College and School Counseling

Welcome to

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  • College and School Counseling

    The St. Charles Preparatory School College and School Counseling Department includes four counselors, each of whom is assigned students from a specific grade level or special interest.
    Counselors provide guidance and support to maximize each student’s academic potential. In addition, school counselors are available to address career, leadership, personal and social development issues of each young man at St. Charles.
    Students and parents are always welcome in the College and School Counseling Office. We look forward to providing a personalized, warm, welcoming environment for students and parents. Please feel free to email or call our experienced staff to schedule a meeting.

Meet the Counseling Team

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Dominique Garrett

    Dominique Garrett 

    School Counselor
  • Photo of Kristen Dickerson

    Kristen Dickerson 

    Director of Guidance, College Counselor
  • Photo of Thomas Giles

    Thomas Giles 

    College Counselor
  • Photo of Zach Wright

    Zach Wright 

    Freshman Advisor
  • Photo of David Breckenridge

    David Breckenridge 

    Research Experiences, Military Liaison
  • Photo of Trisha Smith

    Trisha Smith 

    Administrative Assistant
At the heart of St. Charles’ college counseling program is the conviction that each student’s path to college is uniquely their own.
For this reason, St. Charles offers a flexible program that attends to the specific needs and aspirations of each student. We have four full-time counselors work to see, know, and understand each of their counselees as individuals and provide them with the advice and resources that they need.

By creating an environment in which each student can explore the essential questions of adolescence – “Who am I? What do I want? What will I make of this opportunity?” –  our process enables students to build from these early answers to college choices that represent the best fit: academically, socially, and culturally.

We want students to identify colleges where they will thrive as students, as citizens, and as people, recognizing all the while that the year-long college application experience can be an exciting journey of self-discovery, growth, and transformation.

Parents and Guardians as Guides and Mentors

St. Charles embraces the involvement of families in the college process, appreciating the crucial role they have always played in their student’s lives as guides and mentors, while also acknowledging the seismic shifts that the college process can bring to family dynamics. This is an opportunity for families and adolescents to evolve together. While the focus of our college counselors is primarily on the student, they are also readily accessible to families for regular check-ins, questions, and concerns.

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  • Freshman College Planning Timeline

    • Build strong academic, language, mathematics, and critical thinking by taking challenging coursework.
    • Study hard and work towards the best grades you can earn.
    • Visit the Scoir website to research colleges and careers. COMING SOON!
    • Strengthen your vocabulary by increasing the amount and content of your reading.
    • Become involved! Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are ideal avenues to pursue. Choose a couple that are interesting to you and become active within them.
    • Meet with your college counselor to discuss your plans for the next four years.
    • Know NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Assn.) requirements if you want to play sports in college (
    • Research career possibilities.
    • Organize a family plan to explore paying for college.
    • Keep an academic portfolio and co-curricular record.
    • Plan now for wise use of your summer. Consider participating in a special summer program (the College and School Counseling Office will have a listing of these on the website and in the office).
    • Take the Pre-ACT in the fall and discuss your results with your family and your counselor.
  • Sophomore College Planning Timeline

    • Take the PSAT. The PSAT is essentially a practice test to help you prepare for the SAT.
    • Attend the Columbus Suburban College Fair at Otterbein University.
    • Keep a record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work, and employment.
    • Make sure you are on top of your academic work! If necessary, meet with your teachers or the Learning Formation Team for additional help.
    • Save your best work in academic courses and the arts for your academic portfolio (all year).

    • Receive your PSAT scores. You will receive both the score report and the actual test that you completed so you will be able see where you excelled and where you did not.

    • Keep studying.
    • Attend the Sophomore College Planning Evening in mid-January. We will discuss topics such as the college fit, college testing, and college visits.
    • Look for volunteer activities to develop your interests.
    • Begin to research colleges! Visit the College and School Counseling Office, log onto Scoir, and have productive conversations.
    • If you aren’t sure what you want to major in, see your counselor! There are great resources on Scoir to help you determine this pathway.

    • Select your courses to meet your academic needs for junior year and plan out senior year.
    • See your counselor for advice on course selection.
    • Continue to research career options and consider possible college majors to help you get there.
    • Plan for wise use of your summer. Consider participating in a special summer program (the College and School Counseling Office will have a listing of these).

