Mission & Program
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.
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.
In the junior year, students begin to work one-on-one with their individual counselor as part of our very personalized approach to the college process. Regular meetings for the remainder of the year, along with weekly Junior Seminar classes during the winter trimester, help students to identify a range of colleges that are a good match for their unique interests, talents and goals. In conjunction with the English Department, we work closely with our students on their writing skills with a focus on completing a polished college essay by the end of the junior year.
During senior year, individual meetings are more frequent in preparation for the submission of applications with deadlines as early as October. Admission officers from over 75 colleges send representatives to our campus to meet with WMA students, giving our students a unique opportunity to learn more about the colleges that interest them and establish personal contacts. One-on-one meetings are supplemented with additional programs and events designed to meet the needs of our diverse student population.
Within just the last two years, we have welcomed a number of very experienced college admission professionals to campus in order to give our students and families an insider’s perspective on the process. Recent speakers include Sidonia Dalby from Smith College, Erik DeAngelis from Brown University, Chris O’Brien from Boston College, Xiaofeng Wan from College of the Holy Cross, Kevin Kelly from the University of Massachusetts, Deborah Haskins from Trinity College, Peter Van Buskirk, former Dean of Admission at Franklin and Marshall College and Terry Cowdrey, former Vice President and Dean of Admission at Colby College.
Our collective goal is for every student to feel supported in his or her individual search and to be well prepared for the next exciting phase in their educational career. We feel privileged to be able to share this journey with our students and families and encourage your participation and feedback throughout the process.