The College Counseling staff works as a team to help all Shady Side Academy students reach their future goals. We are dedicated to assisting our students in finding "best fit" colleges and universities that will nurture their abilities and undiscovered talents, while allowing them to realize their career aspirations. See the colleges and universities where the Class of 2012 enrolled.
The process of college advising begins officially in the winter of a student’s junior year, but the College Counseling staff is available at any time to assist students in all grades (and their parents) with post-secondary planning. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
On these pages, you will find a number of resources about the following topics:
The SSA College Counseling Process
Our students find their "best fit" schools through a process of self-exploration, research and decision making. Reflection and self-examination help our students identify their academic strengths, career interests and preferences for living and learning environments.
College research is so much more than any college ranking list. Learning about what really makes one college's program better than another's, what makes a small college different from a large, public university (or even the differences among small colleges) helps students to bring this information into focus with what they know about themselves. This process allows them to create a list of schools which "best fit" them—that is, give them a maximized opportunity of finding a campus community that will best meet their needs for the next four years.
Decision making is an important part of the process. Deciding where to apply and where to enroll from among the admission offers are decisions the student and parent will make together. Decisions based on sound research are easier to make and more meaningful in the long run.
The College Counselors are guides, resources and advocates for students in the college search and application process. The counselors have a great deal of experience and are a great source of information, help and support. As important as the counselor's role is, it is also vital for each student to engage actively and to communicate openly in the research and decision-making processes. Counselors are more effective resources and advocates when they know a student well and are kept informed of her/his decisions along the way.
A detailed college planning timeline can be found here.
Meet the College Counseling Team
Thomas L. Rossi, Director of College Counseling
email@example.com | 412-968-3067
Mr. Rossi (B.A., Harvard, 1984; M.S. Ed., Duquesne, 1998) has worked at Shady Side Academy for more than 25 years—first as a science teacher, then as Dean of Students, Personal Counselor and College Counselor. He also coaches football and is a freshman advisor. He is married, has four children and has gone through the college admissions process as a parent as well.
Tom Colt, Associate Director of College Counseling
firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-968-3129
Mr. Colt (B.A., Colby, 1985; M.A., Univ. of Vermont) arrived at SSA in 2008 from Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, where he worked as Associate Director of College Guidance. He also coaches cross country, advises our WorldQuest team and is a junior advisor. He is married and is originally from Weston, Mass.
Julie A. Hertz, Associate Director of College Counseling
email@example.com | 412-968-3220
Mrs. Hertz (B.A., Penn State, 2004; M.S. Ed., Duquesne, 2009) arrived at Shady Side in 2008. She began working in admissions as a tour guide at Penn State. Mrs. Hertz previously worked at Carnegie Mellon University as Assistant Director of Admissions. She is also a senior advisor and works with the Cheerleading Squad. She is married and is a native of Butler, Pa.
Nancy Blubaugh, Assistant to the College Counselors
firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-968-3141
Mrs. Blubaugh has been a member of the College Counseling team since 1987, and has worked at SSA since 1986. Mrs. Blubaugh was awarded the Ruth and F. Walter Jones Service Prize at Commencement in 2008 in recognition of her tremendous efforts in the college application process. Mrs. Blubaugh has been married for over 25 years and has a daughter, as well as two grandsons and a granddaughter.