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The Pennington School

The Associate Director of College Counseling is responsible for all aspects of the college counseling process for students of The Pennington School. At Pennington, the college counseling process for students begins in ninth grade with various activities that precede their official college guidance counselor assignments in the winter of the junior year. This highly visible role requires enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and impeccable organizational skills.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Meets the ethical standards of the college admission profession as articulated by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

Advises and guides a caseload of approximately 45 students per grade through the college application and selection process.

Works closely with students to self-assess and research higher education and other post-secondary opportunities, taking into account their own interests and talents as well as accommodation and support needs.

Counsels students and parents about college options; disseminates college information to parents through scheduled presentations and individual conferences.

Maintains a professional level of sensitivity to different family cultures and dynamics.

Displays a commitment to diversity and a culture of equity, inclusion, and belonging in approach to teaching and learning, as these characteristics are recognized and valued by The Pennington School.

Assists students with planning their high school academic program
Assists students with writing essays, completing applications, and preparing for interviews.

Assists students in selecting the most appropriate standardized tests for college entrance.

Completes School reports and mid-year report forms to accompany applications.

Assists with group presentations to parents and students
Reviews college applications and transcripts.

Develops and writes official School letters of recommendation for all assigned seniors and communicates with college admission offices.

Assists with all aspects of the financial aid process.

Hosts college representatives who visit the School and serves as a liaison with college admissions offices throughout the academic year, helping them to understand and appreciate Pennington students.

Visits colleges and universities throughout the academic year and summer as needed, and attends local college counsellor events.

Attends national and regional college admissions counseling conferences and forums to stay abreast of current developments in college admissions and education.

Engages in ongoing assessment of the college counseling office operations and reimagines methods, approaches, and programming
Shares in the day-to-day life of the School community and furthering the School’s mission.

Assists with the administration of on-campus college testing including PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
Attends professional conferences, such as NACAC, NJACAC, PACAC, and College Board.

Assists with managing a scholarship database for students.

Assists with tracking college admission decisions and other related data and statistics via SCOIR.

Teaches a college counseling course to juniors annually.

Other duties as needed.


A bachelor’s degree is required; master’s level certification preferred.

Three or more years of successful experience working with students and their families in the college admissions process in either a secondary school college counseling office or in a college admissions office; experience working in an independent school preferred.

In-depth knowledge of colleges and universities as well as a contextual grasp of the current college admissions landscape
Desire to work intensively and collaboratively with approximately 45 families from each grade, eagerly welcoming conversations and encouraging interaction among students, parents, and the college counseling office.

Experience counseling a range of learners and learning styles.

Intimate knowledge of the financial aid process.

Strong analytical writing skills.

Strong public speaking skills and the ability to lead events for students, parents, and colleagues.

Active participation in local and national associations relevant to the college counseling profession, including NACAC, College Board, and Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), as well as interest in attending college tours and networking with colleagues in college counseling and college admissions.

Willingness to engage with and learn from people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Commitment to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive School community.

Eagerness to contribute positively to the Pennington community and uphold its mission.

Ability to bring joy, kindness, maturity, and flexibility to the Pennington School environment.

The position may also include teaching responsibilities and/or after-school coaching or activities. This position is full-time, exempt from overtime, and eligible for all benefits afforded to full-time Pennington School employees.

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, résumé, and salary requirements to apply.

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