Associate Director of College Counseling

Winchester Thurston School

http://www.winchesterthurston.org

Website Winchester Thurston School

Winchester Thurston is a PreK - 12 independent school.

Anticipated employment start date: July 1, 2022

Established in 1887, Winchester Thurston School (WT) is an independent, Junior Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, coeducational college preparatory day school in Pittsburgh, PA, serving 650+ students.

At WT, we define success not only by our high academic standards, but also by our commitment to an engaging learning experience that allows students to explore their passions, expand their knowledge, and develop their skills. WT has been a beacon of progressive education in Pittsburgh and has led the way in educational innovation, rigorous academics, and a learning environment that better prepares students for the challenges of a rapidly changing, complex world – and admission to the most selective colleges in the nation. Students are recognized and appreciated for their academic achievement, strong character, creativity, and willingness to try new things.

WT’s nationally recognized City as Our CampusSM is an important element of the WT experience and provides opportunities for experiential learning across all divisions and departments. As an extension of our core academic program, City as Our Campus provides meaningful, authentic experiences that engage a diversity of community members, utilize various locations in our city as learning environments, and study real-world problems as a way of enhancing student learning and preparing them to be informed and engaged citizens.

Position Summary

WT seeks an experienced and dynamic Associate Director of College Counseling who will share responsibility with the Director of College Counseling to guide each year’s graduating class (approximately 75 students) through the transition to postsecondary education, beginning in the sophomore year. Our college counselors guide and support students in taking advantage of the many opportunities at WT to grow, stretch, and learn about themselves.  This is full-time, 12-month administrative position, with a comprehensive benefits package and a competitive salary based on experience.

Mission

Winchester Thurston School actively engages each student in a challenging and inspiring learning process that develops the mind, motivates the passion to achieve, and cultivates the character to serve.

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

The Philosophy of Teaching and Learning is our Mission in practice. At Winchester Thurston School, we offer an equitable and inclusive learning experience that is grounded in our credo to “Think also of the comfort and the rights of others” and is guided by our commitments to:

  • Learn Passionately: We empower all individuals to drive their own learning through a relevant and immersive experience.
  • Foster Community: We embrace strong relationships as a critical component for powerful learning.
  • Embrace Diversity: We enable individuals to understand their own identity while honoring multiple perspectives.
  • Break Boundaries: We support deep learning that happens across disciplines and in non-traditional settings.
  • Create Change: We nurture learners to be engaged citizens who challenge inequities, address real problems, and make an impact in our school and our city.

Equity and Inclusion Statement

As a means to fulfill our credo, “Think also of the comfort and the rights of others,” Winchester Thurston will be an inclusive community and will pursue the social and pedagogical benefits that diversity brings. We will place the highest value on enabling students to understand their own identity and those of others. It is our moral imperative to be courageous and intentional in promoting understanding, addressing bias, identifying and honoring qualities of justice, respecting multiple perspectives and contributions, and valuing the dignity of all.

Enrollment Information

WT has enjoyed record enrollment and growth every year thanks to its innovative curriculum and dedicated employees. In the 2021-22 academic year, WT enrolled a total of 656 students from 65 zip codes and 39 school districts with 242 students in the Lower School, 150 students in the Middle School, and 264 students in the Upper School. More than 36% of WT’s student body are students of color. WT annually awards over $3.8 million in financial aid.

Our Vision for the Future

WT is engaged in a dynamic strategic process that takes a bold approach to imagining our future. Our strategic priorities are to Reimagine Learning, Rethink Time & Space, Strengthen Community, and Support Employees. There are many opportunities for our next Associate Director of College Counselor to engage in supporting these priorities. The strategic vision overview can be found on our website.

