Our most important goal for freshmen during their first year at Notre Dame is to help them get acclimated to a new school environment - joining clubs, making friends, communicating with teachers, playing sports, etc. Counselors will meet with all freshmen individually in the first few months of school to help them create a plan and explore opportunities. We continue to meet throughout the Fall semester with students who are faced with academic or social/emotional challenges, and meet with all freshmen individually again in the Spring. At this point, planning for sophomore year courses become a priority! We offer many, many ways to obtain leadership positions at Notre Dame and we also help students become aware of leadership opportunities outside of school. Although they are just starting out in high school, the next four years seem to fly by!
Sophomore year is a great time for your daughter to get to know her counselor. By now she has seen her counselor formally at least twice and she knows where the counseling center is, but does her counselor know who she is? Although we meet formally with sophomores twice during the year, students are encouraged to drop in or schedule an appointment to discuss evolving goals and challenges. Another year brings another opportunity to run for student government, join a club, create a club, or commit to volunteering! Did you know that sophomore students can enroll in college level elective courses at a community college for free? Our tax dollars at work! Check out the course catalogs online and have your daughter schedule an appointment with her counselor. This is a great way to start on those college units!
College planning ramps up in the junior year. Although, we will continue to meet with students individually at least twice per year to address academic, social/emotional, and scheduling topics, students will be spending much more time with our college counselor. Junior level teachers write college recommendations, so this is a great year for students to grow in their relationships with teachers. The better they know her, the stronger the letter! Counselors will encourage students to enroll in AP and Honors classes when appropriate.
Senior year is a time of transition as students’ graduation to college is imminent.
A centerpiece of senior year is applying to college. While this process can feel overwhelming, the goal of our department is to assist students at every step. While the college counselor will be the ultimate resource, our academic counselors can help students work through their thoughts and decisions, and will also be writing a letter of recommendation for each student. Each student’s situation and needs are unique and it is our goal to meet those needs!