Within the first month of school, freshmen meet individually with Mrs. Colleen Robertson. Mrs. Robertson, who will be their counselor through the first two years, is in her twenty-first year of working with freshmen at Nardin as a teacher, and in her twelfth in this office. The focus is getting started on the right foot and establishing a good foundation for more advanced study in the subsequent years. She works at getting to know each student through letters they write to both counselors in the last days of summer, and she helps them find the way to make good choices, and balance academics and other activities as the possibilities increase from those they had previously. Freshmen also have the opportunity to attend a half-day study skills course taught by Mrs. Mathias and Mrs. Robertson within the first weeks that further facilitates their adjustment to the increased demands of high school. The content of this course has a follow-up in October when Mrs. Robertson meets with the freshmen in class groupings. Throughout the rest of the year, Mrs. Robertson works with students and their teachers to facilitate a positive experience, and continues to have individual appointments to check the progress of each student.
Sophomores receive the same kind of personal attention and academic follow-through, and also enjoy beginning career exploration which introduces them to different possibilities. They have the opportunity to take a computer-based career inventory which gives them the first step in matching their interests with their abilities. Encouraged to participate in the Nardin community through the wide variety of extracurricular and community service oriented activities, they begin to think about leadership and observe the role models provided by the upperclassmen. Sophomores take the PSAT exam in October to familiarize them with the format and give them a very early indication of possible performance. Mrs. Jane Mathias, in her thirty-fourth year as a member of the Nardin staff, and her twenty-second in the Guidance Department, meets with the sophomores before the end of the second term, as she will be their counselor for the next two years.
Junior year begins with a half-day orientation geared at pointing the students forward toward the college process. An awareness of how their credentials might be viewed and about the kinds of questions teachers will have to answer on recommendation forms helps them focus on their day-to-day performance and relationships. The college process begins with the PSAT exam in October, this time for real, and following midterm exams students meet one on one with Mrs. Mathias to develop a college “long list.” It provides the basis for visitation and identification of the campus environment that is best for each individual. Through group sessions, students learn what to look for as they investigate not only their school, but their home for the next four years. A complete library of current college viewbooks and course catalogs supplements the information on individual college websites and is available for student use as they gather information. Additional internet resources are identified to help them. SAT and ACT preparation, taught by professionals in the field, are offered at the school to help students prepare for the tests they must take in the spring of their junior year.
Within our college preparatory environment, the seniors are totally absorbed in the college process, finalizing their lists, meeting with the more than one hundred college representatives who visit Nardin each fall, writing essays, preparing for interviews, and learning how best to present their credentials in the written application. Individual and group meetings take place all fall until the applications are safely in the hands of the colleges. Mrs. Mathias writes a personal letter of recommendation for each student which presents an overview of her academic and personal development, as well as her special talents and the role she has played in the Nardin community. Once the application process is complete, the focus turns toward making the final decision and a program of transition to college life. Seniors hear from a panel of Nardin grads who have completed one semester of college about their adjustment, and are also given the opportunity to attend a financial aid presentation that helps them understand the significance of aid packages they are receiving with their decision letters.
Parent programs are also a part of all four years. From October meetings which focus on the guidance program for the year and class-specific issues, there is also a Junior Parent and Student College Night, a Senior Parent College Night, a Financial Aid Night where specific questions are answered about the many forms involved. Other programs that have been offered are How To Pay for College Night for freshman, sophomore and junior parents, and a Senior Transition Program to facilitate parent networking and to address relevant issues.
Working with our parents and their daughters to help them realize their own goals is the cornerstone upon which our department is built.
- 100+ College Representatives visit our campus each year
- 456 AP Exams taken at Nardin in May 2016
- 100% College Placement at four-year institutions
- The Class of 2016 earned over $33.3 million in scholarships and grants to top colleges across the country