The senior year guidance program focuses primarily on preparing the student for life beyond Regis. For nearly all our students this means a four year college or university setting. In light of this, the formal large group sessions focus on college related issues ranging from the mechanics of the application process (e.g. filing an application, creating a data sheet, making the most of interviews, etc.), to the transition to college life itself. Group sessions are held once a week, beginning in February of junior year, and continuing through senior year.
Given the nature of the student body at Regis, the senior guidance program presumes that all Regis students will go to college. Its goal then is to teach students how to investigate and explore an appropriate range of colleges, based on the core belief that college admissions is a match to be made rather than a prize to be won. An "appropriate" college then is understood to be one which matches a given student's goals, needs, interests, and abilities.
Accordingly, the guidance program is focused on two processes: first, it encourages students to engage in self-examination, and thus to clarify and understand their values and evolving goals at large, and particularly in the context of college education; and second, it tries to channel student research in meaningful directions - that is, towards institutions that will offer what they are looking for in a college. This second process depends, of course, on more than student inclinations: the individual student must also learn to see his position in the competitive college market, and plan accordingly.
Ultimately, students are challenged to reflect on their own goals and ambitions in a serious manner; to understand their own positions, as compared to other Regis students, and to the population of 18-year olds at large; and to apply to a list of schools that best suit their needs, strengths and interests. Each student is challenged to choose a balanced final list of colleges where each school is viewed as a real choice. While he may have preferences among the colleges on his list, each college must be a place that he could see himself attending.
Frequent individual meetings are also a crucial component of the senior guidance program. Each senior continues his relationship with his assigned college adviser from junior year, who will serve as his guidance counselor for the senior year. The two-year relationship will allow the counselor to both counsel the student on college related issues, as well as academic and personal issues not specifically related to the college process.
In senior year, each student meets at least three times before Christmas with his guidance counselor, along with the availability of Daily Drop-in Office Hours after school.
Topics that are covered in group sessions include:
• Applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships • How Colleges View the SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Tests • Assessing Colleges "Objectively" and “Subjectively” • Researching Colleges using Print and Electronic Resources • Creating a Data Sheet and Activity Chart • Making the Most of a College Admissions Interview • Choosing and Obtain Teacher Recommendations • Making the Most of a College Campus Visit • Writing an Effective Personal Statement • Understanding How Colleges Make Their Decisions • Choosing Third Trimester Options • Handling the College Results in April • Transition and Separation Issues
Handouts are regularly distributed in each group session. Additionally, an extensive collection of college resource guides, catalogs and pamphlets are available in the guidance resource center.
Parents are encouraged to utilize the frequent evening Guidance Programs for Senior Parents for information and guidance about the admissions process and their sons’ individual progress. The Junior and Senior Parent Questionnaires distributed by the senior guidance counselors, also provide an outlet for parent concerns and feedback. Additionally, parents wishing to discuss matters of personal concern about their son are encouraged to call the guidance counselor at 212-288-1100.
Senior Year Guidance: Overview of Group Sessions
SESSION 1: Junior Year Refresher and Overview of Senior Year; College Information Sessions at Regis, the Data Sheet and Activity Chart Assignment
The counselor provides a brief review of junior guidance and an overview of the senior year guidance curriculum. The purpose and procedure for seeing college representatives visiting Regis is reviewed. Students are also taught how to create a Datasheet of their academic and extracurricular involvements and achievements, and an Activity Chart for their college applications.
SESSION 2: Campus Visits and the Peer Report Assignment
The purpose and procedure for making fall campus visits to colleges is introduced and discussed. The Peer Report Assignment is also introduced. Each senior is required to ask a fellow Regis senior to write a peer report on his behalf, which will assist the counselor and teachers in writing letters of recommendation.
SESSION 3: Transcripts, Secondary School Application Forms; Introduction to Teacher Recommendations and the Academic History Assignment
Students are given instructions on how to proof a draft copy of their official transcript that will be sent to colleges. Students are also taught how to create a Regis-specific secondary school form that will be filed with the students’ applications. Additionally, the guidelines for choosing and obtaining teacher letters of recommendation is also explained and discussed. Students will review the Academic History Reflection, a substantial written assignment that provides an opportunity to reflect on strengths, weaknesses and academic development at since freshman year.
SESSION 4: Finalizing Recommendations and the Basics of Filing Applications (Mechanics, Creating Teacher and Counselor Recommendation Packets, etc.)
