The College Counseling Office at TAS is responsible for helping to navigate the college search and application process. As such, we offer a comprehensive and dynamic program that aims to guide and support students and families through the process. For more current information, please sure to stay up-to-date with us on our College Counseling Blog, our primary source of information. Additionally, consider following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
We are constantly reviewing and improving our offerings, but our program consists of several major components:
- Parent College Programs
- Parent Corners
- Individualized Attention
- College Counseling Classes
- Relationships with Colleges
Realizing that parents play a critical role in the college process, the College Counseling Office offers parent programming for all Upper School parents in the form of various Parent Teas, evening programs, and some grade-based functions as well as Parent Corners (see below). Our primary goals in working with parents are as follows: 1. to educate parents about the current college admission landscape; 2. to provide insight into each aspect of the search and application process; and 3. to keep parents informed about where their students should be in the overall process.
Parent Corners are an opportunity for upper school parents to meet with a member of the College Counseling team. We understand that oftentimes parents have quick questions that they would like to ask a college counselor. Parent Corners provide this very opportunity! Twice per month, from 8:15-9:15am, one or more of the college counselors will be available to respond to questions and concerns about the admissions process. Sometimes parents or their friends hear comments in the community that surprise or puzzle them about college admissions policies, standardized testing, or application strategy and timing. These Parent Corners provide a comfortable environment to ask about these or other topics, to lessen misinformation, and to talk about changes in the college admission scene. We hope parents take advantage of this opportunity whenever convenient and hope they find it helpful. As an important clarification, these sessions are not intended to replace the individualized college counseling meetings, and we will not be able to talk about a particular student’s or parent’s experience or difficulties.
In the junior year, college counselors begin compulsory, individual meetings with students and parents as we establish differentiated plans for each student. Until this formal start to the process, the College Counseling office is available for specific questions by appointment.
During initial family meetings in the junior year, the student’s academic record, interests, and goals are discussed. During the individual appointments with students, college counselors seek to learn about the student’s personal and academic interests, explore possible college choices, and discuss expectations for the college search and college admissions process. These meetings help foster strong relationships with the students. In the senior year, the college counselors continue to meet regularly with students and parents to provide guidance throughout the college application process, provide feedback and advice on applications and essays, and help students with their final college decisions.
In the second semester of junior year and the first semester of senior year, students meet regularly for College Counseling Class, which is designed to introduce all of the important college admissions topics such as what colleges look for in applicants, how to evaluate colleges, and how to stay calm and organized during the application process. Additional topics include: early action and early decision programs, how to apply to the University of California system, how to complete the Common Application, how to write an effective college essay, and how to ensure a successful college visit. These compulsory classes are conveniently scheduled to facilitate attendance by all students and run concurrent to individual student and family meetings.
The college counselors at Taipei American School work diligently throughout each year to build, develop, and maintain relationships with colleges and universities through participation in college admissions conferences, professional organizations, and college counselor visit programs to colleges throughout the world. In fact, the office regularly eclipses its annual goal of visiting 75 colleges and universities. To help expose students to the various colleges and universities and to educate these institutions of higher education to TAS, the College Counseling Office also welcomes over 200 college admission representatives to the school each year. Students are encouraged to attend these presentations as a way to learn more about the different colleges.