Millbrook welcomed V form parents to campus for our annual College Counseling Workshop on February 2.
This V form event is designed to help students and parents make informed decisions throughout the college search and application process. This year, the event began with a mock admissions workshop for parents, which was facilitated by Director of College Counseling Nancy Keller-Coffey. During this exercise parents took the role of a college admission officer to determine which applicants would be accepted, wait listed, and denied admission.
Parents then went on to discuss what factors brought them to their decisions, the challenges that college admission offices encounter, and how these could impact their childrens' application process.
“The V form college counseling workshop is something we look forward to each year; it is really much like a kickoff event for beginning the college search and application process for our V form students and parents,” says Ms. Keller-Coffey. “College counseling at Millbrook is process-oriented. While many people often fixate on the end product, the essence of our program is a journey of self-discovery, which ultimately helps students choose the school that is best for them.”
Following the workshop and a luncheon in the new Prum Meeting Hall, parents attended an informational session on the current trends in the college admissions process and how this impacts current applicants. Terry Cowdrey, who has worked in admission at multiple institutions, including Colby College and St. Lawrence University, shared insights, trends, and information about the future of the college application process. Ms. Keller-Coffey also discussed the “nuts and bolts” of the admission process.
After a full day of learning and discussion, parents joined their children for the college fair, where 63 colleges and universities were represented. Here, students participated in practice college interviews and college admission representatives were able to share immediate feedback. After the interviews, V formers spent time learning more about the different colleges in attendance.
The V form workshop is one of the first opportunities for parents and students to come together to begin making decisions based on what has been learned during the III and IV form years.
"We start talking about the college admissions process with IV formers in their human development course when we do a simulation activity that looks at all of the factors that go in to an admissions decision,” says Ms. Keller-Coffey.
During students’ V form year they begin meeting both in small groups and one-on-one with counselors to work on developing a college list, preparing for college interviews, drafting college essays, and developing a plan for standardized testing. In a process that can be both exciting and overwhelming, counselors emphasize areas that students have the opportunity to take some control in achieving their post-Millbrook goals.
"A core component of our program is our student-centered philosophy, which focuses on helping students develop their sense of engagement and ownership in the college search and application process," said Ms. Keller-Coffey.
So many Millbrook graduates attend one of their first choice colleges. This is due in large part to the fact that Millbrook gives students abundant practice in reaching and expanding their potential and recognizing and pursuing what is important to them. Workshops like this are not only an opportunity to learn, but also to celebrate the academic and social growth of our V form students.