Individual college counseling starts day one. 


The goal of College Counseling at Sacred Heart is to ensure each young woman is in the strongest position to select and pursue the colleges and universities that are the best match for her skills, interests, and aspirations.

Sacred Heart’s college counseling program is unique in that it begins at the start of ninth grade. Comprehensive and structured, the program not only advises students on their college options and applications, but also, supports our young women on course selection, standardized test preparation, essay writing, financial aid, and more.

Experienced and effective counselors, Serena Castellano and Rebecca Skipper each work with an average of 30 students, which allows them to develop strong relationships and a deep understanding of each student’s abilities and strengths.


College Counseling Journey Highlights

From day one of 9th grade, students understand that the door to the College Counseling Office is always open.

9th grade

  • Students are assigned a college counselor
  • Individual check-in meetings
  • College Night for both students and parents

10th grade

  • One-on-one meetings to support Upper School course selection
  • Individual check-in meetings
  • Mock testing opportunities for the SAT and ACT
  • Standardized test preparation kickoff event with Compass Education Group
  • College Night for both students and parents

11th grade

  • Weekly college counseling class
  • 4+ one-on-one meetings
  • College Fair with over 150 colleges and universities in attendance
  • Mock Admissions Night with admissions deans and directors for students and parents
  • Mock testing opportunities for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests
  • Private tutoring for standardized tests through partnership with Compass Education Group
  • Parent coffee to review college application process and answer questions
  • Financial Aid workshop for parents
  • College Night for both students and parents

12th grade

  • Individual meetings focused on applications and essays
  • Financial Aid workshop for parents
  • 2 parent coffees to review college application process and answer questions
  • 2 Saturday drop-in days during the fall
  • College Night for both students and parents

Meet the Team

Serena Castellano
Director of College Counseling
212-722-4745, ext. 315

Having spent her entire professional career working with high school and college students, Mrs. Castellano is committed to helping students find the best fit for college. Before coming to Convent of the Sacred Heart in 2008, Mrs. Castellano was a senior staff member of the admissions offices at both Wellesley College and Princeton University. At Wellesley, Mrs. Castellano was also a financial aid counselor and cultural advisor. Additionally, she interned in the student affairs division at Stanford University and worked as a college advisor at St. Paul’s School.

Rebecca Skipper
Director of College Counseling
212-722-4745, ext. 325

Mrs. Skipper began her career in the Davidson College Office of Admission and Financial Aid, where she recruited students and reviewed applications from all over the country. During graduate school, Mrs. Skipper began working with Henry Street Settlement as a college counselor, and helped high school juniors and seniors navigate the college and financial aid application processes. After earning her MSW, Mrs. Skipper joined the Sacred Heart community in 2013.

Mary Katherine Woodall
College Counseling Administrative Assistant
212-722-4745, ext. 328

Mrs. Woodall is a native of Mississippi and moved to New York during the summer of 2016. She comes from a family of educators and knew she wanted to pursue a career in education after working as the assistant to the Director of Admissions for her alma mater. Mrs. Woodall joined the College Counseling Office at Sacred Heart in August of 2018. She is grateful to be a part of the team and looks forward to continuing to work with students to help guide them through the college process.