Bragging Rights: Shipley's College Counseling, Proud of Our Process

Melissa Tassoni
The college admissions process remains a hot topic for high school students and parents. Increasing levels of selectivity at colleges and universities across the country have added to the fervor. Frequently, college counselors are on the front line—advising students and parents about academic choices, service interests, and other activities in pursuit of the “best” college admission outcome. But amidst this cluttered and sometimes confusing landscape, Janet Kobosky, Director of College Counseling, has reason for hope.

The college admissions process remains a hot topic for high school students and parents. Increasing levels of selectivity at colleges and universities across the country have added to the fervor. Frequently, college counselors are on the front line—advising students and parents about academic choices, service interests, and other activities in pursuit of the “best” college admission outcome. But amidst this cluttered and sometimes confusing landscape, Janet Kobosky, Director of College Counseling, has reason for hope.

A recent survey conducted by Shipley’s student newspaper, The Beacon, asked students about the things that influence their thinking about coursework and activities and revealed that college is not always the driving force behind their choices. “These findings please me,” said Kobosky, “because they indicate that a small but significant number of Shipley students value the authenticity of their academic and extracurricular choices. With so much pressure to choose courses and activities based on their perceived value in the college admissions process, it is rewarding to hear from students who recognize that good decision-making builds from the ground up and begins with the self and not with a college in mind.”

The self is at the heart of Shipley’s college counseling process, which is the culmination of our Pre-K through twelfth grade Social, Emotional, and Ethical Development (SEED) program. It is student-centered and focused on finding the college that is the “best fit” for each student. In contrast to the angst experienced by many students, our graduates report that the college process enhanced their self-reliance, confidence, and executive functioning skills. Now that’s something to be proud of.

Applying Early:

The early application trend in college admissions continues to grow, at Shipley and across the country.

90% of Shipley’s class of 2016 had submitted one or more college applications by Thanksgiving.

67% who applied Early Decision or Restricted Early Action were accepted.

Class of 2016 early accepts*

Berklee College of Music
Colorado College
Dartmouth
Gettysburg
Harvard
Howard
Johns Hopkins
Lake Forest
Lehigh
University of Miami
Muhlenberg
Northeastern
University of  Pennsylvania
Princeton
University of Richmond
Salisbury
Skidmore
Syracuse
Trinity
Tulane
Yale
*This does not represent the full list of schools where students in the Class of 2016 who applied ED/REA/EA were offered admission.



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List of 20 news stories.

  • J.B. Loomis ’11 is an nuclear engineer aboard the aboard USS Virginia, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey’s Island in Kittery, Maine.

    J.B. Loomis ’11: Solving Problems for the United States Navy

    Jared Scott Tesler
    J.B. Loomis ’11 was one of the first women assigned to the USS Virginia, a nuclear-powered submarine at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The US Naval Academy graduate, who also earned a degree at the Naval Postgraduate School and completed training at Nuclear Power School, says Shipley gave her more than a solid academic foundation. Her teachers, she says, “held space for me to be unique. I was never siloed…”
    Read More
  • Students in Mark Stetina's eighth grade history class present political cartoons they created from the perspective of the Conestoga Indians, whose tribal massacre in 1763 has been largely forgotten in history.

    Academic Spotlight on 8th Grade History: Unlocking A Trove of Untold Stories

    For eighth grade history teacher Mark Stetina, studying history is about more than just memorizing dates. Instead, he says, "I want my students to acknowledge their responsibility in integrating the voices and experiences of those who have been excluded from historical narratives.” Read more to learn about his class's study of the Revolutionary War and how students gave voice to the Conestoga Indians.
    Read More
  • Kindergarten teacher Claire Grillo and her students take a hands-on approach to learning math.

    Academic Spotlight on Lower School Math: Building a Mathematical Understanding

    In Shipley’s Lower School, math class just isn’t what it used to be. Using the Singaporean math curriculum “Math in Focus,” students learn to grasp mathematical concepts by literally grasping objects (cubes, place value chips, fraction bars, and so forth) with their hands. The approach emphasizes working collaboratively and explaining process-in addition to giving numeric answers.
    Read More
  • Upper School students in the Advanced Music Composition and Production class observe as their musical compositions are performed  by the fifth grade music ensemble, directed by Harley Givler.

    Academic Spotlight on Music: Writing for the Band & an Audience

    Melissa Tassoni
    Students in Chris Oatts’ Advanced Music Composition and Production class don’t just learn about the theory and building blocks of writing music. Starting early in the year, the advanced music students compose songs that actually get played by Shipley’s music ensembles. Oatts, an experienced professional musician, knows that “The most fun part of being a composer is actually hearing your music playing.”
    Read More
  • Andrew Ramsey ’10 is the founder of AAR Analytics, specializing in player evaluation, tactical analysis, and player transfers for various soccer powerhouses throughout Europe and South America.

    Andrew Ramsey ’10: Analyzing the Mathematics behind Soccer

    Jared Scott Tesler
    Andrew Ramsey ’10 helped establish professional soccer club A.C. Milan’s Data Analytics Department. The experience inspired the founding of his own data analytics company, whose clients have consistently seen a 19 percent increase in point totals and have collectively won more than 100 trophies. The math program at Shipley provided a framework for solving and approaching problems, says Ramsey.
    Read More
  • Michael Turner, Shipley's 10th Head of School, has made a positive impact through his efforts to define Educational Excellence.

