Cate's College Counseling program focuses on providing students with the tools and information they need to find colleges which are the best fit for them academically, socially and environmentally. It is driven by the philosophy that seniors must take ownership of the college application process. We strive to provide extensive guidance and the support they need to do the job well, but it is their job to do. This educational transition is a key step in the developmental process of becoming adults and making major decisions.
Anne Hall, with 20+ years of experience at Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania, and Margot Dorion, who began her college counseling career at Connecticut's Cheshire Academy in 1997, head a team that also includes Laura Camp and Amy Giles. The four members of the counseling office work closely together to ensure a cohesive process for each student. Our counselors are deeply familiar with the college admission process, have had the chance to get to know college admissions officers over the years, and understand how to help students identify the criteria they want in a college and how to present themselves confidently and fully in an application. The counseling process is individualized, deliberate and comprehensive; college counselors work individually with students to find the college that best matches their interests and strengths.
Our familiarity with colleges, and with the admissions officers at those colleges, is central to our being able to support and guide our students. We foster these relationships in a number of ways: we welcome college admissions representatives to Cate with our College Visits and Case Studies programs, organize and participate in special events, conferences and workshops, and solicit feedback from our alumni every year. In addition to the events we host, we visit colleges, attend professional conferences, and take advantage of invitations to attend smaller workshops each year where we can reconnect with colleagues on both sides of the desk. Opportunities such as these are invaluable.
Having played the lead in their college search, our students are all the more ready to excel once enrolled. The simple fact is that Cate is great preparation for college. It’s probably fair to say that many of our students are already doing college-level work even before they leave as graduates. Our students push themselves all four years, and they are busy and engaged outside of the classroom as well. Learning to live independently, participating in a high-school environment that resembles a small liberal arts college more than most high schools, learning to work and live in direct contact with teachers who are both mentors and friends—all these things combine to prepare our students well for what they will experience in college.
Our college colleagues share with us how impressed they are by our students, who consistently show themselves to be articulate, genuine, engaging young people. “Cate kids are self-effacing, sharp-witted, funny, and humble—there are things about them, intellectually or otherwise, that would impress you, but you’ll have to find out what those things are on your own, because they won’t share that information willingly,” says one college representative. “They’re the kids on the college freshman hall who don’t seek attention from peers, but who get it anyway with an easygoing manner and a playful-but-serious sense of purpose. They change the world around them, but do it more through listening than through manhandling force. Quite simply, they’re magnetic.” Another says: “Cate and other schools have reputations for unbelievable academic strength, but also an enduring commitment to community-first practices. We are bigger than I. That breeds collaboration (not competition) among students, it fosters caring people, and it knocks down idle boasting. Such an institutional personality begins with administrative decisions and examples, it seeps into your expectations for the proper parental role in school matters, and it just creates good kids.”When students apply to appropriate colleges, for which they are compelling, competitive candidates, success is guaranteed.
For more information on our approach, please read our Program Highlights.