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College Counselor (Newark)

College Counselor
North Star Academy College Preparatory High School
Newark, NJ

North Star Academy Charter School of Newark is one of New Jersey's very first charter public schools and has also become one of its most celebrated. North Star was hailed by President George W. Bush during his visit as "a jewel of excellence," and the Class of 2004 (100% college matriculation) was touted by the New York Times as a harbinger of New Jersey public education reform. The school and its programs have been featured in a PBS Documentary ("Charter Schools that Work"), Time Magazine ("A Real School of Rock"), and in the recently published book No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning. The network currently serves students in grades K-4 and 5-12 across 12 campuses: six elementary schools, five middle schools, and a high school. 

The College Counselor at North Star Academy College Preparatory High School is responsible for the matriculation of every student into a four year university/college. The College Counselor will promote the mission of Uncommon Schools with a college counseling program that will develop student knowledge, skills, and character. It is the ultimate goal of the college counseling department at North Star Academy through guidance and education, to ensure that all NSA graduates enter, succeed at, and graduate from a 4-year college. 

The College Counselor will ensure proper college matches for students regarding school community, size, location, student to faculty ratio, academic interests, financial aid, and extracurricular interests. It is important to research student support systems - both academic and social - and verify they match student needs. 

Believe in the mission:
•    Demonstrate relentless drive to improve the characters & lives of students in and out of school;
•    Show unwavering commitment to urban youth; and
•    Exhibit resilience to persevere and turn challenges into opportunities.
Lead for excellence:
•    Lead each NSA student to the successful placement in four-year colleges; 
•    Focus constantly on student achievement. Think critically and strategically in order to place NSA students in the most advantageous position possible when applying to college; and
•    Consistently evaluate progress, using data to drive improvements in the college counseling process.
Take initiative:
•    Create a college-readiness culture for NSA students and families, building opportunities for students to be emotionally and socially prepared for college life and
•    Develop and maintain strong relationships with college admissions officers and the individuals responsible for college recruitment and acceptance at each campus.

GOALS & RESPONSIBILITIES (including but not limited to):
1.    Guide each 12th grade student through process of selecting the right post-secondary pathway
2.    Increase student independence through management of their college application process.
3.    Teach daily senior seminar course
•    During fall and winter, focus seminar on college application process
•    During winter, focus on financial aid and scholarships
•    Teach college success skills such as time management, rigorous study habits and academic goal setting.
•    Continue to refine existing curriculum to create top-notch college placement course
•    Teach students to successfully navigate all aspects of the college applications process and all things related including, but not limited, to:
o    Choosing an appropriate list of colleges to apply to
o    Personal statement and other required essays
o    Resumes
o    Recommendations
o    Financial aid 
o    Scholarships
4.    Create a college-readiness culture for Uncommon students, helping 9th-11th graders grow in their knowledge of college and their readiness for the undergraduate experience in all areas.
5.    Plan grade specific events for parents to address specific needs of each academic year
•    Be available for Report Card Nights to meet with parents about their students’ college process
•    Lead parent workshops at each grade level
6.    Build and maintain relationships with college admissions counselors
•    Attend state-wide and national conferences
•    Field calls from admission counselors needing information about individual students (fax or mail information needed)
•    Host college visits to North Star and ensure academic match of students who attend info sessions 
•    When necessary, advocate relentlessly on behalf of student(s) with college officials to assist with admissions process, financial aid process, and any other obstacles that may arise.
7.    Plan and lead college visits for each grade level
8.    Vet and send transcripts to colleges via Naviance, and to other programs and agencies upon request
9.    Complete all clerical tasks associated with above responsibilities (filing, copying, data entry, etc.)

•    Belief and alignment with NSA’s core beliefs and educational philosophy.
•    Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and strong interpersonal skills with students, parents, colleagues, and community members.
•    Understanding of the nuances of urban school environments and school culture. 
•    Prior experience working with high school students and families and/or college admissions field. 
•    Strong working knowledge in all Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook), Naviance, and PowerSchool.
•    Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree preferred. 
•    Minimum of two years experience in an urban district or charter school setting.

•    Ability to work with faculty, families, students, and corporate leaders. 
•    Be analytical and possess strong communication skills. 
•    Comfortable with supervising and managing. 
•    Strong attention to detail.
•    Fast learner with the ability to inquire and be open to feedback.
•    Ability to work in fast paced environment that is deadline driven.
•    Fluency in Spanish is preferred, but not required. 

We offer a competitive compensation package, including a salary significantly above the district scale and comprehensive health benefits. Aside from extensive professional development, all our staff are equipped with a laptop computer, email, high-speed internet access, and all necessary instructional supplies. 

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin,
age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

Please note that your application will not be saved until you click “submit” at the end of the application question set. Unfortunately, you will not be able to save your resume or answers as you go along.  Please take this into consideration. You are welcome to open the application, copy and paste the questions into a Word Document, and then copy and paste your answers into our application once they are complete. Additionally, if you leave your application before beginning the question set, you will need to upload your resume again in order to move forward with the process upon returning. Thanks in advance for the time you are taking to apply to Uncommon Schools.

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