The mission of Philadelphia Academy Charter School is to prepare students to achieve the highest level of their potential academically, socially, and morally. As the college and career counselor, I work with students at all grade levels to explore career and college opportunities, and help them make decisions and goals that will allow them to reach their highest potential. I coach them through their entire decision-making process, and ensure that they are best prepared for life after graduation.
Information about colleges, trade schools, the military, college entrance exams, programs for students with disabilities, and much more is readily available in the college and career office. There are several computers available for students to perform college searches, scholarship applications, and other career-related work. The ASVAB test is given at PACS in both the fall and spring of each school year. The PSAT test is offered for 10th and 11th grade students every October. PACS also offers CollegeBoard SAT prep at least three times a year, at a discounted price. College representatives visit on an almost daily basis every fall, and there are two college fairs every school year.
Communication is key! PACHS students and parents all have access to Naviance Family Connection. It is extremely important that all students (especially seniors) log into this program often. Besides college searches, career searches, personality tests, and scholarship info, all college visit announcements will be posted on the Naviance homepage. Students are expected to register for these visits through the Naviance site. Naviance and e-mail are the best ways for me to communicate important events and deadlines, so please check each of them often!
Mrs. MacConnell joined PACHS as the college and career counselor in 2014. She earned both a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Gwynedd Mercy University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. MacConnell is certified as a secondary school counselor. Prior to her position at Philadelphia Academy, Mrs. MacConnell worked as a high school counselor for the School District of Philadelphia and at a local private school. In addition to seven years experience in high schools, Mrs. MacConnell has five years experience working with adolescents in the field of mental health.
PHILADELPHIA ACADEMY REQUEST FORM DIRECTIONS:
Download and print the form below form and complete the Graduate Information and Institute where the Transcript Should be Sent. There is a $5 charge for each transcript.
Please make the check payable to “Philadelphia Academy Charter School.”
Send this completed form along with your check to:
Philadelphia Academy Charter School
1700 Tomlinson Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19116
Please note this cannot be done over the telephone, as we need written authorization from you to release your records. Any additional instructions or information may be written on the back of this request.
Click here to download transcript Request form >>
You can begin the college application process in September/October of your senior year. Remember that your application is not complete until your essay, letters of recommendation, and transcripts are sent to the college, and so it’s important to have all of those pieces together as early as possible. Your goal should be to have all applications submitted and completed by Thanksgiving.
Students can get a “transcript request” form from the counseling office. They should fill that out, with the school admissions’ address, and give Mrs. MacConnell three postage stamps for each application.
Log into the test website College Board
or ACT Student
. Go to your scores, and click “send additional score reports.” If you have already used up your free score reports, you will be charged for this service (between $11-12/report). You can then search for colleges to send reports.
The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test. The SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, they take off for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing.
The school’s CEED code is 393452.
There are many places to search for scholarships. A great place to start is Naviance. Once you log in, click on the “colleges” tab. There are scholarship listings and searches at the bottom of the page. Mrs. MacConnell also lists local scholarships on PACS’ website. The Philadelphia School District’s Scholarship Clearinghouse
is also a great resource.
Students that are eligible for free or reduced lunch are also eligible for (2) SAT fee waivers, (2) ACT fee waivers, and (5) college application fee waivers. Many colleges will waive their fees if it is a financial burden; so don’t be afraid to ask!
Colleges will look at a student’s transcript to see decent grades and gpa. They will also look at the rigor (difficulty) of the courses a student has taken. The SAT or ACT scores are important, as well as the information in the letters of recommendation. Colleges will often look for students that are involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, volunteering, and/or working. It looks much better if you can show that you were involved in certain activities for an extended period of time, for example, all 4 years of high school. Students should take time to write an essay that provides insight into his/her unique personality, values, and goals. It should be personal and display well-constructed writing.
The Common Application (or Common App) is an undergraduate college application that applicants may use to apply to over 517 member colleges. You can find the application at Common App
. Plus, you can link your Common App username to your Naviance account. This will allow Mrs. MacConnell to send your transcript and letters electronically- saving stamps and tons of time!
FAFSA online applications open on January 1 of every year. Click here
to see a list of required information. See the FAFSA help site
for the answers to more of your financial aid questions.
The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is a multiple-choice test, administered by the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, used to determine qualification for enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces. Students can contact a recruiter in order to set up testing, but the test will also be offered at PACS twice a year.
There are a few ASVAB prep books in the counseling office. Students are welcome to come down during study hall to check them out. There are also practice tests at ASVAB Program
. Students can take the test numerous times, but military recruits will use the MOST RECENT test score.
Many students do not know what they’d like to do after they graduate. That’s ok! The best thing to do now is to research all of your options. Think about your favorite school subject and your favorite hobby. Log in to Naviance and take the career, personality, and college quizzes. Look at some of the responses that interest you, and search for them online.
On PACS’ website, under student resources, there is a link to “Request an Appointment.”
Students can also see Mrs. MacConnell during homeroom for a pass.