    • Make your summer productive – volunteer, work, or take part in special programming.
    • Visit college campuses! It’s never too early.
  • Junior College Planning Timeline

    • Attend the Columbus Suburban Fair in October
    • Meet with your counselor to discuss your college list.
    • Grades, grades, grades – keep them up.
    • Be sure you have scheduled your first ACT/SAT exams.
    • Attend the NACAC College Fair in February at the Convention Center
    • Take February ACT at SC.

    • Request information from colleges on your list and be sure you are on their contact list.
    • VISIT colleges! A college can appear to be the perfect match for you, but until you visit you will not know for sure.
    • Attend the Diocesan junior college evening held at ODU.

    • Be sure to challenge yourself academically when scheduling for your senior year. Colleges are increasing the amount of weight they give to your senior course schedule in the college admission process.
    • Continue ACT/SAT testing.
    • Continue to evaluate your college list. Add or drop schools as they gain or lose your interest.
    • Look into summer experiences, academic, or enrichment programs. Colleges love to see students using their knowledge and developing skills and interests.

    • Visit colleges and work on your college list.
    • Take AP Exams.
    • Continue to build your activity record through community service and the school.
    • Look for a senior experience – one that will be both valuable to you and to colleges.

    • If you are an athlete and plan to play sports in college, complete the NCAA Eligibility Center information.
    • Continue to visit colleges – even if students are not on campus.

    • Visit colleges and continue to refine your list.
    • Begin preparing for the application process. Draft application essays, collect writing samples, and assemble portfolios or audition recordings.
    • If you are planning to play sports in college, contact coaches at the schools which interest you.
    • Begin to investigate scholarships at colleges and others that are out there. Two of the best sites out there are or
    • . Complete scholarship applications as you find them.
  • Senior College Planning Timeline

    • Attend the free senior college application class in August before school begins.
    • Make sure you have all application materials required for college admission and financial aid.
    • See your college counselor frequently to discuss colleges.
    • Attend senior college evenings in August and September to discuss college applications, financial aid, and scholarships.
    • Register for the ACT/SAT if you will be taking a test in your senior year.
    • If your college applications require recommendation letters, ask the teachers and request via Scoir to write on your behalf. Please allow teachers at least 2-3 weeks to complete your recommendation. Provide recommendation forms and any special instructions. Write a thank you letter to the teacher afterwards and keep the teacher posted on your college decisions.
    • Work on your essays and have an English teacher review them with you.
    • Continue to visit colleges and schedule interviews if requested.
    • Be sure to stay in contact with your admission representatives at the schools you are most interested in.

    • Bring college application requests in plenty of time to reach the colleges by deadlines to the College and School Counseling Office with a transcript release form for processing. If a recommendation letter from a counselor is needed, allow three weeks for processing.
    • Try to complete applications one month prior to any deadline.
    • APPLY NOW for Early Action or Early Decision. Your other applications are also welcomed early.
    • Have official test scores sent to colleges directly through ACT/SAT. Colleges will not accept these scores from St. Charles.
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to further offset the cost of college. Some colleges offer additional scholarships linked directly to receiving your FAFSA. The earliest it will be available is October 1st!
    • After completing your FAFSA for financial aid you will be receiving an SAR (Student Aid Report) within four weeks. Review this document for accuracy very carefully.
    • Attend the Suburban College Fair.

    • Be sure your first quarter grades are good.
    • Continue completing applications and following critical deadlines.

    • Meet with your college counselor to discuss your college list and tie up loose ends.
    • Be sure to stay in contact with your admission representatives at the schools you are most interested in.

    • Keep working in your classes.
    • If admitted, check your college e-mail or portal account. That is their primary method of communicating with you.
    • Be sure to stay in contact with your admission representatives at the schools you are most interested in.

    • Monitor all your college applications and keep track of your notifications and deadlines.
    • Continue to complete scholarship applications.
    • Be sure to stay in contact with your admission representatives at the schools you are most interested in.

    • Stay focused and keep studying!
    • If admitted, continue to check your college e-mail account. That is their primary method of communicating with you.
    • Be sure to stay in contact with your admission representatives at the schools you are most interested in.

    • You will have most of your college application acceptances by April 1st. Review your college options and financial aid packages very carefully as you make your final decisions.
    • If admitted, continue to check your college e-mail account. That is their primary method of communicating with you.
    • You will need to make a final decision by May 1st.

