Post-High School Transition and Accompaniment

Whether it is a university, 2 or 4-year college, training program or immediate employment, College & Career Persistence Counselors work with our alumni to take their best next steps after high school.


We ensure that our alumni have the tools they need to make a plan for the future. We work with all rising high school seniors, beginning in the summer, to map out a post-high school plan informed by their personal goals, college-readiness and access to affordable post-high school pathways:

  • For college-bound alumni, this includes creating a list of schools, a financial plan and an application to do list.
  • For training certificate-bound alumni, this includes talking through potential certificate programs, introductions to partners at those programs and an explanation of CJA’s stipend throughout these programs.

How do College & Career Persistence Counselors help prepare alumni for college?

  • Frequent Contact: College & Career Persistence (CP) counselors are in frequent contact with alumni with the goal of having meaningful communication with each alumnus either in person, on the phone or via an email every 6 weeks and often more frequently.
  • College-Specific Planning: Beginning in the summer before senior year, alumni and CP Counselors create a post-secondary transition plan that includes a list of reach, match and safety schools, a calendar of deadlines and a draft personal statement.
  • College Applications: CP Counselors partner with families and high school counselors to help alumni with common and supplemental applications, essays and gathering references.
  • Financial Aid Support: CP Counselors work with alumni and their families to complete the FAFSA, a federal financial aid application, and other financial aid forms. The CP Team also collects and analyzes the financial aid award letters that alums receive to ensure that college is affordable.
  • College Bridge: Each summer, CJA hosts a day-long workshop to help students prepare for college. Topics include managing student accounts, communicating professionally and resource mapping.
  • Emergency Funds: The CP Team is fortunate to have a small scholarship fund, through which Chicago Jesuit Academy can help close financial aid gaps and/or provide funds for incidental expenses such as books, lab fees or transportation.

How do College & Career Persistence Counselors help prepare alumni for certificate programs?

  • Frequent Contact: CP counselors are in contact with alumni, regardless of their path to meaningful employment, at least every six weeks.
  • Partnerships: CJA has developed partnerships with trade programs, manufacturing companies and workforce training programs in order to serve students for whom college might not be the best fit. These programs include Nashville’s 4:13 Strong and Chicago’s Revolution Workshop.
  • On-Campus Employment: Alumni can work as part-time IT interns, facilities assistants and classroom aides as they determine their next steps.
  • Emergency Funds: CJA is fortunate enough to be able to offer alumni stipends while they are in an unpaid certificate program to ensure that they can focus on their training.

How do College & Career Persistence Counselors prepare alumni for careers?

Please see our Career Transition page  for more information.