At The Winchendon School, college counseling goes beyond being accepted. We focus on finding the right fit for students’ entire college experience. Through personalized guidance, we spend at least two years helping students understand their needs, goals, and strengths. Whether it’s a large D1 university or a small arts or pre-professional program, we’ll work with you to find the program specifically tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.
The Path to the College of Your Choice
Just like everything we do, the college counseling experience is individualized. For example, we begin our conversations with students upon enrollment to help them set personalized goals and benefit from two or more years of:
- Early one-on-one planning
- Individualized coaching throughout the application process
- SAT, ACT, and TOEFL preparation
- Exposure to 250+ colleges/universities through on-campus mini-college fairs
- The Director of College Counseling, Keeley Chretien leads an office of experienced college counselors.
Meet the Team
College Counseling Program Overview
The College Counseling Program at The Winchendon School assists each student in gaining admission to colleges where the student will thrive. In addition, we offer a multi-step, individualized counseling program that extends throughout the high school years, with the most active time being the second half of the junior year and the senior (or PG) year.
Students adjust to being in high school, making it a good time to assess academic strengths, personal interests, and environmental preferences.
- We ask students to think about the following questions:
- What am I good at?
- Where do I need to improve my skills and performance?
- How am I going to do that?
- In close coordination with their teachers, students are evaluated and equipped to excel to the best of their abilities in the classroom, which positions them for optimal academic trajectories.
- Additionally, we encourage students to pursue activities that express their personal interests.
Students are enrolled in appropriately challenging classes and supported to do their very best.
- We focus on building effective study skills and adapting to learning styles.
- We encourage involvement in co-curricular activities corresponding with particular strengths and/or interests.
- Through research and/or job-shadowing, students begin to explore professions that might interest them.
- Sophomores take the PSAT for the first time (results are not disclosed) and lay a foundation for SAT/ACT preparation.
Students are focused on maintaining good grades throughout this year of a challenging, college-preparatory curriculum.
- We place more emphasis on co-curricular activities and opportunities for leadership or special recognition.
- All juniors take the PSAT in October.
- We begin individual meetings with juniors in the winter when they begin working with Naviance, our college counseling software system.
- In the spring, each junior will spend at least one free period each week working with College Counseling to identify colleges to research and visit over the summer.
- Juniors should take the SAT in May.
- Students for whom English is not the first language need to take the TOEFL before the end of the junior year.
Students use the summer for college applications: researching and visiting colleges, working on college essays, and preparing for college admissions testing.
Of course, senior year is the busiest time for students! During the first semester (until they have completed the process as stipulated by the Director of College Counseling), Seniors and PG’s will spend at least one free period each week working with College Counseling to guide each step of the process.
Individual circumstances – like athletics, scholarships, and/or research interests for example – will add variations to this general outline:
- Seniors finish college admissions testing by December
- Finalize college application lists
- Complete and submit applications to colleges by November 1
- Apply for financial aid as needed by January deadlines
- Decide what institution they will attend and finish necessary paperwork by early spring.