    • By May 1st, decide on the one college that you will attend. By May 1st, send in your tuition deposit to that college. Notify the other schools where you were accepted and will not attend that you will not be attending. That spot may go to someone else who wants it.
    • Take AP Exams.
    • Notify your college counselor where you will be attending college next year so that a final transcript can be sent to that college once grades are completed in the summer.

College & School Counseling Events

Evening Events

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  • Freshman College Planning Meeting

    This meeting is designed for 9th graders to help parents and students understand the college selection process. The discussion will include testing, college planning timelines, and types of colleges.
  • Sophomore College Planning Meeting

    This meeting is designed to help sophomores and their parents gain a better understanding of the college selection process. Discussion of testing, student profiles, and college profiles will be discussed.
  • College Planning Seminars for Juniors

    These evening seminars are composed of several meetings. The first two are typically in November. Topics for the first meeting include testing, preparation, college attributes, and early decision, among many others. This second meeting will be held via Zoom and feature guest speakers from various colleges and universities. The final meeting is held in the spring and will follow a conference format where families can select sessions that suit their interests. Sessions will include college athletic recruiting, military options, ACT vs. SAT, and much more.
  • Senior College Planning Meetings

    We will offer two evening meetings for seniors. The first covers many of the items that we cover with students in the August application camp. It’s strongly encouraged that parents attend to understand the process for the next several months. Also at the beginning of the year, we offer an online financial aid presentation for seniors and their families, presented by a financial aid professional.
  • Classroom Senior College Meetings

    The college counseling team will meet with Seniors in Religion class periods early in the year to explain the college application process and prepare students for their applications.
  • Classroom Junior College Meetings

    The college counseling team will meet with Juniors in Religion classes beginning in November to cover varied college topics. We will also provide topical workshop sessions throughout the year.
  • Individual Student and Parent Meetings

    Of course the heart and soul of the Guidance Office is and always will be the opportunity to meet individually with students and parents as they navigate the complex college selection process. Please contact us to set up a time for an individual meeting.

College and School Counseling

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  • Additional Resources

Mental Health Services

The mental and emotional health of our students is of the utmost importance to us as a school. Should you feel your student needs assistance or someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Counseling Resources at St. Charles or use the helpline link below.

Learn More

Testing Information & Test Prep

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  • Free Test Prep Resources

    Local Companies/Individuals:
    National Companies:
    Other Resources:
  • PSAT, ACT, and SAT

    The PSAT will be given at St. Charles in October. +The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT and is something each college bound junior should take. Sophomores are also scheduled for the PSAT. It is the test which can qualify a student for the National Merit Competition as a junior.
    The ACT is a college entrance exam composed of four sections: English, Reading, Math, and Science. Writing is an optional part of the exam. The maximum score on each section is a 36. The four sections are averaged together to get a composite score. This composite score is what we generally talk about as an ACT score. Average for a college bound student is about a 20. The average at Saint Charles falls in the 28-29 range.
    The ACT costs $85 with writing; $60 without writing.
    Fall or Winter of Junior year is the ideal time to take your first ACT. It is the responsibility of the student to complete online registration by the deadline. Registration can be found at
    The SAT is a college entrance exam composed of two sections: Critical Reading and Math. The SAT has an optional writing portion. A 500 Critical Reading and a 500 Math will be an SAT score of 1000. For a list of changes to the test from the previous version go to:
    The SAT costs $55.
    Fall or Winter is typically the ideal time to take your first SAT in Junior year. SAT Subject scores are required by some schools (usually more selective) in addition to the SAT. These are specific subject area tests in a variety of subjects such as Math, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Latin. Registration for the SAT can be found at
    As a general rule of thumb, we suggest students take both the ACT and the SAT one time. Then, students will choose to retake the test on which they feel most comfortable. The first test should DEFINITELY be completed in the Junior Year! Be sure to follow deadlines!

    ACT Registration, Test Dates and Deadlines
    SAT Registration, Test Dates and Deadlines

University and Summer Programs

These are the summer programs that we are currently aware of. If you have information on a summer program or would like your summer program to be added, please contact Thomas Giles at
These summer programs do not include offerings through Mr. Breckenridge and the internship program. If you are interested in one of those, please contact him at

Summer Programs Spreadsheet

Counseling Blog

St. Charles Preparatory School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.