Jerome A. Cole, MAJerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).
Host: Who are the people on campus that every family and student should meet with to gain insight into the college?
Jerome Cole: Obviously, you want to meet with the admissions folks. You want to meet with students, we talked about that earlier. If it is possible to set up a meeting with a faculty member sitting on a classroom, you want to do that kind of thing. But I would encourage students to go a little bit beyond, just those traditional folks, the folk who are part of the staff at the university.
When you go on the food court, the woman who is standing behind the counter serving you, she has probably been there for few years, she has probably seen a lot of kids come and go. She is going to be able to give you a different perspective on the school.
The person that s doing the landscaping, we tend to ignore those people in general, but they are there. They live that, they live it, not every four years or every five years, they have been there for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. I would ask their perspective and again, if they are working, be respectful of the fact that they are working, but if someone appears to be approachable and you are up to it, ask them a question as to, Hey! I am thinking about coming to school here. What is it really like from your perspective, what kind of kids come here? What are they really like? What happens when they are not in classroom? those types of questions.
So, I think that s appropriate. That maybe a little bit more difficult for students to do, but if the opportunity presents itself, I would say, Yes. Absolutely, go for it.