College & School Counseling
The Office of College and School Counseling includes a professional staff of experienced counselors dedicated to the college, career, and personal needs of our students. Counselors also work closely with administration, faculty, and parents to provide a supportive environment for all students.
From the moment freshman year begins, formal meetings between students and counselors take place throughout the year in small group, seminar, and one-to-one settings. This active environment of the office in the life and success of each of our students continues through the four year at St Joseph High School.
Freshman Year - College Planning Timeline
- Develop good study habits.
- Participate in sports and activities.
- Participate in community service work.
- Always look to improve your writing skills.
- Take the PSAT.
- Think about courses to take to best prepare you for college.
- International students should practice their English at every opportunity.
- Learn about the Naviance College software.
Sophomore Year - College Planning Timeline
- Explore careers and college majors through Naviance.
- Set some goals you want to accomplish by graduation.
- Continue to develop good study habits.
- Continue to participate in sports and activities.
- Think about courses to take that will best prepare you for college.
- Take the PSAT.
Junior Year - College Planning Timeline:
- Attend College Fairs in your area to pick up materials on potential colleges. Please make sure to sign up for their mailing lists.
- Attend College presentations at SJHS during the school day.
- Prepare to take the PSAT.
- Identify which SAT and ACT tests you will take this year.
- Meet with your school counselor to start College Planning process.
- Take the PSAT (October) - please remember the scores are not sent to colleges but count for National Merit Scholarship eligibility.
- Plan your Senior Year courses with your school counselor - specific college majors require specific high school courses taken.
- Identify your top Colleges and schedule appointments to visit in Spring.
- Attend Jesuit College Fair here at SJHS (November)
- Begin Test Prep for Spring Testing (SAT-ACT)
- Register to take the SAT and ACT test at least one month prior to exam date.
- Continue to research and develop your college list.
- Review your PSAT scores with your school counselor. Certain scores may make you eligible for merit scholarships.
- Continue with Test Prep.
- Visit your top colleges (February vacation or weekends). Colleges spend thousands on marketing to you through the website and brochures. The campus visit is very important to get a “feel” for the college.
- SAT and ACT exams offered. Please make sure you are registered and you know where the exam is being held. Make sure you know which colleges will receive your scores.
- Start to think about two teachers you will ask to write your letter of recommendations.
- Start to consider topics for your College Essay. This will be an assignment in your current English Class.
- Make sure you have a Common Application account and begin to fill out as of August 1.
- Through Naviance, invite two teachers to write you a letter of recommendation.
- Finalize College List.
- Complete your Essay.
- Continue to Visit Colleges of interest.
- Begin searching for outside scholarship opportunities.
Senior Year - College Planning Timeline:
- Meet with your counselor about your list and create the list in Naviance.
- Discuss with your counselor the type of application you will use for each college you are applying to.
- Take the SAT or ACT again if you are not satisfied with your scores.
- Finalize your college essay and resume.
- Request your recommendation letters through Naviance ( if you haven’t already).
- Complete the Ferpa Agreement on the Common App website.
- Match your Naviance account with Common App account.
- Sign up to meet with College Admission representatives when they visit SJHS.
- Complete all your applications and be aware of deadlines for each college. Deadlines normally range from October 15 (Early Action and Early Decision) to January 15. Some colleges also have rolling admission policies.
- Send your SAT or ACT scores directly to the colleges on your list. Colleges want this directly sent from the test company.
- Follow your emails closely from the colleges. Please alert your counselor at SJHS if you received any messages about missing documents.
- Attend Open House Programs at interested colleges.
- Continue to do well in school. Most colleges will want to evaluate your first quarter or semester senior grades. You do not want an admission acceptance to be revoked due to a poor performance in the classroom.
- Remain active in the community - keep attending activities and volunteer opportunities.
- Consider applying for Financial Aid after October 1.
- Check your colleges of interest to see if they require you to file the CSS profile (in addition to the FAFSA) for financial aid.
- Check your email or mailbox for Early Action or Early Decision notifications.
- Analyze financial aid packages from colleges.
- Attend Accepted Students Day at colleges of interest.
- Meet with you school counselor about your college decision.
- Make your final college decision by May 1.
- Finish strong with all your classes and exams.
- Graduate from St. Joseph High School.
It is more important than ever for students to make sound decisions about financing their college education. All colleges require you to file the FAFSA (see website below) and some require both the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Below you will find a few links that will serve as a starting point for this journey.
- Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education provides information about financial aid provided by the federal government, along with other resources.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a required financial aid form for any college in the United States.
- Fastweb is a free scholarship search tool.
- Bigfuture, by the College Board, includes college and scholarship search tools useful information and tutorials about the financial aid process.
