College Counseling, Preparing for Success
McGill-Toolen Catholic offers college and career guidance and counseling programs to help students make informed education and career choices. We have four counselors, one for each grade level. This way, each grade level has a dedicated counselor to stay with them as they promote to the next grade. Our counselors get to know their students over a 3 year period, and can better help them find the right college fit their Senior year.
College counseling stresses the importance of high school performance and involvement; students receive classroom guidance throughout the ninth and tenth grade. Beginning in the eleventh grade and continuing through twelfth grade, students and parents meet with the counselors individually to discuss and develop action plans for college applications. Over the course of their high school years, there are several programs in place to ensure that students are progression towards preparation for college success.
We encourage you to get involved early. Students and parents are able to meet with the counselors at any time during the school year.
Activities associated with career guidance and counseling programs include:
- Advising students and parents on high school programs and academic curriculum
- Planning and preparation for college admissions tests SAT and ACT
- Assisting students to organize and prepare for the college application process
- Assisting students to prepare for college interviews
- Assisting with scholarship searches
- Informing students about post secondary financing that can be used to support advanced education and training
- Encouraging job shadowing, work placements, and community-based learning programs to allow students to directly experience workplace situations
- Providing specialized counseling and intervention services to provide students with individualized attention
McGill-Toolen Catholic offers SCOIR, College Admissions Network, to all of our Junior and Senior students and parents. SCOIR simplifies and organizes the process of applying to college. Now, students can focus on what matters most: discovering colleges that best fit their academic, social, and financial needs. SCOIR helps students explore colleges and careers with confidence.
SCOIR can help students:
- Easily access a best-in-class aptitude test: SCOIR connects students to YouScience, where they will be matched with career paths and majors.
- Organize their persona profile and more: SCOIR keeps track of your volunteer and working hours, activities, achievement and more. Creating a resume is just a click away.
- Find Colleges: Meet my College is a space to help plan your college journey. Follow colleges, collaborate and update application progress.
- Apply: Beginning in August you can apply to Coalition Colleges via SCOIR.
- Sign up for visits and events like open houses, resource sessions, virtual tours and more.
"I am honored to say that I received Appointments to The United States Air Force Academy, The United States Naval Academy, and The United States Military Academy at West Point, to which I credit the education I have received at McGill Toolen Catholic. I have accepted my Appointment to The United States Air Force Academy…When I graduate from the Air Force Academy in 4 years, I will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. I will have received an Ivy League level education, be debt free, and have a ready-made military career. My goal is to continue my education in the Air Force as an Air Force Pilot. I may also continue into the medical field and become a flight surgeon. I am open to what the future holds." Hayden Ward, Class of 2022
College Counseling Through the Years
This is a summary of what we provide by grade level but be sure to visit the grade level page under the Guidance tab for additional information.
- The Freshmen Counselor conducts classroom guidance each quarter. Emphasis is placed on mapping out a plan that is focused on rigorous academic work and extracurricular interests. Making the High School experience count is stressed.
- All Freshmen will take the Practice ACT in the Spring to become familiar with college entrance exams.
- Self-discovery is a very important aspect of freshmen year. Students will be introduced to tools to begin learning about their interests and their strengths.
- The Freshmen Counselor begins resume building with the students.
- Students are assigned their College Counselor who will stay with the class through graduation.
- The College Counselor conducts classroom guidance throughout the year. Students are reminded to focus on taking the most rigorous curriculum appropriate and mastering the skills. They are also encouraged to continue taking part in extracurricular activities, trying to become leaders.
- All Sophomores are encouraged to attend the Bay Area College Fair in the fall with their parents.
- All Sophomores take the PreACT in the spring and are invited to take the PSAT in October.
- Sophomores are introduced to SCOIR, a web-based college and career exploration platform. The program uses self-discovery techniques to help students grow and learn more about themselves.
- The College Counselor continues the resume building with the students.
- All Juniors are invited to take the PSAT in October to determine if they qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program and to continue preparing for College Admission Exams.
- The College Counselor will conduct classroom guidance each quarter that focus on college and career exploration.
- The Guidance Department hosts a Junior Parent Night in the fall. The focus is to help parents and students gain insights into college selection and application processes.
- Individual family meetings are held to begin the college search, make an initial college list, and discuss future goals.
- Juniors are invited to meet with college representatives on campus. We have approximately 50 college reps on campus each year.
- Juniors are encouraged to attend the Bay Area College Fair in the fall with their parents.
- Juniors are encouraged to begin college visits. Two visits are allowed in the 11th grade.
- All juniors need to begin taking the ACT
- The English Department assists students in preparing their college resume.
- Throughout the fall semester, seniors meet with the College Counselor to make final list of colleges and begin applying. College Counselors are available to assist with applications, resumes, essays, and scholarship searches.
- Seniors are allowed two college visits.
- In the fall, seniors are encouraged to continue meeting with college representatives on campus.
- In the Spring, the College Counselor is available to help compare financial aid reports and confirm final decisions.
"When I began searching for what college I wanted to go to, I really didn't know that much even though I had two older sisters who went through the college process. All I knew was that I did not want to be far from home, so every chance I had I would see Ms. Falzini and she started to help me narrow down a list of colleges that I wanted to go to. Ultimately, I ended up going to Spring Hill College and absolutely love it. She helped me by writing letters of recommendation, gave me lots of advice about college, and was one of my biggest cheerleaders whenever I would go to her office and tell her that I was accepted to one of the colleges." Rochelle Gomez-Guillen,
Class of 2021