For fifth-formers, our goal in the college counseling process at Brooks is to give students and their families a lot of time, great resources, and thoughtful guidance to make the search a fulfilling and self-directed one. We build time into the winter and spring for students to take advantage of the resources here, and we work hard to maximize the benefits of the time students spend thinking about and working on postgraduate plans. In the meantime, each fifth-former’s primary responsibility in this process is to start the year giving their best, academically, right out of the gate.
We meet with you the Friday morning of Parents’ Weekend to introduce ourselves and the program to you. Your formal work begins after winter break, when we have our first small-group meetings with your class. We utilize a combination of small group meetings and whole-class form meetings each week throughout the rest of the academic year, and each of you will meet at least three times with us individually this winter and spring as well.
The fifth-form college curriculum is built around five central pieces:
- A good deal of introspective writing and thinking
- An introduction to the myriad resources at your disposal to inform your search, and the production of an exploratory list
- Learning to evaluate your own credentials
- Working with your counselor to produce a balanced summer list of colleges and universities to explore, and
- Actual application work including a draft of a college essay
This all occurs through regular group sessions and three individual meetings with your counselor. You will head into the summer before your senior year having done thoughtful, focused work on this process with our staff and resources close at hand.
A thoughtful and effective college search begins with students getting to know themselves, and remains focused on fitting choices to students’ talents and interests.
You’ll be given ample opportunity to engage and make the process your own. We’ll help, and we’ll remain in contact with parents to keep things moving forward smoothly and productively at home. We look forward to working with you.
Please see also our section on standardized testing. We feel it’s very important not to let testing and prep take over fifth-form year, and we strongly recommend most fifth-formers follow our suggested timetable.
As always, we’re happy to speak with you if there are any questions, though our energy this fall will be primarily directed toward the sixth-formers and their work with us.
Upon graduation, you’ll be glad that’s the case.