Launching Pad for the Exceptional
Excellence across the board is what propels our students to attend some of the most highly-ranked universities in the world. Our college counseling office offers a wide array of resources to help each student find the college in which they'll thrive.
Together with the Parker community, we support, encourage and celebrate the ongoing educational journey of each student. As students embark on the path to college and beyond, our goal is to provide a solid foundation upon which they can become self-reliant, empowered, confident, involved members of society, and engaged citizens of the world.
We believe the college search and selection to be a private and individualized process where students engage in self-reflection, growth, discovery, and learn to make informed, educated decisions concerning their future.
We offer guidance to the students as they seek to find the appropriate fit for college based on personal criteria and interests.
We encourage a healthy, student-led, educationally based and family appropriate approach to the college search, ensuring a smooth transition to life after Parker.
Freshmen and Sophomores
College Counseling at Parker begins formally at the end of the first trimester of junior year. In the freshman and sophomore years, students are encouraged to explore academic and extracurricular interests and immerse themselves in the school community in meaningful ways. Academically, students are encouraged to enroll in classes that adequately challenge them as they establish intellectual foundations for future scholastic endeavors. College Counseling works closely with the Class Deans so students and families are encouraged to bring any general post-secondary inquiries to either their Class Dean or any college counselor. Students and families are also encouraged to participate in grade-level specific college counseling programming throughout the school year.
In the fall of sophomore year, students will have the opportunity to take a practice SAT (PSAT) and practice ACT for the first time. This exposes students to either test format and allows them to familiarize themselves with the standardized testing environment.
At the beginning of the second trimester, students and families will be assigned to a college counselor and will begin their individual meetings. Students and counselors build close relationships that will serve as an essential support throughout the process. Parker’s college process is individualized, and counselors strive to form a relationship with each and every student. Our staff will be prepared to offer tailored suggestions to students regarding their college choices, and professional and personal advocacy throughout the college application process
Throughout the second and third trimester, college counselors will lead educational meetings during Advisory to discuss a variety of issues related to the college search process. These classes will continue in the fall of senior year, when the tone will switch from informative and exploratory to one that is more guided and procedural. Our office will collectively engage students in the process of applying to their choice colleges and universities.
The advisory lessons will address a variety of topics that include but are not limited to:
- Taking a personal inventory of strengths, achievements, values, and goals
- Various methods for researching colleges
- Current trends in the college admission process
- Mock admissions committee exercises
- Reflective writing and communication skills
In the fall of junior year, students will have the opportunity to take a practice SAT (PSAT) and practice ACT. For students opting to take either the SAT or ACT for college admission purposes, our counselors will guide them on a strategic plan as to when best to prepare and register for the exams.
Students should work through the summer on writing essay drafts and researching colleges. Upon returning in the fall, students work with their college counselor to actively refine their college lists to be personalized, balanced in selectivity, financially appropriate, and appealing to the student’s educational aspirations.
The college counselors are the students’ advocates throughout the college process – they represent their interests to colleges, write personalized letters of recommendation, and provide individualized counsel to each member of the senior class. College counselors are available as advisers, editors, interview coaches, and ambassadors to college and university representatives. The College Counseling Office provides consistent information and guidance to each senior through to their Graduation Day.
Although our first priority is to address the needs of each student, we also serve as a resource for their families. Parents and guardians should feel free to seek out your student’s counselor for assistance in navigating the stressful and ever-evolving transition to college.
Senior advisory lessons take place during our first trimester and include topics such as:
- Application details and deadline
- Submitting college applications
- Financial aid applications and processes
- Self-advocacy, receiving college decisions, and next steps
MEET THE TEAM
Bob has worked in college admissions for two decades, including 15 years on the high school side. Bob started as an assistant director of admissions, recruiting students and reviewing applications at Fairfield University, a Jesuit university on the Connecticut shoreline.
For eight years before joining the staff at Parker, Bob was director of college guidance at Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private, independent school for girls in Greenwich, CT. He also led a team of faculty advisers assigned to each grade level, formed school policies on the Curriculum Committee and served as head varsity tennis coach.
He has been active in regional and national groups dedicated to professional development and educational opportunities. Originally from Stamford, CT, just outside New York City, Bob enjoys tennis and rooting for the Padres.
Before joining Parker in 2013, Jasmin spent four years as Associate Director of College Counseling at The Bishop's School, five years in college admissions at Pitzer College, and four years working for a state- funded nonprofit organization guiding underrepresented, first-generation college-bound students through the college process.
She is an active member in both regional and national professional organizations, most recently serving as the San Diego NACAC College Fair co-chair, the San Diego NACAC conference planning committee as Hospitality Chair, and has served as WACAC Assembly Delegate for three years prior. Jasmin has presented at numerous regional and national conferences.
Jasmin is passionate about providing resources for underserved communities and has been instrumental in creating our College Workshop series in Spanish, Nuestro Camino a la Universidad, in conjunction with local CBO's and schools nearby to serve the greater San Diego community. She is the recipient of the Joseph P. Allen Human Relations Award for her commitment in working with underserved students. Jasmin holds a BA in Liberal Studies from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Shelma Soto came to Parker in 2019 as the College Counseling Assistant. She believes that order for students to make important decisions about their academic life, they should be empowered through information and support on a personal, academic, and holistic level. Shelma earned her BA in Child Development from Point Loma Nazarene University and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Education and Pupil Personnel Services Credential.