- St. Thomas Aquinas

“A prudent man is one who is capable of taking good counsel.”
It is the mission of the Counseling Office to assist each student in becoming morally grounded, academically competent, civically responsible, mentally and physically balanced, and personally and socially well-developed. This is achieved through a collaborative approach with school community members and programming that is developmentally appropriate and addresses students' unique academic, personal, social, and college/career readiness needs. The school counselors are available to assist students with college and career exploration and readiness throughout their time at Mount de Sales Academy. In the spring of freshman year, students are introduced to Naviance, a tool for personal exploration and the college search. As juniors, students begin preparing for the college application process with the college counselor, which leads to a more individualized approach in senior year.
The Counseling Department is comprised of a freshman-junior counselor, a sophomore-senior counselor, a college counselor, and the registrar.

College Counseling Philosophy

Welcome to the world of College Counseling at Mount de Sales Academy. The journey in preparation for selecting a college for each student here at MDSA is a partnership venture, one in which each of us plays a vital role. Throughout the process we help students to look within themselves for clues as to what will be important in the search for an appropriate post-high school experience. Our objectives are to address individual college needs and ensure that each Mount de Sales student is an active, energetic and investigative participant in the process. By helping students realize that they have the power to define and meet their own challenges, we use the college process as an educational tool to develop skills that will be valuable even in the years beyond college. We believe that the information compiled here will help you better understand your role as well as the way the college counseling process works at Mount de Sales Academy.

There are more than 5,000 institutions of higher learning in the United States, and even more worldwide. Deciding where to apply, and eventually, to enroll can be a daunting process. This guide provides a general overview of the college search and admissions process. Familiarity with our Guide to College Counseling will reduce anxiety and bring a greater sense of control and success in the college admissions process. The Guidance Office expectation is that we will all be active participants in this process. Regular communication between counselors, students and parents is the key to a successful experience. Although this information should provide you with answers to many of your immediate questions, we in the Guidance Office want to assure you that our office maintains an “open door” policy. We welcome your calls, your e-mails, and your scheduled visits. We urge you to take advantage of Naviance Student as well as our scheduled informational activities. Our goal is to make you educated consumers of this highly publicized, somewhat complex topic.

List of 6 items.

  • College Application / Transcript Requests

    Each senior needs to let the Counseling Office know which schools they are applying at least three weeks before the deadline. This process is completed online through Naviance Student. If you have questions about the Naviance Student website, please contact the college counselor.
  • College Visits

    If you are planning to miss a day of school to do a college visit, you need to get a permission form signed by your teachers and by the Guidance Office. You can find forms in the Guidance Office or print the College Permission Form from this web site. Note: Seniors are allowed three College Visit Days and juniors are allowed two College Visit Days. Junior college visit day is mandatory for all juniors. For the 2021-2022 School Year, it will be held on November 12th. College representatives visit Mount de Sales yearly. Juniors and seniors are welcome to sign up for these visits on Naviance Student.
  • Teacher Recommendations

    All teacher recommendations must be completed through Naviance Student. We expect that each student will have a conversation with the teacher with whom they are requesting a recommendation. Students are expected to request two teacher letters via Naviance student and complete a resume in the spring of their junior year.
  • Researching Colleges

    Trying to figure out which colleges are right for you? Look for information online at:

    Big Future by CollegeBoard – Search for colleges that meet your criteria:

    Campus tours – Visit colleges without leaving home:

    Colleges that Change Lives:

    Peterson’s Review – Reviews of colleges and universities:

    Princeton Review - Reviews of colleges and universities:
  • Financial Aid for College

    Deciding how to pay for college is often as stressful as deciding which college is right for you. Below is a list of websites with helpful information as well as information on scholarships and grants you can apply for. You may always talk to the College Counselor as well. You should also talk with the financial aid offices at the colleges you are interested in to discuss the financial aid options available to you. Also, many colleges & universities have separate applications for the scholarships they offer.
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  • Standardized Testing

    SAT and ACT are both nationally administered standardized tests used by colleges to help assess applicants. Most colleges require applicants to provide scores from one of these tests. Colleges will accept either SAT or ACT scores. It is recommended that students take one of these tests in the spring of their junior year and again in the fall of senior year if they wish.
    Read More

List of 1 items.

  • Learner's Permit School Attendance Certification

    Any student under the age of 16 applying for a Learner’s Permit must complete a Learner’s Permit School Attendance Certification Form before you will be allowed to take the test.  Forms are available online or you can pick up a copy in the Guidance Office.  This form must be completed and signed by you and your parent/guardian BEFORE you bring it to school.  A staff member of the Guidance Office will complete the school’s portion and place the completed form in a sealed envelope.  Please do not open the envelope.  The MVA will not accept a form unless it is in a sealed school envelope with the school seal stamped on the envelope. 

    All form should be brought to the Guidance Office for completion.  For more information and to obtain a copy of the form please visit:

Meet the Counseling Office

If you have a question or concern, please feel free to contact a member of the Counseling Office staff:

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Christen Purcell

    Mrs. Christen Purcell 

    Director of Counseling
    The Pennsylvania State University - B.S.
    University of North Carolina - M.Ed.
  • Mrs. Tiffany O'Hara 

    Guidance Counselor
  • Photo of Erinn Colletti

    Mrs. Erinn Colletti 

    College Counselor
    Gettysburg College - B.A.
    George Washington University - M.A.

Mount de Sales Academy

Academic Excellence in the Catholic Tradition