CSS Profile - required by some selective colleges
Below are two videos that will help you fill out the FAFSA and CSS profile line by line.
|ACT Dates||SAT Dates|
Important Information to bring into ACT and SAT Testing Days:
- Bring a copy of your printed ticket with you on the day of the test and a photo ID
- Bring two No.2 pencils the day of the exam
- Bring a calculator to use on the designated math sections of either exams
- You are allowed a bottle of water and snack-this can be eaten outside of the testing room
Things are you are not allowed to bring into the exams:
- Books, dictionaries, scratch paper or notes
- Highlight pens, colored pens or correction fluid
- NO electronic devices other than a permitted calculator
While standardized test scores are important to many colleges and universities here in the United States, an increasing number of institutions are transitioning to a “test- optional” model, and no longer requiring test results. Currently more than 950 colleges and universities do not require standardized test scores as part of the admission application. That said, know that some of the colleges and universities to which you aspire to apply may not require test results in certain circumstances. This will be an important question to ask the admission counselors you meet along the way on your journey so you can be certain you’re meeting their requirements to apply. FairTest.org is a great first step to check those institutions in which you’re interested in applying, but always confirm with the college or university admission office directly to ensure the information is accurate and current.
The College and School Counseling Office aims to meet the unique needs of each and every student through our comprehensive school counseling curriculum. Our multifaceted curriculum, comprised of individual counseling, group counseling and developmental school counseling lessons, is designed to develop students into well adjusted, empathetic and emotionally intelligent young adults. Our office recognizes social emotional wellness as an influential factor in academic achievement and collaborates with parents, faculty and administrators to promote student success. Though our proactive and holistic approach, we assist students in reaching their goals by focusing on the following areas:
- Transition to high school and new academic expectations
- Awareness of personal learning styles and identification of effective study skills
- Conflict resolution and problem solving skills
- Self advocacy skills
- Communication skills
- Community engagement aligned with personal interests
- Identifying personal strengths and interests
- Discovering careers clusters to compliment skills and interests
- Self-monitoring academic performance
- Drug and alcohol prevention
- Community engagement through leadership
- Drug and alcohol prevention and awareness
- Interpersonal relationship skills
- Individualized short and long-term goal setting
- Post-secondary planning (see the College Counseling page LINK)
- Decision-making: creating the best fit post-secondary plan
- Transition to college
- Professionalism skills
- Combating peer pressure: drug & alcohol prevention
- Thursday, September 5, 2019
- Tuesday, September 24, 2019
- 7PM - 8:30PM
- Wednesday, October 16, 2019
- Wednesday, October 16, 2019
- Monday, October 21, 2019
- Wednesday, November 6, 2019
- 8:15AM - 9:15AM
- Wednesday, November 20, 2019
- Wednesday, January 22, 2020
- Tuesday, February 25, 2020
- Tim Nash, Director of College & School Counseling
- Megan Baird '01, Associate Director
- Cristin Clark, Counselor
- Jack Nogueira, Counselor
- Laura Schiels, Counselor
- Lynn Mallon, Counseling Secretary
- Justin Cirisoli, Registrar, Counselor
- Kathleen Roach Seperack '86, Social Worker
Tim has close to 30 years of experience in college admission. His admission career path included stops at 5 catholic colleges, one private university and as an enrollment consultant at a higher education marketing company. He has presented at a number of regional and national conferences on the following: athletic recruitment, interview strategies, financial aid and other enrollment management topics.
Mrs Baird received her MS, Counseling, Fordham University in 2007 and BA, Psychology, Quinnipiac University in 2005. Mrs Baird has been working in the Guidance and College Counseling Office at St Joseph High School since 2005. Mrs Baird is a proud St Joseph Alum - Class of 2001. She is married to Peter Baird, Class of 2000 and they have two beautiful children: Lexi and PJ.
Ms Clark received her BA in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut and continued her studies at Fairfield University, earning her MA in School Counseling. Ms Clark is a recipient of Fairfield University’s Excellence in School Counseling Award. She holds certifications from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education and the National Board of Certified Counselors. Ms Clark has training in both group and individual counseling practices and is currently working towards her License in Professional Counseling.
Ms Schiels obtained her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island and her MA in School Counseling from Caldwell University. She is a Certified School Counselor in the state of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Prior to working at St Joes, Ms Schiels was a school counselor at a catholic high school in New York City and also taught Kindergarten and Pre-K.
Mrs Mallon received her BS in Education at Southern Connecticut State University. She is a proud St Joseph Alum - Class of 1975. She has also a proud alumni parent of graduates from 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2004!
Mr Cirisoli received his BA in history with a minor in American Studies and a concentration in anthropology/sociology from Roger Williams University. He holds a MS in counselor education/student development in higher education from Central Connecticut State University and is completing a MA in history from Western Connecticut State University. Prior to SJHS, Mr Cirisoli worked in college and university administration at Gateway Community College, Albertus Magnus College, and most recently at Southern Connecticut State University. He has college-level experience in the areas of academic advising/registration, campus activities, orientation, residence life, and academic program development.
Mrs Seperack received her BA from Fordham University and her MSW from Southern Connecticut State University. She has also earned a License in Social Work. Mrs Seperack has worked at Bridgeport Hospital, Child Guidance Center of Greater Bridgeport, Wooster Middle School, St Augustine School and St Raphael School.
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College of the Month - Middlebury College (Vermont)
Each month, St Joe's College & School Counseling Office will host an information session on a particular college that might be a hidden gem among all the others. We invite all students to join us for these sessions to learn more about each school.
September's College of the Month is Middlebury College in Vermont. The information session will be hosted via Skype by the college's Director of Admission on September 19 at 1:30-2:15pm.