200 Hillvue Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
By virtue of the first letter of your last name, you have been assigned to a person called a School Counselor. Perhaps you visited your counselor for a schedule change or for information on the SATs, but the counseling office can provide you with so much more. Here are several questions and concerns of 9th-12th grade students, and how your School Counselor can help.
How do I make an appointment?
You can make appointments on-line through the School Counseling webpage, scan a QR code on your phone, or stop by the counseling office. You must use your NA Google Account to make the appointment. It is best to schedule an appointment with your counselor during your study hall or lunch.
I hate the elective I registered for last year. What can I do?
Due to the NA Schedule Change policy, it is difficult to change electives. It is important to know about the electives you choose before finalizing your schedule. Counselors are not permitted to switch electives after the deadline. Please review page 8 of the Program of Studies for more details regarding the Schedule Change policy. You may not drop a class required for graduation. If you are unsure, sign up for an appointment.
I’m really struggling in my math class. Can you help?
Yes! Your school counselor can help you in a variety of ways. First, he/she can go over your study skills with you and assess what type of learner you are. Counselors also have a list of available tutors if you wish to go that route.
How do I stay on track and organized as I apply to schools?
Your school counselor can give you a junior or senior checklist which breaks down what you need to do, and when each step should be completed. The checklist has important dates and deadlines to keep in mind. In addition to the checklist, make frequent appointments with your counselor to make sure you’re on track!
I’m the first in my family to go to college (or I’m the oldest child in my family), and I have no idea where or how to start the process.
This is an overwhelming process for all our students. Your school counselor can walk you throughthis process from beginning to end. Counselors can:
· Analyze your grades, test scores, and class rank to help you select an appropriate list of schools in which to apply.
· Help you fill out your applications.
· Help you brainstorm essay topics and go over the components of a well-written college essay.
· Streamline your list of activities and volunteer work for your application.
· Assist you with your resume.
· Write you a letter of recommendation and help you select teachers to do the same.
· Provide you with contact information for college admissions representatives to answer any other questions.
Can you help me choose a college?
Although your counselor cannot possibly know about every college and university (there are over 7,000 in the United States!), he/she can certainly recommend schools based on your needs and wants. Here are some helpful questions when considering a college/university:
· Does it have my major (or possible course of study)?
· Big university or small college?
· Public or private?
· Location…far away or close to home?
· Do I have the grades and/or test scores?
· Can I afford it?
If you don’t know the answer to the questions above, make an appointment with your counselor and you can explore the possibilities together.
I have no idea what to select as my major.
Don’t worry! You are NOT alone. Countless high school students do not know what they want to study in college, and even more of them will change their major once (or twice!). The school counseling office has a plethora of resources to help you choose the right major for you. Make an appointment with your counselor to take an interest inventory or to go through our books of majors and careers.
Do I qualify for any scholarships?
Possibly! The counseling office has an up-to-date list of local scholarships and their particular criteria for evaluation. Additionally,they have websites where you can search nationally for thousands of different scholarships.
I don’t want to go to college, but I’m not sure what careers might be right for me.
Make an appointment with your counselor! Your school counselor can have you take an interest inventory or explore the software program, Naviance/Family Connections, to assist you in your job search. Counselors can also help you look into trades and careers with an optimistic outlook for the future.
I want to serve in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Coast guard. What do I do?
Stop by the counseling office. Your counselor can help you get in touch with a recruiter.
I got my test scores back, and I have no clue what they mean.
Your school counselor can not only help you interpret your results of the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, but he/she can make recommendations for future testing.
How do I pay for college?
Your school counselor has knowledge of the financial aid process,and he/she can help you and your family with the application process. Additionally, your counselor has contact information for a local PHEAA representative who can answer any questions your counselor cannot.
Can I talk to my counselor about personal issues?
Many students believe school counselors are only here for academic, college, and career related questions; however, this is not the case. Your school counselor is trainedto help students with a variety of issues and problems. We all experience difficulties and obstacles throughout life. It is healthy andcommendable to get help. Your counselor can talk about your problem with you, and help you with coping strategies. He/she can also refer you to outside counseling if you are interested.
Will my counselor blab everything I say to my teachers and/or my parents?
Almost everything you say to your school counselor will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are if you or someone else is in danger.
What kind of issues do students bring to their counselors?
Here is a list of some of the most common personal/social issues students discuss with their counselors:
· Family issues (divorce, sibling problems, etc.)
· Friends & peer relationships
· Dating relationships
· Drug and alcohol abuse
· Self-injurious behaviors
· Grief and loss
· Stress and anxiety
· General problem solving, decision making,conflict resolution
· Multicultural and diversity awareness
Is there any information for my parents?
Your parents are more than welcome to schedule an appointment with
your counselor at any time. The School Counseling Website also has a great deal of information. The School Counseling Office also hosts several evening presentations for students and parents: