Job Title: College Counselor
Reports to: Associate Headmaster for Student Outcomes
FLSA Status: Exempt
Last Updated: April 2017
Blue Ridge School is an all-boys, all-boarding college preparatory school for 185 boys on a stunning 750 acre campus along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Blue Ridge is only 20 miles from Charlottesville, Virginia, a vibrant community and home to the University of Virginia.
Blue Ridge educators gain the added satisfaction of working with students inside and outside the classroom which gives them a greater influence in shaping a student’s mind and character. Our teachers have the opportunity to lead athletic and outdoor activities based on their own passions.
The school provides an interactive learning environment in which teachers have a great amount of autonomy in their classrooms and still have the support of a collaborative faculty. Using a college-preparatory curriculum with a high-degree of individual support, teachers can better prepare their students for college and careers in the 21st century.
Most teachers live on campus in homes provided by the school. On campus housing helps give our safe, family-oriented community the sense of a small village in which students and families live and work together.
The College Counselor is a full-time, 9-month, position that has the primary responsibility for administering all aspects of the college search and admissions process for each of our students. Blue Ridge is a college preparatory school, expecting 100% of its senior class to have at least one college acceptance prior to graduation.
It is expected that the Counselor will meet with college representatives and facilitate meetings between students and such representatives. He/she will serve as a source of information for students and parents regarding college trends, procedures, and standardized testing. The Counselor will educate families on their options and guide them toward realistic aspirations and wise decisions. They will also maintain a school profile and records on seniors complete with transcripts and GPAs.
- Bachelor’s Degree or higher in College Counseling, Education, or a related field required
- Experience in college admissions or high school college counseling required, teaching experience preferred
- Familiarity with the goals, objectives, and mission of an independent college preparatory school
- Extremely knowledgeable of colleges, their academic programs, admission policies, and financial policies and procedures
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to respond effectively to the needs of a diverse and demanding student and parent population
- Proficient use of technology and software programs to enhance college admissions processes
- Excellent interpersonal skills with students, parents, peers, and supervisors
- Exceptional organizational, planning, problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills
- Effective time management skills and ability to meet strict deadlines
- Flexibility, creativity and willingness to play an active role in the life of the School community
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Educating students and parents about colleges, the college admissions process, trends, procedures, and testing; advising and supporting classes of 50-65 seniors and families as they go through the process; and helping students and families aspire realistically and choose wisely.
- Meeting with juniors and seniors, individually and in groups, to talk about process and individual college choices. The College Counselor also advises 9th and 10th graders on curricular choices, as needed, and works with international students to understand US college admissions, especially aspects unique to them.
- Arranges and meets with all college admissions representatives who visit our campus and facilitates meetings between college representatives and our students. The College Counselor also serves as a liaison with College admissions offices throughout the year.
- Compiling an annual Profile of the School, as well as information on grade distributions in junior and senior courses and courses offered at our school.
- Working with Registrar to maintain records on seniors, including GPA's and transcripts
- Writing an official school recommendation for each senior. To do so, the Counselor gathers information from parents, teachers, school records, and students themselves. The College Counselor also completes all School Report and mid-year report forms requested by colleges, including evaluations of students.
- Administering the College Counseling Office budget and purchasing, maintaining, and sharing information on colleges, college guides, scholarships, financial aid, and paying for college.
- Updating an annual College Preparation Guide, a resource mailed to junior and senior parents each summer, an extensive assembly of information about the college search process. The College Counselor also keeps parents informed through a monthly column, a newsletter for parents, and in letters about test dates, local college events, and financial aid.
- Keeping track of admission decisions, statistics, and making a report to Headmaster/Associate Headmaster
- Making informational presentations to parents, such as the annual presentations to parents of juniors, new parents, and the Parents' Association.
- Being aware of issues and trends in college admission, higher education, testing, as well as keeping up-to-date about specific colleges and maintaining membership in professional organizations: the College Board and the National Association of College Admission Counselors.
- Maintaining and disseminating information about standardized tests such as SAT, ACT, and TOEFL, helping to administer PSAT exams, and working with the Director of Fishburne Learning Center to arrange for or extended time on these tests, as warranted.
- Educate students, faculty and parents on the use of Naviance Family Connection software program for the purpose of college searching and document submissions (transcripts and letters of recommendation).
- Keep up to date with developments in college counseling, teaching resources and methods and make relevant changes to instructional plans and activities
- Serve as ACT and SAT Testing Coordinator which includes scheduling test dates, hiring and training staff, ensuring safety and integrity of test materials and a prompt return of exams
- Participate in extracurricular activities such as social activities, sporting activities, clubs and student organizations
- Participates on weekday and weekend duty teams
- Attends on-campus special events, such as Registration, Parents Weekend, Alumni Weekend, School sponsored mixers, etc.
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
- Member of National Association of College Admission Counselors
- Potomac & Chesapeake Association of College Admission Counselors
Physical Demands and Working Conditions:
The usual and customary methods of performing the job's functions require the following physical demands: occasional lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling; some climbing and balancing; frequent stooping, kneeling, crouching, and/or crawling; and significant fine finger dexterity. Generally the job requires 70% sitting, 15% walking, and 15% standing. The job is performed under minimal temperature variations and under conditions with some exposure to risk of injury and/or illness.