Throughout our students’ time at WNA they are exposed to opportunities that will bring about a self-awareness that is imperative for designing their future paths. Through trips, college tours, discussions, games, role-playing, seminars, and workshops students learn skills that prepare them for their pathways to college. Our students are creating strong college resumes that set them apart! All students receive academic advising and college guidance steered toward the students’ future goals.
WNA’s culture is founded upon preparation for college. Each student has a Naviance and RAISEME account that help ease some of the stress of choosing the right college.
Naviance is the dashboard in which application material is submitted. The platform offers search capabilities and assessments that assist students in their plans for colleges and careers. Students are able to access statistics on colleges and view “scattergrams” that compare their particular profiles with those of other applicants. Naviance also includes other tools that can be submitted directly to colleges such as access to transcripts, recommendation letters, and other school and teacher forms.
RAISME is a college awareness tool in which students enter their grades, awards, extracurriculars, etc., as well as the colleges they are considering. These colleges will appear on the student’s dashboard with tuition potential scholarship information based on that student’s profile. Students can view in dollar amounts the effect GPA, test scores, community service, awards, and athletic participation have on net tuition, which can be extremely motivating for some.
Throughout students’ education at WNA, they will be part of the four-year college counseling plan. All contact has one main focus – Excellent endeavors for a successful future! We aim to make the college process one that unfolds throughout high school, not treated as an afterthought rushed through one’s senior year.
Students are introduced to college counselling at WNA during our unique Nottingham Open. We play a game to show them the importance of not only earning good grades, but also participating in numerous school activities, and creating relationships. We Introduce Naviance and allow each student to sign in and explore the platform. Freshmen also take a personality assessment on the platform.
After our spring break, freshmen prepare for the college trip to University of Maryland, College Park and Goucher College. We also discuss summer plans and courses for their sophomore year.
In early October we introduce the PSAT. Students do the pre-administration and learn the importance of the PSAT, as well as test-taking strategies.
In November we hold a brief meeting before the college tour to Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University of Maryland.
By winter break we review how to access PSAT scores, look over Khan Academy’s free SAT prep tool, and encourage students to apply to summer programs if they have not already done so.
In the spring we touch base about summer plans, junior schedule, and college summer tours.
The Junior year focuses on learning about the admission process and reviewing applications. Additionally, juniors will prepare for and take the PSAT/NMSQT. Students learn the importance of test-taking strategies with our English and Math Departments’ support.
After our Parents Weekend in mid-October, juniors leave for tours of the University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph’s University, and Jefferson/Philadelphia University. In the spring of the junior year, we visit two or three more colleges and universities.
On or about October 30th, we visit the NACAC College Fair in Baltimore, where over 1000 colleges and universities are in attendance.
In early December, we receive and review PSAT scores and encourage students to apply to summer programs if they have not already done so.
In our third quarter (January and February), the Junior College Seminar begins. The course is eight 60-minute sessions. The seminar covers students’ rights and responsibilities in the application process, West Nottingham’s college office policy and procedures (see attached 2021 College Guidance Handbook), resume writing, essay prep, writing, research of colleges and majors, building a college list, selecting the writers of each student’s recommendations, instruction on visiting colleges, instruction on presentation of self, interview techniques, and an introduction to the Common Application and other application platforms. Most importantly, students learn about fit – academic, social, financial, geographic, which enable the student to create a final college list.
Senior year is the culmination of all of the hard work students have done since they arrived on campus. As the school year starts, so does the Senior College Seminar, with eight 60-minute sessions. This program expects that all returning seniors will apply to their top schools before Thanksgiving break. Seniors finalize their resumes, essays, supplemental information, and financial documents as needed. Seniors continue to receive Naviance and Common App instruction and support, register for testing, apply for FAFSA support, and seek and apply for scholarships.
Are you interested in learning more about college counseling? Contact our Director of College Counseling, Yvonne Dvorak.