College Guidance at MMFS

April 18, 2024

by Kim Lord, Director of College Guidance

This time of year is always exciting in College Guidance as students are making final decisions about their post-secondary plans. While not every student in the Class of 2024 knows where they will be in the fall yet, they all have a lot to celebrate. Collectively, our seniors submitted 229 applications to 106 colleges and transition programs in 20 states and 3 countries. We are proud of the time, energy, and thoughtfulness that each student put into their post-secondary process, and we will be exceedingly proud to call them MMFS alumni when they walk across the stage in two short months.


The College Guidance program is developmentally appropriate and highly individualized. Our 9th and 10th grade students need time to adapt to the demands of high school and focus on developing their academic and social-emotional toolboxes before we begin the in-depth conversation about post-secondary options. We offer 9th and 10th grade students and families an Underclassmen College Guidance Night to share a broad overview of the process and to give students points of consideration as they move through the upper school. In 10th grade, we also provide families with the opportunity to schedule a conference with a member of the team during Parent Teacher conferences, which serves as a check-in regarding each student’s progress and trajectory.


The bulk of our programming begins in junior year as we team-teach a yearlong College Seminar for both 11th and 12th grade. College Sem, as it’s affectionately called, covers a lot of foundational knowledge—everything from understanding post-secondary options, to professional communication skills, to essay development. This serves as the basis for our individual work with students, which begins in earnest in December of junior year. While we take a team approach to our work with students, each student is assigned a college counselor who serves as their point person through 11th and 12th grade. With three full-time college counselors, we are exceedingly fortunate to only have 14-16 students on each caseload, which gives us lots of opportunity to dig into each student’s needs and aspirations as they guide the process.


Of course, senior year involves lots of applications and essay writing. While we have all of our 12th graders in College Sem, we also see our students individually. Some students may need minimal support and only check in every couple of weeks, while others may have a favorite chair in the office and semi-permanent daily meetings. What a student needs is what we are here to provide. There is no right way to approach the post-secondary process, and we love helping our students explore, ideate, and realize the pathway that is best for them.


While we manage some disappointment in College Guidance, we also get to see so much joy. The excitement when a student discovers a college that has everything they’ve envisioned; the relief when the first application is submitted; the elation when an email says “Congratulations!” And our own joy as we watch our students graduate and venture out into the world, knowing that they’re prepared for what’s ahead.

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