Welcome to the Mater Dei High School Counseling website. Our mission is to provide all students with a comprehensive school counseling program that encourages the development of the whole person, academically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and vocationally. In partnership with teachers, administrators, parents/guardians, and a caring community, the school counselors support all students to become lifelong learners and leaders, committed to serving God and society with a profound sense of social justice, founded in love.
Mater Dei students are assigned to their counselor alphabetically by last name. Counselors are available to assist with academic guidance, college and career planning, and wellness counseling and referral. We provide individual meetings, family conferences, classroom lessons, student/parent workshops and more. Please see Counseling by Grade Level and our menu of pages by topic for more information on our program and services.
The Mater Dei High School counseling office is located between the 400 and 700 wings, on the second floor above the library. The Registrar, Wellness Counselors, and International Student Director are also located in the counseling office.
We look forward to working with you!
You are welcome to make an appointment to see your counselor via email. You can also drop in before school, after school, during lunch and office hours. Counselors may request for students during the school day. Please check in with our administrative assistant, Ms. Zavala, when you visit the counseling office.
The MD school counselors are happy to meet with you. Please schedule an appointment with your student’s counselor through email. We also can respond to your questions via email. Please allow 24-48 hours for a response. Thank you!
For more information on our counseling program by grade level, please click on the titles below.
In the fall, freshmen can begin exploring their interests through the school Club Fair and starting on their volunteer hours. They can register for a Naviance account to research colleges and careers. In October, all 9th grade students participate in our All School Testing Day and take the Practice PSAT 8/9, which provides early feedback on students’ PSAT skills and knowledge. For more information on test prep, please visit our SAT/ACT page. In the fall, freshmen are also welcome to attend our College Night, where students and parents can attend workshops and meet college representatives.
In the spring semester, the counselors meet with all students through Freshmen Classroom Visits to discuss:
- Practice PSAT 8/9 results and college admissions testing
- Naviance, powerful college and career research tool
- Graduation requirements
- Mater Dei course catalog
- Introduction to college admissions requirements
- How to be involved (sports, clubs, service) and utilize school supports (AAP)
- Course selection for 10th grade
9th Grade Resource Links:
MD Course Catalog – All courses offered at MD, description of courses and prerequisites. Parents are strongly encouraged to review the packet and MD Course Catalog with their student
9th Grade Counseling Classroom Lesson Slides – Presentation given by counselors in Freshmen Classroom Visits
In the fall, sophomores take the Practice ACT test as part of our All School Testing Day, an opportunity to get familiar with the exam structure/content and find student strengths and areas of improvement. Students and parents are welcome to come to the fall College Night, which features informative workshops and a college fair. In November, the counselors host the Sophomore Parent/Student Night. At this event, counselors and speakers address pertinent topics and families are encouraged to bring their technology to join an interactive demo on exploring colleges and careers through Naviance.
In the spring, counselors return Practice ACT results to students through classroom visits. Counselors also meet with each student individually in their Sophomore Visits to cover the following: course selection, transcript review, college admission requirements, service hours, testing plans, summer enrichment, extracurricular activities, and potential college and career goals. Counselors review student progress and recommend summer school for students in need of credit recovery.
10th Grade Resource Links:
– Presentation on career, college, and wellness from sophomore parent night
Sophomore Visit Handout – Handout counselors use to guide their individual sophomore meetings
MD Course Catalog – All courses offered at MD, description of courses and prerequisites
Throughout the school year, junior students can take advantage of the College Admission Representative Visits during Upper Lunch. Representatives from colleges across the nation visit Mater Dei and are available to meet with students in the Shamrock Plaza during lunch.
In the fall, students are encouraged to attend College Night, which features workshops and a college fair. In October, 11th grade students take the PSAT/NMSQT as part of the All School Testing Day. For more information on admissions exams, please refer to our SAT/ACT test page.
In the spring, junior families will receive sign-up information for the Junior Case Studies Night, an evening in which students and parents experience and learn through a mock admissions review process with college admissions representatives. There is a mini college fair with RACC colleges after the workshops.
Counselors also schedule individual appointments with every junior family for their Junior Guidance Visit. The Junior Counseling Visit is a 45-minute visit with the counselor, and parents are encouraged to join with their student. The topics covered include: transcripts and grades, senior year classes and graduation, SAT/ACT test planning and preparation, post-high school options/college admissions process, and major/career interest exploration.
Counselors visit junior classrooms near the end of the school year to give instructions for the Senior Guidance Questionnaire, which is required for requesting letters of recommendation, and students can work on their responses over the summer.
