In a forward-thinking shift to meet the evolving challenges of preparing for college, Gonzaga Prep is excited to announce the creation of the Office of College of Counseling—the first of its kind in the Inland Northwest. This expansion of the Counseling Center will dedicate two full-time college counselors to guide students in their trajectory beyond high school.
This initiative is a key priority in Gonzaga Prep’s strategic plan, and recent surveys of parents and guardians confirm that comprehensive college counseling consistently ranks high in importance for our families. This expansion will have an immediate positive impact on our ability to provide students with a competitive advantage in their college process.
“It’s a huge advantage to be able to spend individual time with students as they narrow down and then apply to colleges,” says Morgan Hatcher, one of two college counselors. “We can provide unique insight that matches a student’s strengths and ultimate goals with the ability to submit an application well-suited to their top-choice schools.”
Cathy McMeekan joins the counseling department with extensive experience as a school and private college counselor. Together, their work to guide admissions, credits, and to apply for competitive scholarships will be the difference between not just getting into college, but thriving there.
Both have served as board members of several college counseling organizations including the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admissions Counseling, the Jesuit High School College Counselor Association, the National College Fair, and the Diversity Council for the NACAC. Both are members of numerous regional and national organizations.
Starting their freshman year, students will begin to form relationships with Hatcher and McMeekan that will span the entirety of their time at Prep. “By getting to know each individual student, we will be able to challenge and support them as they set ambitious goals for college and career and inspire them to dream big,” says Hatcher. “This office will exist to provide the personalized and professional support to make those aspirations possible.
Students and parents will be engaged from the outset, through age-appropriate introductions to college and career exploration. Through the freshman curriculum, parent meetings, and presentations, students will get early exposure to the college process.
By gathering and leveraging the input of young alumni and current parents about their own experiences, Gonzaga Prep will assemble a storehouse of data—an invaluable resource as families navigate the college admissions and acceptance process. “Students will get real-world information about the strengths of programs at different schools, what families can expect to pay, and what takes to be prepared for post-secondary education,” says President Michael Dougherty.
The creation of the Office of College Counseling also strengthens the Counseling Department by helping to broaden resources and offering expanded individual support for students' high school academic, social and emotional needs. Four school counselors will be solely focused on students’ high school experience: their academic path, academic skill development, and support of their social and emotional wellness through individual and group programming.
"At Prep, we strive to build meaningful and transformative relationships with each student. Starting next year, our four school counselors will now accompany students and families from freshman registration through graduation," says school counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Sarah Long `09. "It is an amazing opportunity to increase individualized care for our students for the entirety of their four years in high school."
This expansion of the Counseling Department makes Gonzaga Prep stronger in every way. It is through the generosity of our community that we will be able to sustain this new model. Interested in making a financial contribution in support of this strategic priority? Click here.
“The decision to create an Office of College Counseling will allow the Gonzaga Prep community to live our Jesuit mission more fully by providing extraordinary cura personalis for each student - and at the same time prepare them for success in college and beyond,” says Principal Cindy Reopelle.
With over 24 years of college admissions experience Morgan has served at Gonzaga Prep for the last 12 years, most recently as the Counseling Department Chair. In addition to serving as a school counselor, she has 8 years of experience working in undergraduate admissions at Gonzaga University.
Morgan is an active member in college admissions organizations, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling (PNACAC). She has held several leadership positions within PNACAC, and is on the National College Fair Local Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Executive Board for the Jesuit High School College Counseling Association.
With 8 years of undergraduate admissions experience and 9 in high school college counseling roles, Cathy McMeekan joined Gonzaga Prep in the Fall 2022.
Cathy has been an active member of the NACAC for 20 years, served on the Governance and Nomination Committee, the Finance Committee, and the National College Fair Committee. Regionally, she is a current board member for the PNACAC and served as president in 2010-2011. Locally, she is Chair of the Spokane National College Fair.