At BCIS, we started a tradition of sharing information with our community through a series titled, "Did You Know?" Staff members have begun to contribute both interesting facts and anecdotes about our school. For the fifth part of our series, Mrs. Annie Edwards, Director of University Guidance, and Ms. Kelly Flanagan, High School Counselor, share some information regarding the college admissions process. Please read further to learn more.
At BCIS, the High School level (Grades 9-12) University Guidance program is designed to support students' academic progress through the high school years and guide students towards admission to a best-fit university, as well as post-secondary educational and career options. This is accomplished through individual and group counseling, the University Prep (UP!) program, academic advising, career planning, and working with the Learning Support teachers to ensure the best educational outcomes for all students.
The University Guidance program is delivered through the advisory program, with Grades 9- 12 advisory teachers. The focus in Grade 9 is to identify skills, academic strengths, and personal preferences. Grade 10 explores career options and pathways. Grade 11 focuses on the university search process, from creating the college list to completing the application. Writing the personal statement, building the resume, and asking teachers for recommendations are included in the Grade 11 program. Each year of high school extends the concepts using the self-knowledge generated and revealed in the earlier sessions.
The University Prep program is supported by the provision of an electronic university and college management system. This software system can be accessed by students and families to add information as it develops, search for universities, track applications and responses, as well as facilitate the timely sending of support documentation. Parents are be able to view certain sections of their child's file to see progress to date and participate more meaningfully in the application process.
As University Guidance Counselors, we provide students structure and process for the university search progression. We play an important role in the mentoring and nurturing of students during the early years of secondary school in preparation for the university search process. We work with each student through individual discussions and group workshops, emphasizing the development of strong study skills and academic goal-setting. As each student progresses through the secondary school experience and learns more about his/her academic interests and strengths, we provide guidance to identify appropriate university pathways.
We oversee six testing sessions each year and mentor teachers to serve as associate supervisors and hall proctors. We created a four-year-long university guidance curriculum tailored to our students. This program will include identifying academic skills, appropriate career paths according to student interests and strengths, and preparing for the PSAT and SAT. Both counselors are certified in college counseling. Annie completed her College Counseling Certification through UCLA and took the following courses:
The College Admissions Process
Counseling the College Bound Student
Testing and Career Assessment
Special Issues in College Counseling
College Counseling for International Students
The Business of Educational Consulting
Practicum in College Counseling
Through her College Counseling Certification program, Kelly has taken these courses:
Access and Equity in Higher Education
American College and University Students
Practicum in College Counseling
Both of the university guidance counselors have specialized training in the college counseling process. In addition, both counselors attend university guidance conferences regularly and are in daily communication with other school counselors and university admission officers. What this means to our BCIS families is that our counselors have learned the latest information concerning college admissions and are able to fact check any questions that arise during the college search and application process. They are also both members of several networking groups for counselors, including NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors) and IACAC (International Association of College Admissions Counselors).
Director of University Guidance
High School Counselor (Grades 9-12)