College Advisors Workshop

About the Workshop

The college advisors workshop will support, equip, and encourage College Advisors/Counselors at classical, Christian schools through training, collaboration, and fellowship.  It will cover the following topics: college fit, 4-year advising models, the testing landscape, essays and interviews, financial aid, letters of recommendation, the school profile, interacting with students, parents, colleges.

Meeting Dates and Times: Tuesdays at 5:30 CST, beginning January 24th.

Meet Your Workshop Leaders

Becky Priest is the College Counselor at The Cambridge School in suburban, hi-tech San Diego, where the last eight years she has seen the design and build-out of the college counseling program and the school’s first four graduating classes, with college acceptances that include some of the most highly selective in the country. She brings over two decades of college financial aid experience, having worked in the Financial Aid Office at Washington University in St. Louis, and in the San Diego area at college admissions firms and in private consulting. Becky was delighted to have received the blessing of collaboration and help from experienced counselors when transitioning to the high school side of the desk and loves opportunities to continue that collegiality, sharing the learned experiences of fellow counselors. She and her husband have one son in college (a member of Cambridge’s third class) and have provided leadership in their church in the areas of teaching, music, mentoring high school and college students, international student ministry, and missions. She is currently serving on the Classic Learning Test’s Board of Academic Advisors.
Becky Priest
College Counselor, The Cambridge School
Deanna Ducher serves Hillsdale Academy in rural south-central Michigan as the College Counselor and teaches American history and civics. She joined the staff of Hillsdale Academy in August 1999 and initiated the College Counseling office that year when the original K-8 school began phasing in grades 9-12. The Academy graduated five students in 2001, and this June will graduate a class of 23, bringing the total number of graduates to 326. These students have attended a wide variety of selective colleges, state universities, trade schools, U.S. military academies, private Christian and non-denominational colleges, community colleges, and have served in all US military branches, including the Space Force. Deanna is a first-generation college graduate, so personally and through the Academy, she learned and built all aspects of the college application process from the ground up. Before joining the Academy, Deanna served Hillsdale College for two and a half years as an admissions counselor, recruiting from her native suburban Detroit. That experience gave her excellent perspective when she moved to the other side of the desk, managing the college search process for high school students. Off campus, she spends time in amateur photography, orchestral viola playing, travel, cycling, reading, and podcast listening.
Deanna Ducher
College Counselor, Hillsdale Academy

Workshop Syllabus

  • The importance of college counseling, defining job duties 
  • Developing an office philosophy or mission statement
  • The lens of classical, Christian education
  • College and university landscape and curriculum
  • Aptitude testing options (YouScience? Myers-Briggs, etc.)
  • Other post-high school options besides college: trades, military
  • 4-year advising sequences/plans
  • College list-building wisdom; the 3 legs of college fit
  • School documents that support students
  • School Profile: must-have elements, communicating classical education
  • Transcript topics: grading scales, honors, dual enrollment
  • Other registrar issues
  • PSAT/NMSQT, PLAN, SAT, ACT, CLT, AP – distinctives and differences
  • Calendar 
  • School-based test prep sessions?
  • Thoughts on private prep
  • State testing requirements; school-day options 
  • Rapidly changing national landscape/test-optional and surrounding issues 
  • School testing philosophy – not teaching to the test
  • Campus visits
  • High school visits
  • College fairs 
  • How to “prove” your curriculum to colleges (sub-topic, the emphasis on GPA and weighted/unweighted/AP grades, etc. in test-optional world)
  • The 8 factors in holistic admission and the importance of each
  • Micro fall of senior year plan 
  • LOR
  • Student/parent etiquette
  • Elements of and expectations for the counselor LOR
  • Teacher LORs – training, elements, expectations
  • Student resumes 
  • College essays: tips, best practices 
  • Interviews: tips, best practices
  • Need-based aid – role of FAFSA and CSS Profile
  • Gift aid – academic merit, talent, tuition discounts
  • Cost factors over four years
  • GoingMerry, others
  • Local scholarships
  • Tuition-exchange


college advisors workshop

$ 599
  • Regular Pricing Begins January 1: $679
  • SCL Member Schools receive 10% discount
  • All workshops require a minimum enrollment to make
Early Bird


Please reach out to Sarah Spencer at