The Malvern Prep Counseling Program has always been well structured and helpful to students, but now the system has been revised. This year the Counseling Department has instituted a counseling class once a cycle into everyone’s schedule, on top of the periodic one-on-one sessions with the students’ personal counselors.
The types of counseling that students will get will depend on their grade level. Ms. Ann Wuetig, who worked on developing the counseling curriculum, provided some insight on the different subject matters covered in each grade.
According to Wuetig, the 9th and 10th grade are indeed very closely related. So are the 11th and 12th.
When students first come to high school in 9th grade, Wuetig says that the class will deal with a lot of developmental issues like social and academic adjustment, time management skills, and important decision making. This includes things like resistance to drugs, alcohol, sex, and internet addiction.
On these topics especially, the Counseling Department felt as though in the past there was not enough education on them for the students. The 10th graders will keep building upon these topics, but in addition start to think about their long term future with career exploration.
“It’s a lot of issues that are developmental, that we feel if students are knowledgeable about them, would give them a strong foundation moving forward into the 11th and 12th grades, and to college and beyond,” said Wuetig.
College is the main focus of the 11th and 12th grades’ curriculum, according to Wuetig.
In 11th grade, they will still be building upon the things they learned in freshman and sophomore year, and they will learn how to apply these ideas to their interests in possible majors and minors in college. They will be doing guided research on a lot of different colleges, and at the end of the year they will focus on writing a college essay.
In the first half of senior year, students will be taken through the college admissions process step by step, which will include the application process, teacher recommendations, and a finalization of the the college list they worked on in junior year. In the second half of the year, counselors will emphasize details on the college life, including time, money management, and living away from home.
Wuetig noted that every counselor contributed ideas to the new curriculum so that each grade can have 20 lessons that are discussed throughout the school year.
Especially with the new schedule, this update of the counseling system provides students a chance to reflect on their excitement and worries about the school year, and to provide feedback on how they are handling the changes, according to Wuetig. Counselors work with the students to make sure they develop a strong foundation for facing new challenges.
“I have a feeling that after we’ve gone through a full year, and then we look back on it, it will really make sense as to why this class is essential,” said Wuetig.