College Advising

College is a match to be made; not a prize to be won.

The college process can seem overwhelming, complicated, and at times, stressful. Our goal at Kildonan is to make the process manageable, positive and exciting. Meetings are scheduled with the Director of College Counseling, both in groups and individually, and Language Tutors also work with juniors and seniors to provide assistance with applications, test prep, college essay writing and editing.

For many students, this is the first time they have taken ownership of a process. Junior and senior year students are focused on preparing college applications, taking standardized tests, writing college essays, visiting college campuses, meeting college representatives who visit our campus, requesting teacher recommendation letters, and taking charge of their futures. Learning to advocate for themselves and communicate their learning style after they leave Kildonan is a very important step in the process.

In addition to our college-preparatory curriculum, Kildonan presents students with opportunities to explore their passions and develop their individual talents and interests, which is essential to helping our students on the road to success after Kildonan.

Our college counselor guides students toward discovering college environments and learning communities best suited for their individual talents and goals. Our goal is to create a culture that focuses not on a school’s ranking, but rather upon how each institution meets the individual needs of our graduates.

—Joy Klvana, Director of College Counseling

College Timeline

Freshman & Sohpmores

Ask Yourself

What do I enjoy doing or learning about?

What is my passion? What are my interests?

What am I good at?

As you begin your freshman and sophomore years, here are some things to consider:

  • Challenge yourself in your classes. It is important to do your best now.
  • Build your vocabulary.
  • Choose a few extracurricular activities to participate in. Colleges prefer to see students that are passionate about a few endeavors (clubs, sports, community service, religious or civic groups, etc.) than only marginally involved in a large number of clubs.
  • Take on leadership roles in school or extracurricular activities. Choose activities where you can grow as a person.
  • Visit college and university websites, and if you can, visit college campuses with older siblings or friends. Start asking questions of people you know in college: Why did they choose their college? What are they studying? What advice can you give me about college and preparing for it?

The summer after sophomore year, starting preparing for the SAT and/or ACT by taking a prep course, using SAT/ACT prep books and materials, or using a private tutor.


The College Journey Begins

Junior year is an exciting time as students begin to prepare for their transition to college. Here are some important steps in the process for our students:

  • Fall Parents’ Weekend (October): College Counseling Presentation.
  • Juniors meet individually with our College Counselor to start the college process and discuss individual interests and needs, and begin the college search.
  • Our Counselor will help juniors set up Naviance and College Board accounts online.
  • Juniors will visit College Fairs, including the National College Fair in Hartford, CT., along with seniors.
  • Juniors can attend presentations by college Admissions counselors visiting our campus throughout the fall.
  • ACT and SAT accommodation requests are submitted for all juniors in December. (See Testing Accommodation Requirements, in the drop down menu below.)
  • Continue involvement outside of class, such as: clubs at school, team sports, leadership roles, community service, or involvement in your religious or civic community.
  • Juniors begin working on their college essays.
  • Juniors develop a resume using Naviance.
  • Juniors interested in art schools continue to develop their portfolios.
  • Juniors take ACT and SAT tests in the spring.

College Bound

It’s a busy time in the life of a senior! We are here to make sure each senior is on track for college:

  • Seniors take ACT and SAT tests in the fall.
  • Seniors attend Fall College Fair.
  • Seniors identify and contact two teachers to write Letters of Recommendation through email and Naviance.
  • Finalize Common Application and personal essays.
  • Seniors narrow down their list of colleges to 8 to 12 schools. Should have 2 safe schools (where they expect to be accepted), 2 medium schools, and 2 “reach” schools.
  • College applications should be completed in November (before Thanksgiving Break), and no later than December (before Winter Break). It is better to apply earlier for best chance for grants, scholarships and acceptance.
Testing Accommodation Requirements

Plan Ahead for Accommodations

When students want to apply for accommodations on college entrance exams or at the college they will attend, they have to submit proof of their disability called “documentation.” Students and their parents should check these requirements for each college before students submit their application so they can be sure that their documentation contains what is needed for receiving accommodations.

Because disabilities change over time, documentation must be up to date. In most learning disorder cases, the educational evaluation and testing should be no more than five years old for SAT and ACT.

