Gone are the days of taking the ACT or SAT once and simply submitting your college application. Today’s Upper School students practice and prepare for the exams well in advance, with many of them taking the tests three or four times. At Episcopal, our team’s approach is focused on making the college application process more manageable for students and their families. In the end, we never want students to feel like they missed important information about the opportunities available.
As a college preparatory school, we must be competitive nationally. This means our students must be equipped to compete for and be awarded hefty scholarships or be positioned well to earn acceptance to highly selective institutions. Historically, Episcopal seniors have done just this by achieving a 100% college acceptance rate, including to elite universities, such as MIT, Harvard and Yale. Click here to see the 2017 college admission results.
To keep this momentum going our three college counselors - Shandi Fazely, Jody Kennard and I - begin working with students in the eighth grade and continue meeting with them throughout their time at Episcopal. Once a quarter, students and counselors discuss Upper School class choices and how these correlate to the goal of being accepted to the colleges and universities of their choice. Counselors also provide evening sessions for students and parents, where we cover an array of college-related concerns including financial aid planning, application trends, athletics and test preparation.
This year, our team is launching a partnership with Baton Rouge-based MasteryPrep to boost the school’s test prep offerings. The goal of this partnership is to foster more test awareness among the students and boost students’ overall scores. In addition, many of our Episcopal students and families are spending money and time on test preparations outside of the school day. This partnership will help us give families back those resources and provide students more time to focus on other areas of interest.
MasteryPrep provides our Upper School students with 30 minute sessions once a week during their College Block designated time. Students participate in test prep boot camps and take mini-tests throughout the year to help them become familiar with the real testing experience. After taking a mini-test, students then view a video tutorial on each question which explains the most effective strategy for choosing the correct answer. The importance of time management during test taking is also emphasized throughout the prep and during the practice tests. To prevent last minute test cramming, material learned over the course of the student’s school career is reviewed in intervals over time. This type of test preparation is what sets Episcopal apart in this region and puts us on par with similar schools across the country.
MasteryPrep reports that they have helped more than 250,000 students in 600 schools improve their ACT score, with more than 50 percent of the students seeing a three point increase or more. The program was created by Craig Gehring, who earned a perfect score on both the ACT and the SAT 14 years ago.
We hope you will take full advantage of everything our counseling services have to offer. For more information please click here.
Justin Fenske joined Episcopal as the Director of College Counseling in 2014 and has been in the field since 2008. Justin graduated from the University of Michigan and earned a Master’s in Education from Boston University. During his time at Episcopal, his team has implemented a comprehensive high school program priding itself on individual attention to students in all grade levels. Justin is a certified Highlands Ability Battery consultant and has also spent time developing and implementing online career and college tools for high school students in the state of Michigan and as an administrator at Boston University.