College Counseling Program at Journeys School of Teton Science Schools

The primary objective of the college counseling program at Journeys School is to empower young people with current and accurate information and seasoned insight so they can manage the complex steps in the college planning process with grit, optimism and independence. Students and families can expect comprehensive guidance regarding academic course planning, enrichment activities, college entrance tests, teacher and school recommendations, and college essays and applications. Finding a best-fit college for every student results from a strategic exploration and evaluation of schools based on his or her unique academic strengths, learning styles, interests and personality. Through the college counseling process, Journeys School students learn to prioritize “fitting in” over “getting in.” Our graduates leave for college enthusiastic about learning, confident about relating to new peers, professors, and environments, and committed to reaching their true potential.

Journeys School always puts the best interests of the student first. Personalized consultation with students and families begins early in the high school years with an authentic conversation around questions such as, "Why do you want to go to college?" and "How do you like to learn?" The college counselor, with an expert degree of knowledge, professionalism, networking, and skill, draws on many years of experience with the college admissions process when discussing each individual student’s and family’s goals for the next step after Journeys School.

Freshman Year: “The Transition to High School”
Students are supported to make a successful transition to high school. Students work to improve their overall organizational skills, test taking skills and study habits and are encouraged to focus on course work, class projects and extra-curricular interests, and to do the best they possibly can scholastically while interacting positively with the community as a whole. Students take the PSAT 9 standardized assessment and spend time with the college counselor in a group setting engaged in self-reflection activities.

Sophomore Year: “Identifying Your Individual Best College Fit Criteria”
Students take the PSAT 10 standardized assessment and begin to discuss college plans with the college counselor. They receive self-assessment materials and checklists through our web-based college and career guidance portal as they prepare for the college search process as well as attend college representative presentations on the Journeys School campus. The counselor informs the students of summer programs available on college campuses around the country and encourages the students to compete for the chance to study at a variety of these programs.

Junior Year:  “Focus on the College Search”
Students prepare for and take the PSAT as part of the National Merit Scholarship competition. They begin the college search process in earnest working with the college counselor individually and with their families, as well as continue to meet in larger group settings. Students learn about college admissions, testing and the financial aid application process. Individually the students are encouraged to write mock college essays, research college websites, attend local and regional college fairs, meet with visiting college admission representatives and check out the resources in the college counseling library. Individual meetings with the college counselor will focus on the compilation of a long list of schools to research and visit. Students prepare for and take the SAT, ACT and/or SAT Subject tests in the spring.

Senior Year: “The Application, Selection, and Transition Process”
Students attend a focused Application Bootcamp during the week proceeding to the start of school. Meetings with the college counselor become more frequent as the long list of schools is narrowed down to six or seven schools to which the student will apply. Students may continue to take the appropriate SAT, ACT and/or SAT Subject tests in the fall and are guided through the application process. The college counselor works closely with each student in the final selection and completion of his/her applications and makes the student aware of the importance of deadlines, types of applications, teacher recommendations, the college essay and supplement, interviews, and pertinent personal data. Students and families will continue to work with the college counselor during the winter and spring navigation of admissions decisions and financial assistance awards. Full-class high school to college transition seminars will also be conducted with a focus on college survival tips and what highs and lows to expect during a normal freshman year of college. For students wishing to defer collegiate study, the school offers more general post-Journeys counseling, including career, gap year, and study abroad options.

Connected and Well-Traveled
Each year, the college counselor travels to regional and national professional conferences of organizations like NACAC, RMACAC, and ACCIS, and visits colleges and universities that may be of interest to Journeys School students. The relationships formed during these visits allow the college counselor to advocate for the Journeys School IB Diploma Program experience in general and our students in particular. This allows Journeys School graduates to be “known quantities” in the admissions offices at colleges and universities throughout the country, including highly competitive institutions as well as colleges of many different types, styles, sizes and settings.

Journeys School encourages students to consider a wide range of educational options that reflect a student’s interests, academic record, aspirations and the family’s financial considerations.

Percent of Journeys School Matriculants by Region (2003-2015)
Region                                    Percent of Journeys School Matriculants
Pacific Northwest                                   17%
California                                                11%
International                                             9%
Mountain West                                       29%
Wyoming                                                  9%
Southwest                                                3%
Midwest                                                    8%
Mid-Atlantic                                              9%
Southeast                                                 5%
New England                                          20%

Types of Colleges to Which Journeys School Graduates Matriculated (2003-2015)
Type                                        Percent of Journeys School Matriculants
Ivy/Ivy Equivalent                                    9%
International                                            9%
Specialized (Art/STEM, etc.)                   9%
Private Research                                     9%
Public/Flagship                                      44%
Small Liberal Arts College                     39%