An inside look at the new College Guidance department

With the new school year comes the new Sacred Heart Greenwich College Guidance department. Ninth-Grade Academic Dean and Dean of College Guidance Mrs. Marcie McDonald welcomes two new Co-Heads of College Guidance, Mrs. Christine Gerrity and Mrs. Alycia Crane, to the Sacred Heart community. In addition to the new faculty, a new College Guidance suite is open to Upper School students and parents. This suite is a space for students to meet with their college guidance counselors, parents, and visiting college representatives.

The new college bulletin board located in the College Guidance classroom. Katie McCabe ’18

The new College Guidance suite hosts two new private offices and a classroom with two large communal tables, whiteboards, and an Apple TV display. A highlight of the College Guidance classroom is the bulletin board, which hosts numerous posters for a variety of colleges that are visiting Sacred Heart this fall.

“We wanted to ensure that the environment we create in College Guidance is one where the students feel comfortable, and so we thought that having our physical space in the main hallway of the school would make it more convenient and more conducive for students to stop by in-between classes,” Mrs. McDonald said. “When the offices were on the third floor, this couldn’t happen as easily. So, being down here, front and center, makes things helpful for students and for their parents. We also feel as though this new space showcases the importance of the College Guidance program as a critical piece of the culmination of a student’s years here.”

Mrs. Gerrity received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from St. Michael’s College. She also worked in the College Guidance department of Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel and as the Director of Guidance and College Placement at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School.

Sacred Heart Greenwich’s College Guidance department, including Mrs. Alycia Crane, Mrs. Marcie McDonald, and Mrs. Christine Gerrity. Katie McCabe ’18

Mrs. Crane attended Fordham University School of Law and received her Juris Doctor after graduating from Williams College. Later, she clerked for a judge for two years and then practiced law for two years. She continued her education and received a Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Fairfield University. Before coming to Sacred Heart, she worked as a College Guidance Counselor at Trinity Catholic High School.

“I am looking forward to getting to know the faculty much better, [and] getting to know all of the seniors [and] to work with them in submitting their college applications.” Mrs. Crane said. “I am looking forward to having every senior get into a college that’s a great fit for them and for them to be happy and ready to move onto next year. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the juniors as well, and working with them on building their college lists.”

A new element of the College Guidance program this year is that juniors will now begin taking a College Guidance class once a cycle starting in September as opposed to starting in January. The College Guidance department will also continue to teach three cycles of PSAT exam preparation to sophomores during their Financial Literacy classes. 

“I think that a major change in the College Guidance approach at Sacred Heart is the full year of college guidance curriculum that we are now offering to the juniors,” Mrs. Gerrity said. “They have already started, which will be a great way to present the process in small, digestible steps, and to hopefully defuse some of the anxious moments that occur second-semester junior year. We intend to have them more prepared and as informed as possible.”

The new College Guidance classroom. Katie McCabe ’18

Additionally, college representatives will continue to visit Sacred Heart and meet with students in a group setting. During these meetings, the representatives present information about their respective college or university and answer any questions that students have. These meetings are available to all seniors and juniors who do not have class at the time of the session.

“It is so nice that the new College Guidance counselors’ doors are always open,” senior Sophia Brusco said. “Whether to ask questions or to just have a laugh.”