This program offers tailored, one-on-one college admissions advising to families of Porter’s graduates. PCA’s services are designed to meet the needs of female and male students in different stages of the college search and application process.
Ninth and tenth grade students have the advantage of beginning the process early, allowing them to set long-term goals and take full advantage of their high school years to discover their talents and interests. Your PCA counselor will provide holistic and comprehensive planning for the entirety of high school with the goal of helping your student take full advantage of their academic and extracurricular opportunities. Throughout the process the counselor will help the family to evaluate your student’s strengths and identify their best fit for higher education.
Your PCA counselor will provide recommendations for course selection and extracurricular and summer activities, and will create a testing plan in preparation for the college application process. In grades 11 and 12, the counselor will guide your student through all aspects of the college application process. Many college counseling services focus solely on “getting in” to college. At Porter’s we seek to help students identify their strengths in concert with their interests to empower them to make the best use of college and beyond.
Eleventh grade students begin their search in earnest. Your PCA counselor will meet students where they are to inventory their goals and accomplishments to identify the best fit for college. Families will receive step-by-step counseling to ensure that students are ready to put their best foot forward in their college applications, with an emphasis on helping your student clarify his or her interests to find the best college program for their needs. The counselor will help students identify a concrete list of colleges and universities to consider, map out a standardized testing strategy, and assist in planning for college visits. Students will be counseled on how to secure strong teacher recommendations from their home school as well as how to make the best use of the summer months in preparation for a successful senior year.
Twelfth grade students find they need support pulling applications together. Your PCA counselor will assist students in finalizing their college lists and establishing a plan for early and regular decision applications. The counselor will coach students on how to establish relationships with admission officers and prepare them for interviews. With an understanding of your student’s strengths, your PCA counselor will guide your student through the Common Application and writing compelling admissions essays and supplements. Working hand in hand with your PCA counselor will ensure that the application submission will be a seamless process. The counselor will be there to help when decisions are in and your student is ready to select from among their acceptances!
Dean of College Counseling
Amy has worked in admissions and college counseling for over 20 years at schools including her alma mater, The Ethel Walker School, as well as Yale University, The Taft School, and Chase Collegiate School. She began at Porter’s in 2009 and lives on campus with her two children, Charlie and Annie. Amy has visited over 75 colleges and universities throughout the United States, the UK, Ireland, and Canada. She regularly attends national conferences to stay current on issues relating to the college admissions landscape, including the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), The College Board Forum, and others. Amy is the chair of the ACCIS Board of Trustees and served as co-chair for the 2017 ACCIS Summer Institute at Trinity College. Amy majored in English as an undergraduate at Bucknell University and holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
Associate Director of College Counseling
Ericka held a variety of roles in educational settings prior to joining the College Counseling Office at Porter’s in 2019. After a short stint teaching first grade, she spent several years working with low-income, first generation college bound students through the MIT Educational Talent Search and University of Maine Upward Bound programs. She then worked at the University Resource Center at Boston University, where she advised struggling students, presented workshops on student skills, and coordinated a peer advisor program for incoming first year students. For the past 18 years, Ericka has worked at Amherst Regional High School in Amherst, MA, as a school counselor and an assistant principal. She is passionate about facilitating access to novel experiences, connecting students to resources, and helping young people gain the skills they need to live the lives they envision for themselves. Ericka holds a B.A. in Psychology from Amherst College, an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Boston College, and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Springfield College, where she was inducted into Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. She splits her time between Farmington and Amherst, MA, where she lives with her husband, Alfie, and their children, Mason and Anika.