The Position

WT seeks an Associate Director of College Counseling who will support the ongoing implementation of a comprehensive, holistic, developmental, and student-centered college counseling program and will partner with the Director of College Counseling and Upper School Director to enhance the college counseling vision and curriculum. The WT community will embrace a counselor who is knowledgeable about the college search process, builds strong relationships with students, parents, and faculty, and will embrace our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with the Director of College Counseling, the Director of Upper School, other administrators and faculty in effectively implementing and continually seeking excellence in all aspects of the college counseling process
  • Engage intensively and collaboratively with each grade of approximately 75 families, eagerly welcoming conversations, building relationships, and encouraging interaction among students, parents and the college counseling office
  • Guide approximately 115 students (50% of the sophomore, junior and senior classes) through the college search and admission process, helping students and families aspire realistically and choose wisely; this includes composing a comprehensive counselor letter of recommendation for each of your assigned senior students
  • Ensure WT is known and understood by colleges and that there is a strong relationship between college representatives and WT; this includes hosting college representatives visiting WT, staying updated about new programs and policies at colleges and universities, participating in professional development and networking as a member of PACAC, NACAC and ACCIS, and traveling to colleges. (This is especially important as WT phases out the Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum over the next few years.)
  • Engage students in a classroom setting and teach a course geared towards the college search and application process
  • Advise students on course selection and its impact on the college admission process
  • Attend and participate in all college-related functions hosted by the School as well as school-wide events for students, parents and colleagues
  • Assist students in identifying resources for scholarships and financial aid
  • Advise students on standardized testing options; assist in the administration of standardized testing at WT including PSAT, School-Day SAT and ACT and AP exams
  • Implement and communicate to students and parents the procedures and policies of the College Counseling Office and the School
  • Engage fully in the life of the WT Upper School community, which may include advising, chaperoning, serving as a member of the admission committee, or fulfilling other roles, as needed
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; master’s in counseling or related field is preferred
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of relevant experience in college admissions, college counseling, or college financial aid is strongly preferred
  • In-depth knowledge of colleges and universities as well as a contextual grasp of the current college admissions landscape
  • Interest in and knowledge of progressive educational pedagogy and a commitment to guiding students who have a wide variety of academic and extracurricular interests and abilities
  • Commitment to WT’s Equity and Inclusion Statement and Philosophy of Teaching and Learning
  • Skilled communicator, as a speaker, presenter, writer, and listener, with the ability to approach difficult conversations with directness and kindness
  • Strong technology skills and the ability to interpret and analyze data as part of the college admissions process
  • Detail oriented while being able to see the bigger picture, highly organized, able to manage multiple priorities and meet inflexible deadlines
  • In-depth knowledge of the college application and financial aid requirements and procedures, a willingness and ability to travel, discretion and respect for confidentiality, and the ability to work with a diverse student population
  • Experience with the recruitment process for athletics, fine and performing arts, and international admission is helpful
  • Ability to collaborate and work as a team member

Supporting Your Transition

All new administrators at WT receive support as they transition into the school community. The Associate Director of College Counseling will be paired with an internal mentor who guides them through the onboarding process. They also have the option to be paired with an external mentor serving in a similar position at another school to provide that additional, objective perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing them. Our professional development opportunities are abundant and personalized to the needs of the individual.  Finally, the Associate Director of College Counseling will work closely with, and be supported by, the Director of College Counseling and other members of the Upper School administration team.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, PA!

Pittsburgh is nestled in the picturesque intersection of three major waterways and rolling hills, and has played an important role in our country’s industrial history. Throughout the years, Pittsburgh has moved from the steel industry to become a leader in healthcare, education, technology, and financial services with a rich and robust arts and food culture. Pittsburgh has been transformed to a modern, vibrant city.

The City of Pittsburgh offers everything a person might be looking for in a home. Pittsburgh is known for having more named neighborhoods than any American city. Ninety distinct urban and suburban communities collectively create the culture of Pittsburgh. Winchester Thurston’s home neighborhood of Shadyside is located approximately five miles east of the city center and in the heart of one of Pittsburgh’s most lively educational, cultural, medical, and research centers. Shadyside is a highly walkable area known for its historic homes, hip boutiques, and lively restaurant scene. Its close proximity to universities, museums, and large city parks offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities, such as Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History and Frick Park. Nearby are other great neighborhoods that are excellent places to live and visit. Oakland and Squirrel Hill are home to University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Chatham University. The Strip District is a wonderful market spot known for its variety of food and unique stores. If you’re looking for more of a creative and artistic side of Pittsburgh, pass through the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville. East Liberty is a growing neighborhood with new development and the home of businesses such as Duolingo and Google. South Side has a fun and exciting nightlife full of clubs, sports bars, and laid-back pubs. North Shore is where you can catch a Steelers’ game, kayak the rivers, or visit the Warhol Museum. Finally, Downtown, like most downtown districts, has great food, theaters, and events.

Nicknamed “Kidsburgh,” and the former home of Mister Rogers, Pittsburgh is often recognized as one of the country’s best places to raise a child. Our affordable city is a fun and comfortable place to call home. Numerous attractions are here for family fun, such as the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Zoo, Kennywood Amusement Park, Carnegie Science Center, and over 20 local public libraries. There are plenty of activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle through local parks and playgrounds and farmers’ markets in every neighborhood.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the sixth largest populated state in the United States. Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and has an estimated 310,000 people. The population’s average age is 33. Pittsburgh serves as the County Seat of Allegheny County, which has an estimated population of 1.2 million. Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area with its eight surrounding suburban counties has an estimated population of 2.6 million.

For Consideration

All inquiries are confidential, and a review of candidate files will begin immediately. You may view the job posting, complete an application, and upload your resume, letter of interest, and references at https://www.applitrack.com/winchesterthurston/onlineapp/.

Winchester Thurston School is an equal opportunity employer. WT is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic community and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ candidates, and women.

To apply for this job please visit www.applitrack.com.