Preparing for College

Saint Bernard is a college preparatory school where the foundation for successful study habits begins at the middle school level. 

The school counseling faculty believes that all post­secondary plans fall under the term “college” and, although most students follow the traditional course toward university admissions, all post-secondary paths are considered and prepared for. Grade 8 is when annual standardized testing is introduced. (See Standardized Testing below.)

Our school counselors begin their work in conjunction with the Admissions Department when a student’s records are reviewed and course selection is determined. Throughout grades 6 and 7, the school counselors work with selected classroom teachers in a co­teaching capacity to address topics in a developmental guidance program. 

Communication skills, conflict resolution, study skills, and goal setting are some of the topics covered in this co­teaching arrangement. Individual academic counseling is available for students and families that have specific questions or needs. In grade 8, a student’s progress, strengths, and challenges are reviewed. Parents are invited to meet with the school counselor to plan a course of study for 9th grade, as well as to consider long­range goal setting for high school.

While academic and counseling faculty work closely with students from the time they enroll at SBS, the “college process” begins informally midway through the sophomore year with the administration and review of the PSAT and support  with course selection for the junior year. In-school workshops are held to discuss goal setting and understanding the PSAT. Students are also guided through setting up their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.

Formal college counseling begins at the beginning of the junior year. Counselors open the academic  year with junior and senior class meetings and discuss standardized testing (PSAT, SAT, ACT), the Common Application, scholarships, and planning college visits. The junior and senior years are when regular individualized college counseling takes place. Although some students will be involved in the college application process throughout spring of the senior year, Saint Bernard school counseling faculty encourages all seniors to finalize the application process by the close of first semester.