College Counseling is an integral part of the educational program at WMA. We view ourselves as teachers and advisors rather than placement officers, and strive to support our students and families by providing accurate and up-to-date information and personalized guidance throughout every phase of the college search and application process. Our program is designed to equip our students to take the leading role in their own education and to nurture self-reflection, independent thinking, resourcefulness and resilience - qualities that will serve them well in college and beyond.
Every aspect of a student’s education at WMA helps to prepare them for a successful college search. Our curricular emphasis on developing our students’ research skills, mastery of written and verbal expression, critical thinking and global awareness provides a strong foundation for college exploration.
"We believe that the college search and selection process is an integral part of our students' experience at WMA."- WMA College Counseling Mission statement
The formal part of the college process begins in Grade 10 when students are assigned to a weekly class for the spring semester. Sophomore Seminar introduces our students to the college process at WMA and covers a range of topics from self-assessment to the art of writing a compelling personal statement to navigating Naviance, the college counseling software WMA uses.
Your program reminded me why I do what I do...thank you for the opportunity to meet such wonderful enthusiastic students and supportive parents. At one point in my career, I considered 'going over to the other side' and becoming a college counselor. Watching . . . you last night being so in love with what you do, made me wonder about a lost opportunity. Of course, I love, love, love what I do at Smith ... but just saying....you make it look so good!"
Sid DalbyAssociate Director of Admission
Each fall, admission officers from more than 75 colleges and universities visit WMA to meet with our students and college counselors. In addition, college admissions presentations featuring a variety of schools and admission professionals are scheduled throughout the year. In the past two years, we have welcomed the following guests to our campus:
Do you ever wonder who "gets in" and "why?" The Admission Game® takes you inside the admission process for the answers.
Wilbraham and Monson Academy’s College Counseling Office presents The Admission Game® with Peter Van Buskirk for sophomores and juniors and all parents. It's a fun, interactive and insightful perspective on the college search and planning process.
Motivational speaker, author, consultant, and former Dean of Admission, Peter Van Buskirk equips families to make healthy, productive choices as they plan for college.
Focusing on a student-centered approach, the high energy live programming and innovative online college planning solutions he offers through The Admission Game® reach tens of thousands of students, parents and educators annually. For more information about Mr. Van Buskirk and The Admission Game®, visit his website at www.bestcollegefit.com.
Each February, the College Counseling Office presents a special program for juniors and their parents featuring a panel of seasoned admission officers. Last year we welcomed Ms. Terry Cowdrey, former vice president and dean of admission at Colby College and Erik DeAngelis, Associate Director of Admission at Brown University.
Alan Reeder of Hillside Writing presents "The Common-App Chalk Talk," which helps college-bound applicants and their support teams to see the college admission essay less as a challenge and more as an opportunity — even an enjoyable one!
It is expected that WMA students will:
- Take an active and leading role in the process
- Engage in genuine self-assessment and college research
- Pay attention to announcements, emails, and meeting requirements with counselors
- Pay attention to deadlines throughout the college application process
- Check in with parents and reinforce partnership throughout the process
- Work cooperatively with faculty, counselors, coaches, and parents to maximize opportunities
It is expected that WMA parents will:
- Continue to guide, support, and trust your son or daughter
- Encourage your son or daughter to take the lead
- Keep the counselor informed about any questions or concerns you may have so we can work together on behalf of your child
- Keep an open mind about what a “good” college is
- Use positive language
- Teach your child how to be an effective self-advocate
It is expected that WMA college counselors will:
- Work collaboratively with all parties involved in the college process to ensure students are well-supported in the college search, application, and decision process
- Provide timely information about the college process
- Provide students with best-fit options for potential colleges
- Learn about and communicate new trends and developments, both nationally and at individual colleges