    Head of School Michael Turner: Redefining Educational Excellence at Shipley

    Melissa Tassoni
    Michael Turner was installed as Shipley’s 10th Head of School in September, 2019, and is already making a positive impact at the School. His profoundly positive experience as a lifer at Germantown Academy inspired him to pursue teaching after a few years of working in the business world, and he hasn’t looked back since. Learn more about Michael Turner and how he is making a difference at Shipley.
    Read More
  • What's Your Shipley Story: The Shipley Sisters, School Founders, 1894

    Trina Vaux '63
    It took courage to start a college preparatory school for women in the 1890s. The idea that women were as academically capable as men was controversial. Yet the Shipley sisters, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Katharine took on the challenge.
    Read More
  • Melanie Chia-Yu Sze ’65: Finding Joy in Learning & Adventure

    Leigh Green
    From teacher to librarian, paralegal to artist, Melanie “Mel” Chia-Yu Sze ’65, has lived many lives. As a lifelong learner and ceaseless adventurer, her career exemplifies the power of the excellent, multi-faceted education she received at Shipley. “My dad emphasized to me that everything can be taken away from you except your education,” she says. “Shipley started me on a road to see [education’s] real value.”
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  • Shipley Innovations: The Constancy of Change

    Melissa Tassoni & Trina Vaux '63
    What does it take for an educational institution to survive and thrive for 125 years? Changing with the times and, in some cases, making unpopular decisions. Here are some major changes in Shipley’s 125-history.
    Read More
  • Whitney Stengel Kellett '89: Four Generations of A Shipley Education

    Leigh Green
    Whitney Stengel Kellett ’89, CIO at Aqua America, is part of a four-generation Shipley family. She values the compassion and broad thinking fostered by a Shipley education, in addition to its rigorous academic preparation – for herself and for her third-grade daughter.
    Read More
  • A Generation of Generations: Connecting Students to the Past

    Melissa Tassoni
    Even though Generations has been an important part of Shipley's seventh grade curriculum since the early 1990s, the multi-disciplinary unit is more relevant than ever in the personal and academic lives of students.
    Read More
  • Margaret Bailey Speer: Headmistress 1944-1965

    Trina Vaux '63
    Margaret Bailey Speer was Shipley’s Headmistress from 1944-1965. With her background in a family of missionaries and her prior experience as a teacher in China, she had a clear-eyed understanding of the human condition and was global before “globalism” was a thing. She pressed Shipley’s Board of Trustees to admit African American students to Shipley, and she inspired a whole generation of Shipley girls to live lives of purpose and service.
    Read More
  • Meeting of the Minds: Positive Education

    Melissa Tassoni
    Shipley is the first school in the country to adopt a school-wide approach to Positive Education, which aims to strengthen academic and personal achievement through wellbeing using evidence-based techniques. What is wellbeing? Can you teach it? How do you incorporate a successful Positive Education practice in schools? Should you? Our panel explores these questions and more.
    Read More
  • Academic Spotlight: English 12 Seminar

    Melissa Tassoni
    By the time Shipley students reach senior year, students are offered choice in which semester-long English electives they’d like to enroll. This offering of choice is meant to inspire learning based on students’ interests and the courses are designed to give students a college-like learning experience, and many of the courses interdisciplinary in nature. Learn more about the English Senior Seminar.
    Read More
  • Elizabeth Ralph ’06: Living a Life of Insatiable Curiosity

    Leigh Green
    When Elizabeth Ralph ’06, was invited to join Politico Magazine in 2013, the Yale graduate leapt at the chance. As Deputy Editor, she oversees web publishing, monitors the article pipeline, and does “a ton of editing and assigning.” Shipley nurtured her drive towards discovery. “Shipley encouraged challenging conventional wisdom. My teachers were always willing to let me explore.”
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  • June Baldwin ’68: Using the Medium For Meaningful Messages

    Leigh Green
    June Baldwin ’68 has enjoyed a remarkable career in broadcast television. She’s held a driving, steadfast focus on social impact. “Television’s a powerful medium for transforming consciousness, for giving a voice to those who don’t have one,” she says. And Shipley’s motto, Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing has been at the heart of her work.
    Read More
  • Meeting of the Minds: Vision 2026, Shipley’s Strategic Plan

    Melissa Tassoni
    Shipley’s Strategic Plan provides a strong vision to help guide the School into the next decade and beyond. Deeply rooted in Shipley’s mission and traditional ideals, the plan provides a framework for its continued commitment to excellence in education. How does Shipley’s Strategic Plan maintain the essential character of the School while boldly moving it forward? Members of Shipley’s Board of Trustees share their thoughts.
    Read More
  • The Vale Family Shipley Story: Prepared to Succeed

    Kathy Smith
    Elizabeth Vale ’72, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and significant member of the Obama White House, credits Shipley with teaching her everything she needed to know. She valued her Shipley education so much, she sent her daughter Ann ’03 to Shipley, where she, too, received an education that prepared her for a successful future.
    Read More
  • Why I Give: The Chapin Family

    Leigh Green
    I’m an introvert, and he’s an extrovert,” says Emily Chapin Vollkommer ’05, of herself and her brother Colin Chapin ’08. At Shipley, they both thrived. “We could be our own people,” Colin says. Read more about the Chapins and why they give back to Shipley.
    Read More
  • Why I Teach: Adam Goren, Upper School Science

    Kathy Smith
    For Adam Goren, Upper School Physics and Chemistry teacher, teaching is an important and delicate business. “It’s a process,” he says. “of challenging the kids appropriately so they’re prepared to find the magic along the way.”
    Read More
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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.