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 should students prepare for their college visit?
Jerome Cole: I think the first thing that you want to do is again, start local. Get familiar with the whole idea of visiting colleges, so that there is a comfort level there. So, I think that is first.
Second, you want to go back to the internet. You want to go to the school s website, you want to do a little research, you want to find out some basic facts about the school. The next step is to contact the office of admissions. You want to ask for a tour, you want to ask for an information session. I think the next step is to talk with your school Counselor to let him or her know, I am going to be visiting in school X, any words of advice, any things that I should be doing while I am on campus? You want to let your teachers know that you are going to be visiting school, if it is during school time, that you are going to missing school. That way, you get a chance to get those missed assignments, make up for them and you do not fall behind. I think the very last thing that you want to do is you want to sit down and probably, draft up a couple of questions.
You go on the website, you find out a little bit of information, but in doing that, they are going to just going to generate more questions. You say you are interested in arts; you are going to go to the department, the section on the art department. It is not going to answer all your questions. It is going to answer most of your questions.
Based on what you see on that website, you want to be able to come up with one or two questions for the art department. When you go to the section for admissions or for perspective students, there is going to be information there and revealing that information, that is going to generate more questions. So, come up with one or two questions for the admissions, folks. So, now we have got three, four, five questions, have those in your back pack, get mom and dad on board, go visit and have fun.