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: How important is it for your student to visit a college?
Jerome Cole: I think it is absolutely critical that you go and visit colleges. The benefits I think are fairly obvious. One, you get to see the college. This is some place that you are going to be living for the next four to five years. So, you want to see what it looks like, you want to taste it, you want to smell, so that s first.
I think the second thing is, the access to the admissions office. You get even more information, you get an opportunity ideally, to sit and speak with a Counselor, second students. This is the only opportunity that you are going to have or one of the rare opportunities that I should say, to actually, sit and speak with students that are on campus. I just left the admissions office; here is what they are telling me. Man, I want to hear from you. Give me the real deal. What is it like on this campus? Talk to me about the campus life, talk to me about the classes. I think the other thing is, the other benefit of visiting colleges and why you want to do this is that, you get an opportunity to sit and speak with faculty members, so that you are interested in a particular area that you want to study and this is all you have talked about, all you have dreamt about is you want to go to a college and study X because you think that it is this, this, this and that. That college professor, those students, they are going to actually tell you, here is what we do in this particular major and this is what we do in this particular area of study and that may influence you one way or the other as you go through the process to, Do you want to study a particular area or you do you maybe want to look at another area? So, I think for all of those reasons, you want to go visit, I think it is really critical, I think that colleges want to see you on campus. They want to have the opportunity to showcase their school, they also want to have the opportunity to sit and speak directly with you to gain more insight into you.