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Achievement First Achievement First

2021-22 CT College Counselor

Location: Connecticut
Department: College

School Year: 2021-22

The Role of a College Counselor at Achievement First: 

The College Counselor will ensure that 100% of seniors apply and are accepted to the best-fit four year college or university. The College Counselor will work with our scholars and their families  beginning in the spring of their junior year, starting with the college list research process. The  College Counselor supports seniors through every phase of the college application process  including but not limited to college list creation, application essays (personal statements),  supplemental essays, financial aid applications, interviews and advocacy work, and deciding which  college to attend. The ideal candidate will possess an extensive knowledge of the college  admissions and financial aid processes – including relevant state information – as well as the skills necessary to help students be successful in college. Chief among these are entrepreneurialism,  systems-driven, organized, relentlessness, creative problem solving, and follow-through. The ideal candidate will also possess research, networking, and communication skills to connect students to  unique programs on college campuses. In order to meet these ambitious goals, an ideal candidate  must also plan carefully in order to ensure strategic use of time and resources. The College Counselor will report directly to the Dean of College. 

Responsibilities of Achievement First College Counselors include, but are not limited to: 

College Counseling for a Caseload of Students 

  • Support and guide all 12th grade students through each step of the college and financial  aid application process
  • Provide one-on-one college counseling to a caseload of 40-45 seniors through the admissions cycle including, but not limited to: creating a college list, writing and revising  the personal statement, advising on financial aid, and making final matriculation decisions 
  • Work closely with parents and guardians of all students on caseload, including evening workshops and meetings for families 
  • Ensure students take advantage of special opportunities made available to low-income students in the college search and application process (i.e. fee waivers, fly-in visits,  university partner programs and scholarships) 
  • Work closely with the AF College and Alumni Report Card to meet all deadlines and goals related to college partnerships 

Building Relationships with Students and Families 

  • Plan and lead workshops for parents on key topics (financial aid planning, different types  of institutions, scholarships, etc.) related to the college admissions process
  • Ensure parents and students comprehend the different application requirements and  deadlines, admissions policies and financial aid applications associated with different  colleges 
  • Write and manage the collection of Letters of Recommendations for all seniors, including  providing professional development and coaching for the Letter of Recommendation  writing process for all teachers 

College/University Relationship Development 

  • Contact and meet with campus admissions representatives to build positive relationships and market AF applicants 
  • Become familiar with the academic and social environments at the various colleges seniors are considering in an effort to recommend suitable matches 
  • Develop and maintain a robust network of college admission professionals through regular communication and high school visits from colleges and universities that best  support first generation, low- income college students 

College Department Team Member 

  • Assist with the administration of the SAT assessments (PSAT and SAT)
  • Attend and give input on planning for overnight college trip for seniors
  • Work with other members of the school-based college team to ensure alignment of summer opportunities and collect feedback from Alumni Counselor (when there are  eventually alumni)
  • Assist with specific projects and areas as determined by the Dean of College (based on  expertise and knowledge base of college counselor).
  • Additional duties as assigned 

Other School-Based Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in school-wide professional development, grade-level teams, and school specific duties 
  • Support and participate in school-wide activities and programming 
  • Serve as an advisor for a group of 15-18 students 

Skills and Characteristics: 

  • Ability to work urgently in a fast-paced and results-oriented environment
  • Ability to juggle multiple tasks and initiatives at once 
  • Detail-oriented and self-directed, with relentless accountability to deadlines, internal and  external 
  • Strong analytical and written communication skills
  • Initiator, problem-solver, and creative thinker 
  • Ability to maintain emotional control under stress 
  • Proficiency with all MS Office programs including: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • An ability to work well with students, their families and the entire Achievement First Staff
  • Belief in and commitment to the mission and core values of Achievement First Public Charter Schools 
  • Openness to giving and receiving frequent feedback 
  • Demonstrated ability to work on a team 
  • A dedication to learn, grow, and develop as a professional 

Educational Background and Work Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year educational institution 
  • Previous experience in either high school counseling and/or college admissions field is  required 
  • High School teaching or counseling strongly preferred 

Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package. Teachers receive funds for supplies and materials as well as a laptop computer.

Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here: