New counseling department design increases college application efficiency, lowers student stress

Written by: Sarah Scherer ‘16, Managing Editor for the El Cid

Tearing open acceptance letters, revising essays and contemplating whether to apply by the early or regular timelines, seniors in the Class of 2016 are at the height of the college application process. With fall midterms steadily approaching, seniors are working with their counselors to finalize many of their applications in the midst of the holiday season.

The counseling department hopes to make the application process at Cathedral Catholic High School more streamlined and relaxed with the restructuring of the department.

“What we’re doing is reorganizing the counseling office to give a better focus at each grade level, as well as to give a college counseling focus,” Mrs. Ashley Bascom, director of counseling, said.

Beginning January 2016, juniors will transition from their current guidance counselors to specialized college counselors, and begin researching colleges to add to a college list.

“It will take the application process that’s happening fall of senior year right now, and start it in spring of junior year,” Mrs. Bascom said.

Moving up the college application timeline to mid-junior year will allow students to work with their counselors to avoid any last-minute schedule changes at the beginning of senior year. Based on the college list students create as juniors, the college counselors will work to ensure the students meet the course requirements of each individual institution.

“We will have more time to focus on four year planning, course selection and adjusting your high school schedule according to what colleges you’re interested in,” Mrs. Bascom said.

Juniors will have a baseline application plan by the end of junior year, allowing them to get a head start on personal essays over the summer. The counseling department anticipates their new design will decrease the tendency for students to hire private college counselors outside of CCHS.

“I really like the idea,” Henry Pedersen ’17 said. “Instead of meeting with an outside [private] counselor, it will be much more convenient to be able to sort out your colleges at school.”

All application resources, including focused attention by their college counselor, will be provided for students at CCHS.

Seniors will keep their current counselors, but the Class of 2017 can look forward to the change coming soon.