Students will complete a in-class reflection on their teacher recommendation choices. The procedure for filing applications, counselor and teacher recommendations and SAT scores are also explained and discussed.
SESSION 5: The Common Application and Completing Applications – Part I
The Common Application is discussed, and reviewed line by line as a vehicle for discussing common student questions about answering application questions. Particular attention is given to counseling students how to most favorably represent themselves in college applications.
SESSION 6: Completing Applications – Part II Final List Reflection Assignment
Other issues surrounding college applications are discussed from electronic versus paper filing of applications, choosing essay topics wisely and efficiently, effective and efficient ways of managing the application paperwork and follow-up. Students are given sketch of week by week tasks to work on their applications in an organized, thoughtful and thorough manner. The procedure for applying to colleges within the SUNY system and Rutgers is also discussed. Finally, students will review and discuss the Final List Reflection Assignment, which allows each student to summarize his reasons for applying to each of his colleges, and to document his chances of admission as reviewed with his counselor, and to communicate these final thoughts with his parents and counselor.
SESSION 7: Reviewing Third Trimester Options
Students are given an opportunity to review and discuss the three options for the senior third trimester at Regis: the “Academic,” Full-time Christian Service, and Executive Internship Programs. Students are asked to complete an in-class reflection on their likely choice for the third trimester, and their reasons for that preliminary decision. This reflection is shared with each student’s Academic Advisor, in an effort to best assist the seniors as they make this important decision.
SESSION 8: Financial Aid and Scholarships: Practical Steps and Procedures A refresher discussion on the general overview of financial aid from junior year is given with a more detailed discussion on the process and timeline for applying for financial aid. Students also review how to effectively explore outside scholarships.
SESSION 9: Writing College Essays and the Personal Statement Revisted
As a follow-up from the introductory college essay writing students reviewed in junior year guidance, essays tips are reviewed and discussed in preparation for completing application essays.
SESSION 10: How Colleges Decide
Students will view a video of the admissions process at a most competitive institution as a means of exploring the nature of competitive college admissions in general. Counselors lead a discussion on the various factors in competitive college admissions process, and how students can best channel their nervousness about the process into positive action.
SESSION 11: College Interviews – Part I
Practical advice is given on interviewing, including a discussion on how to best represent oneself in an interview. The nature of college interviews and the role they play in the admissions process is also reviewed. Students also complete an in-class reflection about their progress on their applications.
SESSION 12: Interviews – Part II
This session continues with various topics raised in Session 11, and also provides an opportunity for a student volunteers to participate in mock interviews addressing a variety of possible circumstances. Students discuss the strengths and possible improvements of each role-play exercise.
SESSION 13: Tying up Loose Ends
Students review various odds and ends related to their filed applications: from making sure their applications are complete, to finishing interviews and providing updates to the colleges. Financial Aid questions are also discussed as students work to complete and submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile Forms. Students will also complete an in-class Progress Check and Reflection about their college choices, academic development and goals for the second trimester.
SESSION 14: January to February: Tasks, Concerns, Issues
An overview of Late January to June is discussed with issues from applications to various end-of-year activities like the Prom and graduation. Practical advice on college related tasks from January to June is also provided including a reminder of financial aid filing dates, application follow-up and the time frame of admission decisions. Other topics discussed include sending Second Trimester Grades, the Final School Report Form, and an overview of the half-group discussions about Transition Issues.
SESSION 15: Transitions I
Students will review the possible college results they will receive in the spring, and the concept of “senior slump” and conditional acceptances. In half-groups, students will discuss the parallels between their feelings about their transition to high school and their impending transition to college. Students will begin to reflect on the experiences and choices that fostered their growth at Regis.
SESSION 16: Transitions II
Students review and discuss a four-year college “calendar,” and reflect on the parallels they see in the description and their experiences during high school. Students will discuss how they will use their experiences and insights gained during high school to face the challenges they will face in college.
SESSION 17: Transitions III; End Reflections
Topics reviewed include issues to consider as students make their final college choices to essential skills for college from doing laundry to making responsible decisions about drugs and alcohol. Students will discuss various scenarios from the pros and cons of choosing a friend as a college roommate, to making the most of their academic opportunities.
Affinity Groups Topics for Seniors (Enrichment and Optional Sessions) Include:
• Early Decision and Action • NCAA Clearinghouse and Athletes in the Admissions Process • Handling the Waitlist • Applying for Scholarships • ROTC and Military Academies