The Role of the College Advisor
College Counselor, Stacy Hernandez
To create a class in which the students can ask questions, share stories and support each other in the college search process, and this important developmental stage in their lives. In this class the counselor provides information about the college search and application process, but the main purpose is to empower the students to engage in planning their future after high school. (The class is not intended to be a comprehensive course on the process and all available options for each student.)
To create and maintain a connection to college admissions counselors and advisors, and provide information about Waldorf Education, the Shining Mountain High School curriculum and programs, and individual students.
To attend parent meetings, and special college advising events, to speak with parents about the advisor’s role in the process, give some insight regarding the process, and help support a healthy process for the student. (Speaking at these events and meetings is not meant to serve as a comprehensive parent class on the college application process. Instead, the purpose is to create a place of support for our parents, in which they can ask questions and start a dialogue with each other as SMWS parents. One of the greatest gifts of our school is the community in which parents support each other.)
To create and maintain relationships with college admissions counselors, and make sure these counselors understand the value of Waldorf education, and Shining Mountain Waldorf School. The adviser invites several admissions counselors a year to speak to the students and to set up individual interviews with them.
To provide and track supporting documentation for the applications.
- Letter of Recommendation form – Each student fills out this form, which is used by the teachers to write letters of recommendation. We strongly encourage each student to fill in out thoroughly, with much thought, so that the teachers can write the best letter possible.
- College List Form – The advisor needs to have on file, early in the fall, a list of all colleges to which the student will apply, along with phone numbers for the admissions office (in case a phone call is necessary). For schools not on the Common Application (which includes its own waiver) students need to fill out a form requesting transcripts and other supporting documentation to be sent.
- Counselor Support form – The SMWS Advisor submits a Counselor’s Statement form for each student’s Common Application, and Counselor Forms from non-Common App forms. It is the students’ responsibility to print out and bring non-Common App forms to the Counselor.
- Teacher Recommendation letters – The advisor supports the teachers in writing their letters by providing the completed Letter of Recommendation Request form, and other information the teachers use to write their letters. The advisor keeps copies of these letters for future applications by students, and submits them to the colleges along with the other supporting documentation. We remind families that these letters are from the teachers to the colleges. Students or parents do not see the letters. We inform families of this policy, and remind them that if they do not feel comfortable waiving their right to see a letter by a teacher they have asked, they should ask another teacher to write a letter on their behalf.
- School Transcript – The advisor works with the school Registrar to make get copies of student transcript finished by application deadlines, and uploads or mails them along with other supporting materials.