Our Gateway Center Coordinator is also available to support students in researching careers, internship, and scholarship opportunities.
11th Grade Resource Links:
Junior Counseling Classroom Visit 2018 – Guide to College Applications, College Fit, Types of Admissions Deadlines, Next Steps, Links & Reminders
Junior Guidance Visit Handout 2017 – Handout counselors use to guide their junior family meetings
UC Personal Insight Question Prompts – UC essay prompts and helpful supplemental questions
MD Course Catalog – All courses offered at MD, description of courses and prerequisites
In the fall, seniors complete the Senior Guidance Questionnaire which is required for requesting Counselor Letters of Recommendation. Please see the Letters of Recommendation page for instructions on the Senior Guidance Questionnaire and Teacher Recommendation Questionnaire.
In the beginning of the school year, counselors visit senior English classes for a our College Classroom Curriculum and work closely with senior English teachers to assist students in completing their college applications and essays. Counselors review with students screen-by-screen through the Common Application, UC Application, and CSU Application. Please see the College Planning Resources guide that details the college application process. Throughout the fall, counselors also meet with each senior student individually in Senior Guidance Visits to further assist with their high school and college planning. As a reminder, students must request for letters of recommendation at least 3 weeks in advance of their first application due date and must check whether they need to send official transcripts, which is done through Parchment.
Please check the calendar for our most updated events. Seniors have the opportunity to attend our fall College and Career Night, which features informative workshops and a college fair, and they are able to meet college representatives through College Admission Representative Visits during Upper Lunch throughout the year.
January through March, counselors complete Mid Year Reports for private colleges, and students must check whether they need to order and send their official mid year transcripts. In the spring, Mater Dei partners with local community colleges to offer Community College Placement Testing on campus. Seniors who are planning on attending community college can sign up for placement testing after they have registered and receive their student ID. In May, all seniors are invited to Senior Awards Night, which recognizes students for their efforts and accomplishments in academics, arts, athletics, service and more.
12th Grade Resource Links:
Letters of Recommendation – General Letters of Recommendation page with instructions
Transcripts/Parchment – Order and send your official transcript, mid-year transcript, final transcript to any institution
- MD Teachers - When you have any questions about class assignments, topics, tests or grading, our Mater Dei teachers are your best contact. Communicate with your teacher in person or by sending them an email.
- Canvas - Check your upcoming assignments and plan to study ahead of exams
- Aeries - Check your grades on assignments and tests. Make sure you complete any missing assignments and make up tests needed. Parents, you can set up a weekly grade summary report email from Aeries to help you check on your student’s progress.
- Office Hour - Use your Office Hours time wisely. It is meant for getting ahead on homework, getting additional support from teacher (just sitting in their classroom does not count—ask questions!), and working on group projects.
- Peer Tutoring - During office hours, peer tutors in CSF and NHS can help in all subjects. Please speak to your counselor if you are interested in peer tutoring.
- Academic Assistance Program (AAP) - MD teachers offer free, drop-in tutoring for one hour before/after school. Check for the most updated AAP schedule on the Muth Family Center for Learning page.
- Tech Hub - If you have any issues with your iPad or technology, ask for support at the Tech Hub in the library.
- Wellness Counseling - If something else that is going on is making school work difficult, please speak to your counselor. Your school counselors and wellness counselors are available to support any social/emotional/personal concerns.
- Learning Skills - Year-long elective class on study skills and habits
- Math Lab - Year-long elective class supporting math
- Learning Center - The Learning Center (LC) is a dedicated space in the library open to all students from 7:30am to 3:30pm who need extra assistance and/or a quiet, monitored place to study. The LC is staffed full-time by two learning specialists.
- Monarch Academic Program for Success (MAPS) - MDHS provides reasonable accommodations and support within its current classroom organization to students with documented learning/attention differences through the Monarch Academic Program for Success (MAPS). Please contact the Muth Family Center for Learning for more information.
- Do I communicate with my teachers about what I need or don’t understand?
- What do I do when I have a question? Whom do I ask?
- How do I utilize Office Hours?
- How often do I check Aeries/my grades?
- How do I organize my assignment due dates and upcoming test dates?
- How do I prioritize and manage my time? What are my goals?
- How do I take notes in class or when reading?
- Do I use more than one method of studying? For example, I review my notes, make flash cards, complete a study guide, and quiz myself.
- What does my homework environment look like? Is it organized, quiet, and free from distractions?
- Do I take breaks from homework as needed?
- Am I getting good sleep, eating healthy, and staying hydrated?
- Do I check before going to bed that I have everything I need for the next school day turned in or prepared in my backpack?