What inspires you as a College Counselor?
I like to empower the student in the process and help them to identify the criteria that are important to them, going beyond the basics of size and location, and thinking about what culture and living environment they want to be in. What type of learning environment will give the best balance of both happiness and challenge? Coming at this process from different perspectives can help students learn about themselves and develop self-efficacy along the way.
The goal of our College Counseling Program is to help students discover the right college post-secondary fit, where the student will find that "happiness/challenge" balance, learning effectively, engaging in and contributing to their next community, and embracing their full potential. In this process, students are armed with the requisite knowledge to make good decisions and submit applications that are both professional in quality and true reflections of their unique personality, character, and ability.
The centerpiece of this is individual counseling. In formulating a college list, I work with each student to discover their intellectual and extracurricular interests as well as additional criteria including optimal school community, size, and location. I collaborate with students and families at each step of the process, such as developing resumes, writing essays, preparing for interviews, and completing applications.
What trends are you seeing in the college process?
Brooke: There has been a growing trend in students taking gap years, where students spend a year between high school and college to actively engage in non-classroom based learning and experiences. Colleges are not only really supportive of this for prospective students, but have even begun designing their own gap year experiences.
When you’re not helping students with college admissions, what do you do for fun?
Brooke: I like to be outside as much as possible, hiking with my kids, my dog, and husband, and seeing live music as often as I can (calling all babysitters!) I’ve seen as many concerts as I’ve seen college campuses!