College Counseling

The Process

The college process is one that begins as soon as a student enters the Saint Gertrude community. Our rigorous college preparatory curriculum and high standards ensure that students are well prepared for the academic demands of college. Both inside and outside the classroom, students are being educated and prepared for the next steps that they will take in their educations. The challenge of the college search process is for students to identify the college or universities that fit their interests, learning styles and personalities – to find the institutions at which they will be happiest and most fulfilled. Although the college process becomes more individualized and focused during the junior year, each year of high school is important. We work with students and families at each stage of the process, and we invite you to contact us at any time.

We encourage freshmen to take advantage of the new opportunities that high school affords and to begin to develop their interests and talents. Outside of the classroom, students are supported by the School Counselor and Advisor.  Although college can seem a long ways away, students begin to prepare by taking the PSAT,  developing an understanding of the importance of their academic transcript, and setting personal goals for their high school careers.

The sophomore year, like the freshman year, is a time for students to hone their interests and continue to be involved both in and out of the classroom. All sophomores take the PSAT in the fall. Individual meetings with their academic advisor in the spring promotes that students are on the optimal track to meet their academic goals.

The individualized college process formalizes  in the junior year. This exploration stage is an important one, as it forms the foundation for the application period that follows in the senior year. We strive to educate our junior students and families so that they are equipped with the information that they need to make the decisions that are best for them.  Juniors take the PSAT in October.  Beginning in the second semester of the junior year and continuing through the spring, students are educated about the college admission process.  This is done through class meetings and evening programs.  Additionally,  every student and her parent(s) has a personalized conference with the college counselor.

The start of the senior year brings the action phase of the college process. This is an exciting time, as the exploration stage begins to manifest itself in objective applications, and we support each and every student throughout this sometimes uncertain or overwhelming process. Throughout the fall, the college counselor makes certain that students are well informed. Individual student meetings are held often, and each student’s college list is carefully reviewed for balance and fit. The College Counselor writes a  personal letter of support for each student, as well as processes all paperwork. As decisions are made, students are encouraged to consider the academic, social and financial fit of their final college choices.

Penny Deck, Director of Counseling Services/College Counselor (, 804-822-3943)

Carolyn Holshouser, Counseling Services Assistant (, 804-822-3946)

Class of 2018 Acceptances: The University of Alabama*, Allegheny College, Auburn University, Averett University, Bridgewater College, Bucknell University, The Catholic University of America, College of Charleston, Christopher Newport University*, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University*, University of Denver, Drexel University, East Carolina University, Elon University, University of Florida*, Furman University*, George Mason University*, University of Georgia, Hamilton College – NY*, Hampton University*, High Point University, Hofstra University, Hollins University*, James Madison University*, La Salle University, Liberty University, LIM College (Laboratory Institute of Merchandising), Longwood University*, Louisiana State University*, Loyola University Maryland, Lynchburg College*, University of Maine, University of Mary Washington*, University of Mississippi*, Mount St. Mary’s University, New York University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University*, Occidental College, Old Dominion University*, Olivet College, Pace University – New York City, Pennsylvania State University, Radford University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College*, University of Richmond, Roanoke College, Saint Joseph’s University, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of South Carolina*, Southern Methodist University, St. John’s University – Queens Campus, University of St. Thomas*, Syracuse University*, Temple University*, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy*, The Ohio State University*, Vanderbilt University*, University of Vermont, Virginia Commonwealth University*, Virginia Tech*, Virginia Wesleyan University*, University of Virginia, Wake Forest University, West Virginia University*, College of William and Mary*

*Indicates matriculation