- Upper School
This blog post was written by Thornton Academy's Director of School Counseling, Kelley Hodgman-Burns.
High school will always come to a close, even though it seems so far away for a 14-year old ninth grader.
The Thornton Academy experience flies by before our students’ eyes, and our school counselors work for four years to make sure that students are ready with an individualized post-high school plan to help them become who they want to be. As students enter the front door, school counselors are already thinking about "what comes next" for each of them. Every time we communicate with a student or a group of students we are seeing them with a lens that considers: Post-secondary and career planning; Social-Emotional support; and Academic advising with the end point in sight. There is a direct relationship between a student's course sequence, their emotional well-being, and their post-secondary options. We are holistic and recognize the importance of long-range academic planning.
Our approach to post-secondary planning is student-based, thorough, and wide-ranging to support the very diverse group of students we serve at Thornton Academy. Each year we have students placed at top universities and liberal arts colleges, fine arts institutions, engineering schools, technical colleges and an array of other 2- and 4- year institutions. Post-secondary plans are as diverse as the students who attend TA!
The college search takes into account the uniqueness of the student (his/her aptitudes, interests, and strengths), family needs and desires, along with specific college characteristics. During discussions we cover topics such as, but not limited to:
- university size, location, and setting
- academic interest
- strength of student transcript and GPA
- extra-curricular interests
- hopes for the future
- financial considerations
- college vocabulary
- safety, match, reach schools
In preparation for this post, I chatted with my colleagues. I wanted to be sure I best represented our work in the post-secondary and college planning sphere. One reported, "I'll remind you of your own words: famous does not equal good. There are matches out there for all." Virtually all students (domestic and international alike) can name a handful of famous US universities and colleges. They know the ones that make headlines for selectivity, Ivy status, sport prowess, etc. One could ask any student in the halls of TA to name a US institution of higher learning and get an accurate response. We invite students and families to consider that there are 3,500+ higher ed institutions in the United States. We look beyond the names as we seek to find the right fit for the right student!