Employing a holistic approach, all students in Grades 9-12 are assigned to a grade-level Dean for College and Academic Advising, who serves as an advocate and resource. The Deans meet individually with students throughout the year and advise them on a range of academic matters, extracurricular involvement, and coordinate a series of grade-level educational programs for families and students to help them understand and prepare for the college admission process.
 
To complement individual advising, the Deans introduce and use Naviance, a college planning web-based platform that offers a variety of solutions that enable students and families to collaborate and plan more effectively with counselors. The Deans and College Counselors work as a team for all Upper School students, building relationships with students, parents, and faculty - a hallmark of Pine Crest's College and Academic Advising program.
 
The College Counselors work with students to identify colleges that best meet each student's needs and goals, help each student complete the most compelling applications, and keep students and families abreast of the trends, policies and demographics that affect college admission decisions.
 
Among other services, the Deans and College Counselors:
 
  • Provide counseling on high school course selection for grades 9-12.
  • Offer extra-curricular activity advice for all students in Upper School.
  • Help students with summer plans.
  • Provide a comprehensive program for writing the college essay beginning in January of the junior year.
  • Host approximately 300 college admission officers on-campus every year.
  • Host an annual college fair - one of South Florida's largest - and other presentations for students during the school day.
  • Organize the Symposium for Sophomore Families, an evening event where more than fifteen admission officers lead families in small groups through mock admission committees.
  • Host the Symposium for Junior Families where ten admission deans and directors discuss in-depth the application and selection processes.
  • Provide programs for Middle and Upper school families to ensure that parents have an early understanding of the college selection process.
  • Invite college admission experts to speak to parents regarding Financial Aid and Athletic Recruiting.
  • Coordinate an annual college trip to the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast or West Coast regions for sophomores and juniors.
  • Visit approximately 50 college campuses annually in order to discover new opportunities for students.
  • Attend multiple conferences every year including the annual conference of NACAC, SACAC, The College Board, and the Association of College Counselors at Independent Schools.
  • Serve as leaders in the field who have presented at conferences on a variety of topics, including: Choosing a College; College Admission Trends in the United States; The College Admission Essay; College Admission and the Media; Counseling Students for State University Systems; The Do's and Don'ts of Communicating with Colleges; Measuring Success in College Counseling; Methods for Standardized Test Prep; Socioeconomic Status in the College Admission Process; Strategies for Successful College Interviews; and Writing Recommendations.
  • Offer students and families expertise drawn from years of collective college admission experience at seven institutions, as well as from reading applications for such scholarship programs as Coca-Cola and U.S. Presidential Scholars, two of the nation's most competitive scholarship programs.
  • Counselors serve or have served on Counselor Advisory Boards for: Cal Tech, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Ithaca College, Miami of Ohio, Northwestern, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and University of South Carolina.

CONTACT INFORMATION

MARCIA HUNT
Director of College & Academic Advising
marcia.hunt@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

KATHLEEN SULLIVAN
Senior Associate Director of College & Academic Advising
kathleen.sullivan@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

JEFF SHEA
Associate Director of College & Academic Advising
jeff.shea@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

KALAH FANNING
9th Grade Dean
kalah.fanning@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

MARY KAREN VELLINES
10th Grade Dean
marykaren.vellines@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

KATIE BYRNES

College Counselor & 11th Grade Dean
katie.byrnes@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio

TINA JARAMILLO
Writing Specialist
tina.jaramillo@pinecrest.edu
Read Bio