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 lsmith@carychristianschool.org.

 


 

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

Smith

Laura Smith
College Counselor
LSmith@carychristianschool.org

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

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

"Curate" Your College List For Best Results

Willard Dix , CONTRIBUTOR to Forbes This list is not something you want to just throw together hoping for the best. The verb “to curate” shouldn’t be used outside of museums or specialized collections of valuable objects, especially when applied to mundane things like coffee, magazines or interior decoration. A curator has esoteric knowledge gained…

Test Dates for 2017-2018 and Testing Info

It is time for some “Test Talk.” Juniors and Seniors, you should have the ACT and SAT registration and test dates on your radar. They are at the bottom of this post. I am not endorsing Higher Scores Test Prep, but rather, I find the format they use in compiling the dates to be helpful…

Tips for the College Essay

How should you present yourself in an essay? Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale University An admission officer shares tips on writing an essay that reflects who you really are. Video Transcript When you apply to college, you’ll need to complete an essay as part of your application. This is your opportunity to show…

Common Application Prompts for 2017-2018

We are pleased to share the 2017-2018 Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of 108 Common App member colleges and more than 5,000 other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors. Students represented the single largest share of constituent…

Prepare your daughter for the future!

Encourage her to apply for  the Girls Who Code’s two-week Campus program, July 31 – August 11, 2017, at the UNC Department of Computer Science. This Girls Who Code Campus program is a two-week immersion program for high school girls to learn 
computer science fundamentals, gain exposure to tech jobs and join a supportive sisterhood…

Affording College

If you are the parent of a student in high school, I don’t have to tell you that college is expensive. Maybe you have spoken with your kids about paying for college themselves, or perhaps you have been putting money away since they were babies. Wherever you are on the spectrum, the burden of paying…

Employment Opportunity for High School

Juice Vibes of Cary (Located in Kildaire Shoppes) Opening Mid June Available Shifts: 6am-2pm, 10am-5pm, 2pm- closing

Recommended Reading for Parents and Students

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS David L. Marcus: Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right Colleges–and Find Themselves Jacques Steinberg: The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College John A. Beck: Light on the Path: A Christian Perspective on College Success Karen Levin Coburn: Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding College…