College Counseling

An Individualized Approach to College Search

“The college counseling program is really helpful, especially during junior year. It kept me on track and helped me find programs that fit my interests.”

Jordan Duncan A’20

Salem’s 4-year College Counseling curriculum provides a holistic approach to college search, helping each student identify her right-fit college based on her unique goals, interests, challenges, and strengths. 

From freshman through senior year, students are guided through the search and application process. Integrated with our Pathways wellness program, the College Counseling curriculum takes each students’ total wellbeing into account. In addition to researching academic majors, location, cost, and size of schools, we evaluate the overall environment and the resources offered. The process is individualized for each student, accounting for her study skills, time management skills, and any unique needs.

Overview

Freshman Year

  • 9th graders meet quarterly to create a 4-year academic and extracurricular plan
  • They take the PSATs in October, then meet with the college counselor in February to interpret the results
  • Over Jan Term, 9th graders visit a college campus
  • In the spring, they develop a summer plan that focuses on developing and pursuing a passion

Sophomore Year

  • 10th graders meet quarterly and focus on:
    • College visits, how to plan for and maximize a visit
    • Learning how to utilize Naviance Family Connection, a software program that helps families align a student’s interests and strengths with academic programs and institutions
  • They take the PSATs again in October, then meet with the college counselor in February to interpret the results.
  • Over Jan Term, 10th graders visit a college campus
  • In the spring, they plan for the summer, specifically how to further invest in an interest that will set them apart

Junior Year

  • In September, Juniors meet to
    • Revisit Naviance Family Connection
    • Review the campus visit lesson
    • At Parents Weekend, parents meet with the college counselor regarding Naviance and the year’s goals
  • In October and November, Juniors meet to
    • Receive a lesson in standardized test taking and they take the PSAT again
    • Attend a College Fair at the Benton Convention Center
    • Participate in a Junior Seminar, which includes
      • Mock college application review
      • Interpreting PSAT results
      • The Common App & Admissions interviews
      • College application essays lesson
      • Financial Aid and Scholarships lesson
  • From January – May, juniors
    • Attend individualized meetings with the college counselors
    • Participate in an individualized family meeting
    • Plan for summer goals

Senior Year

  • The Senior Seminar, which starts in August, focuses on
    • Application Process
    • Deadlines
    • Transcript requests
    • Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Campus visits
    • Scholarship and Financial Aid information
  •  In September, seniors and their parents meet for a Q & A with the college counselor at Parents Weekend
  • From August-November, students participate in individualized meeting and submit their college applications

Meet your College Counselor

Dr. Sara Spong, Director of College Counseling
336.721.2805
Sara.Spong@salem.edu