Austin Prep’s college counseling office serves an Upper School population of approximately 560 students, with an average senior class of 135-145 students. The Director of College Counseling will oversee a comprehensive advisement program that reflects best practices in the industry and collaborate with faculty and administrators to ensure that the school’s program supports the interests of college-bound students.
Reporting to the Assistant Head of School, the next Director will inherit a diverse, experienced, high-functioning team of four College Counselors, two of whom are guiding the office through the 2020-21 school year until the position is filled. The current team is well respected in the Austin Prep community for their approachability, curiosity, and effectiveness.
Given the strong state of the current program, the next Director will not be expected or required to make dramatic changes or improvements in their first year on the job. However, the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education will require the Director to stay one step ahead of emerging trends, continuing to invest in professional development for the staff and nurturing strong professional networks. There will also be opportunities for the Director to improve how the office connects and collaborates with Upper School faculty and coaches throughout the college search. Software and hardware upgrades for the office are on the horizon, as well as a careful assessment of the costs and benefits of additional administrative support.
Assume responsibility for counseling students in grades 10 through 12 (and their parents) regarding the entire college selection, application and admission process.
Lead and evaluate the college counseling staff.
Coordinate the program and calendar of all standardized testing for students, including scheduling test dates, registering students, arranging for special "prep" sessions, administering the tests, and providing pre- and post-test counseling.
Coordinate Advanced Placement testing in consultation with the Head of Upper School.
Create and maintain a Student/Parent College Guide with essential dates, forms, essay samples, and other relevant information to support the college application process for families. The guide will be updated annually.
Plan and execute distinct college information nights for sophomores and juniors and their parents.
Oversee the various student award programs and ceremonies.
Help the registrar keep accurate permanent records of students' testing and academic work.
Develop and deliver the extensive summary reports on students' progress on standardized testing to the school community, as appropriate.
Conduct individual and group sessions in all areas of college counseling.
Write the school recommendation by the end of the junior year for the rising seniors who are applying to college.
Oversee the faculty writing the requested recommendations for students applying to college and facilitate appropriate professional development for same.
Maintain and expand an attractive, informative, and up-to-date College Counseling Center.
Manage visits to colleges and from college representatives.
Build strong relationships with college admissions officers and representatives.
Represent the school at relevant state and national conferences and workshops.
Generate dashboard reports for the Head of School and/or Board of Trustees.
Support the school and its leadership in advancing the mission of Austin Prep.
A bachelor's degree is required and an advanced degree is preferred, ideally in education, counseling, or an allied field.
At least five years of full-time work experience in college guidance at an independent school or in college admissions at a regionally or nationally competitive institution.
A strong track record of team building and demonstrated success creating a culture of collaboration and collegiality.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including listening, writing, and public speaking.
The motivation to develop and maintain a deep knowledge of market trends in higher education and a mastery of innovative practices in college counseling; a commitment to the professional development of oneself and their team.
A broad and deep understanding of strategies for financing higher education (scholarships, need-based financial aid, tax-exempt college saving plans, and so on) for families at all income levels pursuing opportunities at various price points.
An ability to imagine, articulate, and establish a creative, compelling, forward-thinking vision for the college counseling experience at Austin Prep.
Organized and goal-oriented; able to manage multiple assignments, prioritize tasks, meet firm deadlines, and track the progress of short- and long-term initiatives.
Positive energy and a calm demeanor.
A growth mindset; adept at inviting and receiving constructive feedback from all constituents.
A progressive, entrepreneurial spirit; eager to define and tackle new challenges.
Savvy, authentic, and trustworthy; respecting and promoting the highest ethical and professional standards on campus and in the community.