College usually require that students be tested with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) rather than the Wechsler Scale for Children (WISC). The WAIS can be administered to students 16 and older.

DSM-IV Diagnosis Code: This is a code from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, which some colleges require to be included in a report. Students whose documentation does not include this code should apply for accommodations anyway, as testing agencies and colleges may show some flexibility. If your student asks for accommodations and is turned down based on the absence of this code, ask the person who wrote the testing report to either revise it to include the appropriate code, or write an addendum to the report to supply the code.

Here are links that further explain documentation requirements for college entrance exam testing:

College Board—SAT Documentation Requirements

ACT Documentation Requirements


We Are a Team Led by Your Student

Kildonan’s College Counseling office encourages families to take an ACTIVE role in the college process. Parental insight can play a key role in the choices a student makes. The college process, however, is and must be student-driven, in order to achieve student success. If a student decides to attend college, it must be his/her choice, and not the choice of a parent, teacher, or friend. At Kildonan, we strive to help our students attain a clear idea of their personal qualities, needs and ambitions, which will lead them to make the right decision for themselves. It is this sense of empowerment that will set them on a path for success.

We are available to parents for conferences in-person, by phone, or via email. We look forward to working with all our junior and senior students, and their families.

College Visits

Why You Should Visit a College Campus

Students and their families should make every effort to visit the colleges they are interested in attending. Walking around campus, taking a tour of the facilities and dorms, and exploring the area where the college is located, are all valuable pieces in picturing yourself as a potential student. Talk with admissions counselors and professors in the major you are interested in studying. Even when a school is not in session, you will begin to form impressions and “get a feeling” as to whether that campus is the right place for you. Have faith in your power of decision.

Parent Testimonials

What Our Parents Have to Say

Thank you, Joy! I don’t know what I would have done without you. You are a really kind and caring person. I appreciate everything you have done for us. It is hard juggling the stuff with both boys and work and everyday paperwork. You have been my safety net these past years and I will always be grateful.

—VinnieCarla, parent

Our experience with the college guidance at Kildonan went above and beyond our expectations. They guided us and our daughter through everything right from the start. It was a very smooth experience for us and we were extremely satisfied with the process. Our daughter got into every art college she applied to and got scholarships to every one of them. Having two other daughters who also went through the college application process at their respective high schools, I can say with certainty that the college process at Kildonan is so well thought out every step of the way. We really did not have to worry about anything except to visit all the schools. Thank you, Kildonan!

—Jackie Elias, parent

As a parent, I really enjoyed working with Joy Klvana during Jonathan’s college search process. Her guidance was valuable, insightful and encouraging while letting Jonathan take the lead in this very important step. All along the way, Mrs. Klvana works closely with students and parents to fully understand the process and help identify the best matches of schools and student. It’s so important to have the support of a college counselor that’s dedicated to getting to know your child and what their personal goals are. Mrs. Klvana was able to keep both students and parents on track with meeting college deadlines and most importantly, she made Jonathan accountable while feeling supported every step of the way. Mrs. Klvana’s communication took much of the guess work out of what to do next. Her influence now has gone past the admissions and acceptance process. Thank you, Joy, for taking the time and making the effort to go beyond merely what is required to achieve what is possible.

—Randy Evans, parent

We could not be more pleased with the level of professionalism of the college counseling services at The Kildonan School. Mrs. Klvana was simply exceptional! Receiving appropriate accommodations on college entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT can be a very cumbersome process and Mrs. Klvana was able to navigate the process with great ease. She was passionate in her advocacy for our child when, at first, his accommodations were not granted by the College Board. Her tireless dedication to our child was the reason he was able to be successful on these high stakes exams.

In addition to Mrs. Klvana’s advocacy for our son, she is extremely timely in her communications with parents. She would often answer our emails after-hours, on weekends, and even sometimes while on vacation.

During the college search process, Mrs. Klvana spends an enormous amount of time with each student to personally know each one and to ensure that the college he/she finds will be the best fit for him/her. Additionally, she utilizes the Naviance program to help each student navigate through the overwhelming number of colleges. She often tours colleges and attends professional seminars to promote Kildonan students to the college community.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Klvana is a tireless advocate for your child and we could not have been more pleased with the level of dedication and service we received from the college counseling office at The Kildonan School.

—Jamie Wagle, parent

After speaking with many friends about the difficult college application process, I was terrified!! My friends told me of the many hours trying to get all the information together and filling out the forms. I was truly expecting a long, drawn-out process. Luckily, with the help of the college counselor at Kildonan, it was a breeze.

They put together most everything we needed and helped with the application process. Most important was the help in guiding my son to the school which would be the right fit for him and explaining the pros and cons to certain schools for him. I’m relieved that our process was nothing like my friends!

—Gina Tordella, parent

We are very thankful for all the guidance that Brian received during the college search and selection process at The Kildonan School. He was given knowledgeable counsel on how and when to apply to colleges, as well as to be proactive in selecting the right school for him. It gave us great comfort working with Mrs. Klvana as she treats each student as if they were her own. She provided guidance and encouragement whenever we needed it on college research, questions to ask, the college application, and the selection process.

Because of the help he received, we are confident that Brian made the right choice in selecting St. Thomas Aquinas College.

—Natalie Weaver, parent

Two teenage girls on rock near lake, rock reads "Do what you love"

Depending on the graduate, the right fit may be a college with a comprehensive LD program, one with coordinated services or accommodations, a gap year, or the work force.

Leaving Kildonan with academic skills and the power of advocacy, along with the support of the Kildonan community, our graduates go on to a wide range of excellent colleges and universities.

100% College Acceptance Rate For Seniors

Since 2005, 100% of Kildonan seniors have been accepted to college.

Here are some of the colleges and universities where our students have been accepted:
* Colleges in bold denote where Kildonan graduates since 2014 are currently attending college.

  • Adelphi University
  • Alfred University
  • American University
  • Anderson University
  • Bard College
  • Beacon College
  • Berry College
  • Brevard College
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Castleton University
  • Cazenovia College
  • Centenary College
  • Centennial College, Canada
  • Central CT State University
  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • College of St. Rose
  • Colorado NW College
  • Colorado State University
  • Columbia College of Chicago
  • Cooper Union
  • Cornish College of Art
  • Curry College
  • CW Post
  • Daniel Webster College
  • Davis & Elkins
  • Dean College
  • Dowling College
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Eckerd College
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emmanuel College
  • Evergreen State College
  • Flagler College
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida Southern College
  • Full Sail University
  • Goucher College
  • Green Mountain College
  • Guilford College
  • Hampshire College
  • Husson University
  • Indiana University
  • Ithaca College
  • Johnson and Wales
  • Kansas City Art Institute
  • Kettering University
  • Lakehead University, Canada
  • La Salle University
  • Lesley University
  • Les Roches Switzerland
  • Lincoln College
  • LIU Brooklyn
  • LIU Post
  • Lynn University
  • Maine College of Art
  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • Manhattanville College
  • Marist College
  • Marlboro College
  • Marshall University
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • McDaniel College
  • Middlesex, Dubai
  • Middlesex, London
  • Mitchell College
  • Molloy College
  • Monserrat College of Art
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Muskingum University
  • Naugatuck Community College
  • Norwich University Military College
  • New England College
  • New Hampshire Art Institute
  • New York University
  • Niagra College, Canada
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College
  • Old Dominion University
  • Pace University
  • Parsons New School for Design
  • Penn College of Technology
  • Quest University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Roger Williams University
  • SACI Florence, Italy
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Skidmore College
  • Southern CT State University
  • Southern Vermont College
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • St. Bonaventure
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Louis University of Madrid
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Stony Brook University
  • SUNY—Delhi, Morrisville, Old Westbury, Oneonta, Purchase, New Paltz, Oswego, Geneseo, Cortland, Buffalo, Canton, Cobleskill
  • Towson University
  • Unity College
  • University of the Arts, London
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • University Reading, England
  • University of Tampa
  • University of the South
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Vermont
  • Vermont Technical College
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington State University
  • Western Connecticut State University
  • Western New England College