College Advising Philosophy
Seoul Foreign High School Counselors provide comprehensive university guidance for students in grades 9-12. SFHS Counselors believe “college is a match to be made, not a prize to be won” (Frank Sachs). The highest priority is to help students clarify their values, assess their strengths, and identify their goals for post-secondary education and then provide them and their parents with accurate information and guidance about colleges and the admissions process.
SFHS College/University Admission counseling begins in the ninth grade with the introduction of Naviance and UCAS and getting more specific with each passing grade level including student self-discovery and career exploration. Seoul Foreign High School Counselors aim to advise students to gain admission to colleges and universities that fit their intellectual and personal abilities, their interests, and personal aspirations.
SFHS counselors, with an extensive history working with students and families, understand and acknowledge the value of aiming high for students’ post secondary education. However, as SFHS counselors are both “college advisors” AND “counselors,” they strive for a healthy balance for their students’ academic endeavors and emotional health to ensure optimum readiness for university and beyond.
As an institutional member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, SFHS supports the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice. This statement delineates the professional and ethical standards, policies, practices, and procedures that guide and govern the activities of the secondary, post-secondary, and third-party participants in the college admissions process.
College Advising at a Glance
While students are preparing for university throughout their four years of high school by taking college preparatory classes, the college counselor begins working with small groups of students in November and December of their 11th grade ("junior") year. The purpose of these meetings is to have the juniors begin thinking about what characteristics are important to them in a university - including geographic location, size, private/public, academic programs offered, types of students attending, and so forth. The counselor then conducts individual meetings with each junior in the spring in order to obtain more specific information regarding their post-SFS plans. The goal of the counseling office is to help the students focus on finding universities that match what they are looking for in a school. During the summer between their 11th and 12th grade years, students are to research universities and return to school in August with a list of schools to which they would like to apply.
The college counselor meets with each 12th grade ("senior") student at the beginning of the year to review the senior's list of universities. The goal is for each student to have a range of schools that will include some “reaches,” some “50-50s,” and some “likelies,” not to exceed ten applications
Approximately 75% of SFS students enroll at universities in the United States. Due to the large volume of applications, the deadline for seniors to submit their applications to the college counselor is in early December. All documents, including recommendations and transcripts, are collated in the counseling office and sent to the universities before Christmas vacation. An updated transcript is then sent in January to universities after the first semester, and a final transcript is sent in June to the university the student decides to attend.
For those students looking to pursue their university education in the United Kingdom, the college counselor works with students to meet all UCAS requirements and deadlines. For students interested in tertiary education in other countries, the college counselor works with them on an individual basis in order to meet whatever needs that are specific to those countries.