— Barbara Conner has held many titles over the course of her career, but one thing has always remained constant: her desire to help other people fulfill their dreams.
Now, as director of college counseling at Foxcroft School, Conner has the opportunity to guide students (and their parents) through what can be a difficult process — finding the right school.
“I’m incredibly honored to be a part of these students’ lives,” Conner says. “What should be a very joyful time is sometimes a very stressful time, but really should be very joyful and happy and future-focused.”
With 3 million more people of college-age now than there were 30 years ago, college is more difficult to get into than it used to be. But Conner’s approach to college counseling attempts to reduce some of the stress of that process by providing students with a realistic assessment of their skills and needs.
At Foxcroft, that journey begins the freshman year with an assessment of each student’s learning style and continues in the sophomore year with an evaluation of what career field they’re best suited for. Conner typically begins talking about the college exploration and application process in the junior year, when each student takes a College Seminar series to guide her through the application process. By a student’s senior year, the intensive work of applying to and selecting schools is well underway, and Conner is there to guide each student through the process.
When it’s all said and done, Conner has the satisfaction of seeing the results of all that work, as students move on to the next phase of their academic careers. “Just, day-to-day, knowing that the work I do has an impact on the lives of people in very positive ways, that’s huge to me,” Conner says.