Bergen County Academies is fortunate to attract students with a multitude of talents and interests. The BCA School Counseling Department provides a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for students to learn and grow in an academically challenging institution. Our mission is to provide academic, social, and emotional support at each grade level in order for each student to reach and surpass their individual potential. Working in partnership with teachers, administrators, parents, and community members, we provide the necessary support that students require during their adolescent years.
Through a developmental school counseling program, our counselors work with students each step of the way throughout their high school experience. The process begins on Day One of freshmen year when ninth graders enroll in the seminar course “Freshmen Exploration for Social, Emotional and Academic Success.” Knowing it can be difficult adjusting to the high school culture; this course enables students to become comfortable with their school counselor as well as peers while also exploring typical adolescent issues. By providing freshmen with the necessary academic, social and emotional skills for personal growth and development, students begin to understand their role in creating a positive school climate and making informed choices.
During sophomore year, students again work hand in hand with their school counselor in “Sophomore Seminar,” a course which addresses important issues related to academic, career and college planning. Students complete a self-evaluation inventory and are introduced to valuable resources designed to help them explore and investigate the variety of options available. At this time, counselors discuss AP/IB course selection, the value of enrolling in meaningful summer programs and activities, standardized tests, and methods of finding colleges that will be a “good fit.” This seminar is designed to reduce the stress and anxiety students often encounter as they move forward with their career/life journey.
As students enter junior year, the School Counseling Department recognizes that the college selection process becomes a major focus. Understanding its importance, counselors work with students to ensure a smooth, confident approach to this sometimes daunting task. To this end, counselors conduct college planning conferences with students and their families to demystify the college process, to suggest appropriate collegiate prospects, and to guide students through testing and application procedures. Additionally, each year, the School Counseling Department hosts numerous college visits, professional speakers, and financial aid nights. The highlight of the college planning process is our annual spring college fair, which attracts over 150 prestigious colleges and universities.