The College Counseling Program assists students in exploring college and career options and facilitates their understanding and handling of the college application process. It utilizes the Seminar Program, a four-year testing sequence and parent meetings, workshops and other events. Kristy Cummings, Director, meets with individually with students and parents to help them plan their college path and work through the application process.
Students attend seminar classes in freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. Besides college planning, the Guidance and Student Services team focuses on learning skills, leadership, cultural competency and wellness. Guest speakers are brought in and Mercy's peer educators also assist with topics. Specific topics to plan for college include:
- Understanding the PSAT, SAT, SAT II and ACT
- Review of a high school transcript
- The college search
- Career exploration
- The application process
- Resume writing
- Interview preparation
- The college essay
- College scholarships
- The financial aid process
- Personal finance and credit
All students utilize Naviance to explore colleges and learn more about their strengths and interests through a variety of assessments. In senior year, the college application process is facilitated through Naviance.
Testing occurs on all four grade levels and includes achievement and aptitude tests as well as surveys and indicators. Freshmen and sophomores begin the career and college planning process through the testing program. Freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 and sophomores and juniors take the Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test (PSAT). The examination of student scores to discern patterns, strengths and weaknesses assists each student in preparing for college entrance testing. Mercy students have free access to Khan Academy, ACT Academy and Method Test Prep for test preparation and practice.
- Year-level parent meetings are held throughout the year, with college planning addressed at each one. Additional parent events include:
- FAFSA Completion Event, led by College Goal Maryland, to walk parents through the FAFSA application
- College Planning Night for junior families
- AIMS College Fair for junior families
- College Transition Workshop for senior families
- College reps visit Mercy in the fall and spring during junior/senior lunch periods to speak with students individually. Close to one hundred reps visit each year.
- CAREER DAY is held every other year, allowing students to learn about a variety careers, through a keynote address and panel, individual classroom sessions and a career fair. Many alumnae, parents and friends of Mercy High School participate to make this day possible.