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College Counseling

College exploration should be about discovering one’s interests, pursuing opportunities for deeper exploration and learning in those areas, and meaningfully reflecting on how those experiences shape one’s perspective of the world and our place in it.   

In the same way that we want our Pioneers to feel that they Belong Here, we want our graduates to find colleges and universities that are the right fit, where they will feel they belong. That journey is a lifelong process, and the college exploration phase of that journey begins at Providence in Freshman year.

Many college admissions processes, like those of Harvard and other ivy leagues, are now promoting these same values and priorities that we in Catholic education have always championed. We have partnered with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education through their Making Caring Common network. In line with the MCC initiative and philosophy, our 4-year College Exploration Curriculum seeks to:

  1. “Promote more meaningful contributions to others, community service, and engagement with the public good. 
  2. Assess students’ ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture, and class. 
  3. Redefine achievement in ways that both level the playing field…and reduce[s] excessive achievement pressure.” 

Four-Year Plan

Pioneer Orientation

Know Yourself

  • Students explore their priorities, values, struggles, and personal goals in Religious Studies classes
  • Students meet 1:1 with their Academic Counselor to brainstorm on college aspirations and set goals for the school year
  • Students & parents are trained on Naviance, our college planning software, and start to build their Pioneer Profile with a personality test and list of hobbies, interests, goals, and accomplishments
  • Students take the PSAT 8/9 in October to introduce them to standardized testing and review the results
  • Students and parents meet with Academic Counselors to discuss course selection for 10th grade.
  • Students attend a College Fair to expose them to additional options
  • Students are encouraged to register for summer enrichment programs to explore areas of interest in more depth

Mapping out a Pioneer Pathway

Career Explorations

  • Students continue to question and explore their priorities, values, and responsibility to their fellow man through Religious Studies classes.
  • Students participate in interdisciplinary studies and reflect on their Christian Service experience
  • Students attend Naviance sessions to update their Pioneer Profile with the Career Interest Profiler and College Match activities
  • Students take the PSAT/NMSQT in October and review results
  • Students attend Mock SAT and ACT exam sessions to determine test preference
  • Students are invited to attend the Counseling Department’s annual College Tour to college and universities in a distinct geographic location (spots are limited and priority is given to juniors)
  • Students are encouraged to register for summer enrichment programs to explore areas of interest in more depth
  • Students and parents are guided through the Course Selection Process by Academic Counselors to discuss classes for 11th grade.
  • College Counselor presents to the 10th grade on College Admissions Myths and Safety/Target/Reach lists in Naviance

A Pioneer’s Compass

The Journey to College

  • Students self-reflect on the person they are becoming, how their actions align with their values, and their impact on others through their Religious Studies courses.
  • Students attend Naviance lab sessions with their Academic Counselor to update their Pioneer Profile with college lists and College SuperMatch
  • Students are encouraged to attend College Rep visits: over 50 college representatives personally visit the PHS campus throughout the year
  • Students are invited to attend the All-Valley High School College Fair
  • Students take the PSAT in October and review results with their Parents, Academic Advisor, Math, and English teachers
  • Students attend Mock SAT/ACT exams to determine Test Prep Plan with their College Counselor
  • Students and Parents attend meetings in January to learn more about College Planning
  • Students are invited to attend the Counseling Dept.’s annual College Tour to college and universities in a given geographic region (East coast, Northwest, Southwest, Southeastern, Northeastern, Midwest, etc…)
  • Students and Parents complete a Junior Survey to develop their College Action Plan
  • Students calculate their UC GPA for Naviance and are urged to participate in the Junior Case Studies opportunity
  • Students complete Junior Planning Form over the Summer to prepare for College Applications in the fall
  • Students take the official SAT or ACT in spring of junior year and strategize with their College Counselor based on their results.
  • Students draft Personal Statement for College Admissions in English classes
  • Students and Parents are encouraged to plan college visits during summer of Junior Year.

Pioneer Horizons

Looking to the Future with Hope and Confidence

  • Seniors clarify their beliefs and values in relation to others’ and reflect on how they want to serve others through their Religious Studies classes
  • Seniors follow-up on their SAT/ACT test Action Plan with Director of College Counseling
  • Seniors attend Naviance lab sessions in October for college essay writing workshops and assistance with the application process
  • Seniors compose a final draft of their College Essay or Personal Statement as part of a required assignment for English class
  • Seniors submit their Senior Project Proposal and begin work on a research paper for English class which explores a topic related to their possible college major or career path
  • Seniors attend college representative visits with the Director of College Counseling
  • Seniors submitting for Early Action or Early Decision meet with the Director of College Counseling to strategize on their application
  • Seniors and Parents attend College Nights on applying for financial aid and navigating critical conversations around the final selection process
  • Seniors & Parents receive ongoing academic and moral support from the Director of College Counseling through the submission of applications, financial aid, processing notices of acceptance, denial, deferral, and waitlist.
  • Students & Parents are guided through the final college selection process by the Director of College Counseling
  • Seniors celebrate acceptances with our Monthly Senior Spotlight and the Director of College Counseling updates the College Horizons board in the main breezeway of campus
  • Seniors finalize their college choice and take any required placement tests
  • Seniors commemorate National Commit Day, May 1st, with a senior class photo wearing shirts to proclaim their chosen college
  • Seniors complete their Senior Projects by meeting with their mentors, completing fieldwork, submitting their final product, and presenting on their journey to classmates, mentors, faculty, and staff.

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