|The goal of our college counseling program at The John Cooper School is to help students find the right college “match," where the student will learn effectively, enjoy campus life, contribute to the community, and reach his or her full potential. With increased competition among colleges, helping students focus on achieving a good match has become more important than ever. A successful college search is one in which students remain in control of their process and feel positive about their options. |
The centerpiece of Cooper’s college counseling program is individual counseling. In formulating a college list, each student works with a primary counselor to explore his/her academic and extracurricular interests and optimal college community, size, and location. As they help students develop a balanced list, our counselors emphasize finding “eight first choices” (to borrow a phrase used by Joyce Mitchell in Winning the Heart of the College Admissions Dean).
Students consult with their counselor during each step of the process, such as developing resumes, writing essays, preparing for interviews, and completing applications. Through frequent and personal interactions with students, our teachers and counselors are able to write very individualized letters of recommendation that prove an invaluable component of student application packets.
Several programs supplement this one-on-one counseling. The junior program includes a fall college trip in Texas and a spring college fair hosted by the Houston Area Independent Schools, with over 150 colleges and universities participating. In recent years, guest speakers for Cooper’s junior meetings have included the deans of admission from Davidson College, Emory University, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
During the junior year, students and parents begin using TCCi Family Connection by Naviance – a web-based computer program that is a valuable resource to help students, parents, and counselors work together throughout the college admission process. This use of technology is complemented by an annual schedule of over 50 personal visits to our campus from college admission representatives.
During the senior year, our college counselors and seniors meet weekly to cover college planning topics. In the spring, guest speakers help seniors prepare for the transition from high school to college, and alumni explore career options with the seniors.
Cooper’s college counselors attend professional conferences annually in order to stay abreast of current admission trends. They visit ten to fifteen colleges each year and maintain an extensive network of college admission contacts. These activities enable our counselors to be better advisors and advocates for Cooper students.