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Welcome to the Office of College Counseling!


2014-15 School Profile 

Priory's college counseling office embraces the Benedictine value of individuality by offering support, guidance, and advice

appropriate forstudents based on their own individual talents, abilities and passions. Priory's goal is to assist students in discovering colleges that are strong academic and social matches. Students and parents have access to full-time, highly trained, and experienced college counselors as well as a complete range of informational resources, including opportunities to meet admissions representatives from colleges across the country and the world.

Betty Van Wagenen, Director of College Counseling, and Dorothy Kowal, Associate Director of College Counseling, guide students through a four year curriculum that emphasizes discovering personal learning styles and long term project planning, as well as course planning, standardized testing prep, college research, and application tools, and personal statement preparation.

Students meet individually and in small groups with the counselors several times in increasing frequency as they approach completing college applications.  The counselors will help students become familiar with the admissions process, narrow their choices, arrange documentation, and, finally, complete their college applications. When students take an active role in their college search by accepting responsibility, seeking information, and following guidelines, this process is effective, positive, and often leads students to discover something new about themselves.

As an advocate for each student, the counselors personalize the process in assisting each student to find and gain acceptance at schools that are appropriate academic and social matches--the true definition of a “best fit” school. Woodside Priory School uses Family Connection by Naviance (to see a tutorial on how to use this tool, click here). Family Connection is an innovative and intuitive tool for high school students and their parents to research colleges, organize choices, and create college lists. Every student is required to use Naviance to complete the application process.

Thank you for your continued support of our college counseling program; it is our pleasure to assist you.

College Counseling

Betty Van Wagenen and Dorothy Kowal

Betty Van Wagenen
Director of College Counseling
Phone: 650-851-6144

Dorothy Kowal
College Counselor
Phone: 650-851-6184