College Counseling

Welcome from CCS’s College Counseling Office and Laura Smith!  

As your College Counselor, my overarching goal is to serve the Lord well as I help our Rhetoric students open doors of possibility for future educational opportunities that will lead them to careers that utilize their gifts and talents to glorify God. This is done throughout the year in many different ways. Here are ten great ways that the CCS Office of College Counseling serves CCS students and parents throughout the school year.

  1. I help students, especially seniors, navigate college admission and scholarship applications. This year we kick off the season on August 14 with our Senior College Day where we look at the whole admissions process including applying with the Common App, waiving FERPA, requesting Letters of Recommendation (LOR), registering for NC residency, and writing college application essays. Throughout the year, there will be opportunities available students to practice scholarship interviews. New for this year, I am teaching an elective for seniors, College Seminar for Seniors, that will assist them as they walk through this whole process.
  2. Through this office, college visits to CCS are scheduled and coordinated. Last year we had our first College Fair which allowed students and parents to learn about opportunities at different colleges and universities. By developing relationships with admissions officers, both the students and I are able to have questions answered and learn more about the majors and educational opportunities at different colleges.
  3. I work closely with the Dean of the Upper School to review and create returning and transfer student schedules, ensure that students are on track to graduate from CCS, and meet the University of North Carolina System minimum admission requirements.
  4. At CCS, we are blessed to have Naviance, a comprehensive college and career readiness information systems, available for our students, staff, and faculty. I work with Rhetoric students teaching them grade appropriate activities on Naviance. We begin by exploring career options and signing up for college visits at CCS and finishing with seniors recording college applications, acceptances, and scholarships received. It is exciting to see where the Lord has lead our seniors!
  5. As colleges move to a more holistic review of applicants, more and more emphasis is placed on letters of recommendation (LOR). Most schools like to see a LOR from the college counselor and many also like one(s) from teachers. My LORs can be a great way to help bring students to life showing examples of leadership, tenacity, discipline, faith in action, overcoming obstacles, etc. Seniors, if you need a LOR, be sure that you have had a meeting with me. Students, please remember to thank your teachers for writing you a letter of recommendation.
  6. This past year, I implemented Junior Parent/Student/Counselor meetings. These individual meetings in third quarter allowed me to review the student’s career desires, test scores, and transcript to help map out some potential college and career options. I am excited to continue this as I think that this helps the student think about opening doors, exploring opportunities, and looking at colleges.
  7. I serve as the AP Coordinator for CCS handling the registration for AP testing as well as overseeing all of the proctors for the exams. This past year, 111 students took 227 AP tests. We have a strong pass rate for our students who take AP classes and are pleased to open AP testing up to our rhetoric student body. Passing an AP Exam can strengthen a student’s college application, provide college credit, and give flexibility in college.
  8. I also coordinate and frequently administer other standardized tests including the PSAT/NMSQT and the CLT. Juniors and sophomores, save the date for the PSAT/NMSQT on October 10, 2018.
  9. I seek to stay current on college admission standards, trends, and resources and take advantage of networking opportunities with college counseling associations and organizations such as NACAC, SACAC, CACRAO, ACT, and SAT. These valuable educational and networking opportunities provide useful information and tools. They also help foster beneficial relationships with peer college counselors and college admissions personnel.
  10. Did you know that CCS has a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity? As the chapter advisor, I am thankful that there is a strong student leadership team in place who are looking forward to helping our students get involved with Habitat.

I am excited to also announce that a team is working on creating opportunities throughout the year for students to explore careers. We desire to connect students with people in the CCS community to inspire and to prepare students to make intentional decisions that glorify God for life after CCS. If you are interested in sharing about your career or helping with this, please reach out to me.

If you have questions, please reach out to me. My phone number is 919-303-2560 x248 or I can be reached via email at



Naviance – Log in

CCS College Counseling Handbook (2017-18) – This handbook is to help walk you through college admissions. It covers useful information for all Rhetoric school students, but especially for juniors and seniors and their parents.

2018-19 Common Application Essay Prompts

Other Useful Links


Laura Smith
College Counselor

College Choices

Click the map below to find out where our 2018 graduates are going to school this year:

College Counseling Calendar

Aug. 1 – Common App Opens

Aug. 14 – Senior College Planning Day

Aug. 15 – Senior Parent Meeting

Aug. 20 – Junior Parent/Student Meeting – Download PowerPoint File

Aug. 22 – Sophomore Parent/Student Meeting

Aug. 29 – Freshman Parent/Student Meeting

Sept. 1 – Most College Applications Open

Oct. 10 – PSAT/NMSQT (Juniors and Sophomores)

Oct. 15 – Early Action Deadline for NCSU & UNC

Nov. – Jan. 1 & 15 of each month – College Application Deadlines

May 6-17 – AP Testing

College Admissions Handbook 2017-2018

  This handbook is to help walk you through college admissions.  It covers useful information for all Rhetoric school students, but especially for seniors and juniors and their parents.   2017-18 CCS College and Career Handbook

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