation, as well as what criteria colleges and universities weigh when making admission decisions. We also discuss the importance of maximizing academic strengths in the context of a broad high school curriculum

The Road to College, Part 2
Sophomores establish an account on Naviance, the password-protected Internet site that houses our complete admissions data and from which students can research colleges, admission criteria, a career survey, etc. Once they have registered, sophomores have the responsibility of completing the Career Interest Inventory on the “Do What You Are” component of the web site.

JUNIORS

Cheshire Academy’s College Counseling process is heavily focused on the junior year Some sessions are covered in two meetings.

Introduction to College Admission
This session covers the broad aspects of the college process, such as college search and admission jargon, financial aid, learning how to estimate predictability of admission, and the emphasis that CA’s College Counseling Office places on the “FIT.”

SAT and ACT Registration
Counselors direct students on test registration procedures. Registration forms are initiated online and students are able to finish them later if necessary. All sophomores take the PreACT in October, all juniors will take the PSAT in October and the School Day SAT in March. Cheshire Academy is an official SAT test center, offering 2018-19 tests on October 6, November 3, December 1, and May 4.

The College Admissions Process, an in-depth review 
This session covers the components of the college admissions process including standardized testing, teacher and counselor letters of recommendation, essays, review of the high school transcript, the campus visit, more on financial aid and scholarships, tips for working with your college counselor, resumes, athletic recruiting, tips for making the most of a college fair, and the college interview.

The College Admission Essay 
This session addresses the college essay. Sample essays are reviewed a and additional resources for advice and expertise are cited and discussed.

Financial Aid and NCAA Eligibility
This session serves as an introductory lesson in understanding the costs related to post-secondary education. Counselors go over the basics of Financial Aid and Scholarships processes.

Students who are interested in playing college-level athletics will be walked through creating an account with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

SENIORS

Application Details 
The session includes final details that will allow for a smooth and successful college admission process.

Senior Workshop
This half-day program held in mid-October is a check-up day for the college admission process. Seniors meet with faculty and college counselors as they complete the necessary steps which will allow them to submit their applications. Those who are still working on necessary details will have assistance in getting back on track and ready to finalize their documents. Students will be assisted in reviewing their essays and receiving needed feedback and advice; updating their Naviance account; learning how and when to request transcripts online; completing the Common Application; copying their passports, Visas, and I-20 documents that must be submitted with International student applications; practicing their interviewing skills, and fulfilling obligations required by the NCAA.

POSTGRADUATES

Postgraduate seminar covers a variety of topics throughout the school year in preparation for college enrollment. Some topics covered are: study skills and self-analysis of learning styles, college preparation, public speaking, and presentation skills. The public speaking and presentation skills components will call upon diverse, relevant themes including current events, ethical questions, and social decisions.  All postgraduate students will be expected to serve as active participants in every aspect of the seminar.

Postgraduates participate in a special morning workshop in mid-October where counselors and faculty join together to assist them in the finer details of the admission process. Workshops include financial aid applications, individual application essay feedback, completing the common application, mock interviews, follow-up on athletic documentation and NCAA requirements, updating their Naviance account and college list, and copying documents for international students which are needed in the process.

College Counseling Staff

Madeleine Bergstrom

Madeleine Bergstrom

Director of College Counseling

 

Laura Dempsey

Laura Dempsey

Senior Associate Director of College Counseling

 

Sarah Lasoff

Sarah Lasoff

Associate Director of College Counseling

 

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Address: 890 Lorem Ipsum Street #12 San Francisco, California 65432 Phone: 123.4567.890 Business Hours: 8a-6:30p M-F, 9a-2p S-S