By Reece M. Krantz ’16
The school year begins with a revised and reorganized counseling structure aimed at supporting students over the course of their four years.
“It’s a comprehensive, counseling approach that will include college and any other academic or personal issues,” Chair of College Counseling Ms. Cardinali said. “It’s a two-tier structure with a formal department made up of five counselors who begin working with students at their sophomore year and remain until graduation.”
The new system is a result of an administrative decision to move in a new direction that they feel will best serve students and parents over the course of their four years at Brophy.
The old system had juniors switching mid-way through their year from their guidance counselor to a college counselor.
Ms. Cardinali said she has already noticed a benefit to working with students beginning in the sophomore year.
“Before, college counselors really had to hit the ground running to know the students as well, and as fast as possible,” Ms. Cardinali said. “The new system gives us more time to know the students, and an opportunity to engage parents earlier in the college planning process.”
A new counseling administrative shift is not the only new thing to the department: A Freshman Advisory Program has been instated and put in place of a guidance counselor position.
“Another big change is the freshman advisory program. Freshman don’t have a counselor in the counseling department. They are instead assigned an advisor,” Ms. Cardinali said. “We have eight faculty advisers who will guide and mentor the freshman.”
The advisers consist of Mr. Christopher Agliano, Mr. Ian Aston, Mr. Pete Burr ’07, Mr. Scott Heideman, Mr. Jose Mendoza ’88, Mr. Jon Shores, Mr. Steve Smith ’96, Mr. Matt Williams ’07, and administrative support from Mrs. Mary Novak.
Advisers will meet with freshmen individually and during monthly cohort meetings.
These cohort meetings will attempt to foster a sense of community among the freshmen as well as provide a forum for the adviser to engage the students in events that will aid in their transition to sophomore year.
Their primary goal is to encourage conversation among each freshman, his parents and the school.
A new system needs new personnel to fulfill it and several new counselors have joined the faculty this year including Mr. Oscar Borboa ’05.
“When the opportunity presented itself to me I couldn’t have been more thrilled about it, and for me it comes from the community that is fostered at BCP, this idea of brotherhood extends to the faculty. People like to work here,” Mr. Borboa said.
Mr. Borboa has worked in university admissions a majority of his professional career.
Brophy will be his first year as a college counselor.
“This is a new role for me but I have been working at universities. Sixth year professionally but my first college counseling position,” Mr. Borboa said.
There is bound to be some issues when a new system is introduced over an older one, and things will have to change if problems arise.
“It’s going to be a new process for everyone in the department here, there will be some things down the road that we haven’t identified and will need to change,” Ms. Cardinali said.
Ms. Cardinali said counselors are still a valuable asset in light of the new changes, and in many ways, much more important in the everyday life of a student. Connecting to students has now become more efficient and friendlier.
“We are college counselors by name, but that really encompasses the overall care for a student,” Ms. Cardinali said. “We are here to help facilitate student wellness.”