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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

Next Steps Blog


Great Expectations

by Lauren Gersick
Associate Director of College Counseling

People ask--because one doesn't think often "I'm going to become a college counselor!"--how or why we in the Urban College Counseling office do the work we do. Ask a range of college counseling or admission professionals and you are likely to receive myriad answers.

As the new Associate Director of College counseling, I feel obliged to share that I am a college counselor because my high school experience (which happens to have taken place at The Urban School of San Francisco) allowed me to understand that conceiving of and fumbling around with one's driving questions is a lifelong practice--one that has its roots in formal education but that extends far beyond graduation.

The college selection process is the ante-chamber to an actual college experience and college is as much about ticking off boxes on a list of distribution requirements as it is about figuring out why one loves Biology in the first place. Our goal is to help everyone move through the college search process with opportunity for meaningful reflection, to provide a solid grasp of the various technical steps to apply to college, and to answer any and all questions that present themselves. If we don't know an answer, we will help you find it.

For this kickoff blog for the 2013-14 season, Susan and I wanted to share with you, parents and students, what the "great expectations" are -- both what you may expect from us, and what we, in turn, count on from you.

From the Urban college office you may expect comprehensive information about the academic, extracurricular and personal elements involved in college admission. You may also expect that we will help all students identify curiosities, strengths and hopes as they relate to reflecting on high school and applying to college.

You are promised that we will be the absolute best advocate possible for each student through our letters of recommendation and our guidance on essays, application intricacies and our professional relationships with colleges and universities. We vow to remain current on all trends in higher education and the college admission process and to remain professionally engaged at the local and national level.

In return, we expect students to come prepared to all college meetings and to meet all requested deadlines. We request that students ask every time they have a question (don't wait around for us to answer something). We ask that students realize they are steering the college application ship.  We also ask that you communicate to parents/guardians what is happening at each stage. We expect each student to take full ownership of the process and to become regular fixtures in our offices and our inboxes. 

Parents, we request you allow students to be the true college process captains. We ask that you support your students by being open-minded and inquisitive and trusting your student. We also ask that you read all of our communication to you. That said, as with the students, we anticipate that any question you have will come our way.  If you've looked through our material and cannot find an answer, please just ask us. 

I am so thrilled to have re-joined The Urban School community and I cannot wait to get to know each of you.

Posted by lgersick on Thursday August, 22, 2013 at 01:21PM


Choose groups to clone to:


Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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