Dexter Southfield (www.dextersouthfield.org) is an independent day school founded in 1926 with 840 students in PreK through Class 12, a faculty and staff of 190, and 70 seniors each year. The school’s well-resourced 36-acre campus is located on the Brookline-Boston line, just 5 miles from the center of Boston and close to some of the world’s best museums, libraries, hospitals, colleges, and universities—all of which serve as an extension of the school’s classrooms. Dexter Southfield seeks a strong, outcome-oriented Director of College Counseling to lead its college counseling program, starting in July 2018.
Dexter Southfield’s core academic and co-curricular programs are enhanced by signature features including leadership and public speaking in all divisions, a research-grade astronomical observatory, and connections with the Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University, and Angell Memorial Hospital, which represent the school’s commitment to using the “city as a campus.” Approaching everything with enthusiasm and commitment, students take advantage of opportunities both on campus and around the metropolitan area to build experiences that prepare them well for the most selective colleges and universities. The coed 280-student Upper School (Classes 9-12) builds on the foundations of the single-sex Lower (Pre-K through Class 5) and Middle (Classes 6-8) Schools.
The school “helps boys and girls develop their individual talents and build an ethical foundation for life” so that “students learn to lead with confidence and serve with compassion, living by the motto, ‘Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow.’”
The Position & Responsibilities
Dexter Southfield is committed to a college counseling program that focuses on the individual student’s goals and interests and helps each student find the best set of post-secondary outcomes. The school is eager for a Director of College Counseling who will proactively and enthusiastically represent Dexter Southfield and its students to colleges and universities.
Dexter Southfield’s next Director of College Counseling will report to the Assistant Head of School and will manage an office of highly engaged professionals including the Associate Director of College Counseling and the College Office Manager. The office also has administrative support on a part-time basis from the Registrar. The Director collaborates frequently with the Head of the Upper School and on an ad hoc basis with the Director of Athletics, the Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, and the Director of Communications. The Director of College Counseling reports periodically to the Board of Trustees.
The Director’s primary responsibility is to lead a proactive, intentional college counseling program that will ensure each student generates the best set of post-secondary outcomes possible. To that end, responsibilities include the following:
Developing and implementing a multi-grade program of education and support beginning with the ninth grade to ensure students and their parents understand the college process and how decisions and choices throughout the secondary school years can impact the college process
Initiating and maintaining strong relationships with colleges on behalf of the school, hosting college admissions visitors, visiting a range of campuses, and communicating directly with college officials on behalf of students
Ensuring that the College Office is highly-organized with efficient systems, policies, and communication protocols that enable the efficient management of standardized testing and student applications
Educating students, parents, prospective families, faculty and board members about all aspects of the college process including standardized testing, athletic recruitment, scholarships, financial aid, and the current college admissions landscape
Working closely with other leaders in the school to ensure that the school’s academic and other programs position graduates for success in the college search and application process as well as in college
Analyzing data and communicating trends and projections around which new initiatives and strategies will be designed
Serving as an active college counselor to approximately half of each class
Regularly pursuing opportunities for professional growth, including relevant conferences with plane travel and overnight stays, and networking within the industry
Ensuring continued professional growth of the personnel in the college office
Dexter Southfield seeks an individual with strong communication, presentation, and leadership skills with deep knowledge of, and proven experience in, the college admissions process to serve as its Director of College Counseling. Individuals who have gained at least 10 years’ experience as a college counselor in competitive independent schools or as an officer in highly selective college admissions will be of particular interest. A bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree is preferred.
The Director of College Counseling embraces the school’s mission and culture and:
Has the leadership skills to serve enthusiastically as the visible, vocal, and strategic leader of the school’s college counseling program
Is a highly organized professional who thrives in a fast-paced environment
Enjoys and cultivates personal interactions with students, parents, faculty and college representatives
Has strong communication skills as a speaker, writer, and listener
Demonstrates patience and support in working with students and parents
Serves as an enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable ambassador for the school and its students in the college process, dividing 25 campus visits annually with the Associate Director and building relationships with college admissions professionals
Demonstrates strong presentation and communication skills to a diverse audiences, including students, parents, faculty, trustees, prospective families, other college counselors, and college representatives
Has a proven track record as a successful team leader and team builder
Is an active, visible member of the school community, attending student events such as games, theater productions, and assemblies
Has strong and demonstrable successful experience in the field
Demonstrates proficiency with college counseling software such as Naviance
Is committed to professional growth
Has a sense of humor
This is an opportunity to be part of a strong, positive school community. A visit to the school will quickly reveal that Dexter Southfield is a place people genuinely like to be each day; it is a school marked by good collegiality and humor. Members of the school community agree that there is not a “typical” Dexter Southfield student, although “positive, respectful and very polite” are common denominators as well as an achievement orientation and “interest in things outside themselves.”
The new Director of College Counseling will have the opportunity to take a leadership role to define and promote a unified vision and message regarding the college counseling program that can be well-articulated consistently throughout the school. This is a wonderful opportunity for a strategic and goal-oriented college counseling professional to join a great school community and work with a strong team to build on the numerous strengths of the current college counseling program.
Interested individuals should submit a current resume and a letter of interest to:
Dexter Southfield considers applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, familial or marital status, or any other characteristics protected from discrimination under state or federal laws.