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College Guidance: Informative, Individualized and Intentional

College Guidance: Informative, Individualized and Intentional

The Office of College Guidance focuses on an I3 Culture, one that is informative, individualized and intentional.

This culture creates a partnership with students and families making them feel empowered in the college admission process. Director of College Guidance Amy St. Denis’ passion is for the application process to be student-centered and student-driven, which pairs well with Associate Director of College Guidance Donna Sims and Registrar Allison Dow who believe in students taking ownership of their futures.

As a Christian college preparatory school, SBS provides a strong academic foundation for students as they prepare for the next step in their educational careers. To enhance that foundation, the Office of College Guidance utilizes a grade-level specific checklist that serves as the framework for students and families to actively engage in the college admission process. St. Denis believes “SBS students are academically prepared to attend wherever they choose; however, we (the Office of College Guidance) are most passionate about students finding their right fit in a school where they can continue unlocking their God-given talents.” 


To remain up-to-date on the fluid landscape of the admission process, the Office of College Guidance at SBS continuously educates itself on schools around the country. Visiting colleges, meeting with representatives from various universities, hosting on-campus student visits and executing two college fairs all align to build an information database geared specifically toward SBS students. This past year, the annual college fair hosted 135 colleges and universities from around the world. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their college admission process by mastering the skills needed to communicate directly with college reps, establish a resume and write a compelling college essay. 


As early as eighth grade, the infrastructure of the college guidance program is infused into the rhetoric with students. Meeting with the upper school counselor, students make selections through a college lens to incorporate personal interests into their daily curriculum. Early in junior year, the Office of College Guidance focuses on the family experience, establishing one-on-one meetings to gain insight into burgeoning college interests and family goals. Assistant Director of College Guidance Donna Sims spends much of her time meeting with seniors as they manage the application process, noting the favorite part of her job, “I work with students directly to walk them through the teacher recommendations needed for their applications. This task is rewarding in that I get to know the students so well that I am honored to also write a recommendation for each student that walks across the stage.”


Teachers also play an important role in each student’s college admission process by maintaining an open dialogue with the college guidance department regarding each student’s interests and strengths. The intentionality of this insight spurs ideas for college programs at schools not typically on a student’s radar. Scholarship opportunities abound as the SBS arts and athletic departments shed light on students. St. Denis is passionate about students exploring schools they might not otherwise know about, “SBS students grow up in a culture where they can do it all - arts, athletics, academics; we want to find a college that encourages them to pursue their passions so they can ultimately feel fulfilled in their career as they make an impact for Christ on the global community.”

The Class of 2020 is relishing in the fruits of their labor as applications are behind them and college acceptances and scholarships are popping up in their inbox. SBS is proud of all they have accomplished and looks forward to seeing where they will further the mission of SBS next fall!