School Counseling & Academic Advising

Commencement Student Audience
Science Students building models
Academic and College Advising counselors meeting around a table
College Pride
College Pride 2
Three students posing against the second floor railing

School Counseling & Academic Advising

With five full-time counselors on staff, the Cardinal Gibbons School Counseling & Academic Advising team is dedicated to fostering the academic, spiritual and personal growth of students. From the very start, students are encouraged to take charge of their academic experience, explore their interests and discover who they want to become. By working closely with College & Academic advisors, students can create an individualized academic plan, develop skills, set goals and chart a course for success, regardless of the path they choose after graduation. 

College Representatives

Cardinal Gibbons encourages representatives from colleges and universities to visit our campus, in order to inform students about their respective programs and build relationships. If interested in scheduling a campus visit, we encourage representatives to register here. 

Directions to Cardinal Gibbons can be found here.

For more information, please contact Robin Koepfinger, School Counseling & Academic Advising administrative assistant, at (954) 491-2900 ext. 114. 

News & Events

In addition to helping students navigate their academic journeys through one-on-one appointments, the School Counseling & Academic Advising Department also offers a number of unique informational sessions for students and parents alike. Below you will find information regarding a few of our upcoming workshops, informational sessions and events!

Annual College Fair

The Annual College Fair allows students to meet with more than 150 college representatives from around the country, build relationships and gain information on a number of different schools and academic programs. Schools in attendance have included University of Florida, Florida State, University of Alabama and Harvard. The event is free and open to the public. 

College Application Workshop

The College Application Workshop is open to all senior students and is held in August, prior to the beginning of the academic year. The workshop is broken up into three sessions, with each session focusing on guiding students through different aspects of the application process, including: completing the Common Application; completing the Coalition Application; submitting a Student Self-Reported Academic Record; writing admissions essays; as well as preparing for interviews. 

College Financial Aid Night

College Financial Aid Night is an evening informational presentation that gives parents an in-depth overview of the college financial aid process. Parents can have their financial aid questions answered by one of our advisors during the presentation. 

Parent Coffee Talks

Come chat with our experienced advisors, while enjoying a cup of coffee! This morning program allows parents to gain insights into academic planning and the college application process, while having their questions answered by our knowledgeable advisors. 

Back to School Night

Kick-off the school year by exploring our campus and getting to know your child's teachers at Back to School Night! During Back to School Night, the Cardinal Gibbons School Counseling & Academic Advising Department will be available to answer any questions regarding your child's schedule or future classes. 

Annual Mandatory Standardized Tests Participating Grade Levels Time of Year

Preliminary SAT

9, 10, 11 Fall: October, Weekday

ACT Aspire
Preliminary ACT

9, 10 Spring: Weekday
School Day ACT with Writing 11 Spring: Weekday
Advanced Placement Exams 10, 11, 12 Two Weeks in May



As a college preparatory school, the college preparation process at Cardinal Gibbons begins as soon as students set foot on campus. Our advisors always have college preparation in mind as they advise students, help students create their plans of study and aid students as they begin formal college application prep work during their junior year. Below is a general four-year timeline for families. More detail on the recommended academic timeline is available to both parents and students via our family morning and evening programs, as well as through informational meetings on an individual basis.

Freshman Year

  • Focus on your academics and do as well as you can in all your courses.

  • Meet with your advisor to create a working four-year plan.

  • Take the mandatory PSAT that is offered at Cardinal Gibbons in October.

  • Meet with college admission officers who visit campus. Register in Naviance.

  • Explore your extracurricular interests. Consider joining a club, sport, theatrical production, school publication, community service project or finding an internship.

  • Take time to meet with your teachers outside of class if you have questions or if you are curious about other ideas related to the class. This shows teachers that you are interested in learning.

  • Participate in the life of the classroom to stay engaged with your teachers and your peers. Citizenship and leadership are important within your learning communities as well as extracurricular activities.

  • Learn to balance the demands of your academics, extracurricular interests and social life.

  • Meet with your advisor if you have questions or concerns about your academic and extracurricular endeavors.

  • Be productive over the summer. Consider engaging in community service, getting a job or internship, or taking courses at the college level. If you need ideas, meet with your advisor.

  • If taking AP World History, consider taking an SAT Subject Test in June.

Sophomore Year

  • ​Continue to build the skills highlighted in ninth grade.

  • Meet with your advisor to update your working four-year plan.

  • Take the mandatory PSAT offered at Cardinal Gibbons in October.

  • Meet with college admission officers who visit campus. Register in Naviance.

  • In the spring, you will meet individually with your advisor to select and register for 11th grade courses and to build your relationship.

  • Continue to develop solid relationships with your teachers because they may be the cornerstones of your college application process.

  • Be productive over the summer. Consider engaging in community service, getting a job or internship or taking courses at the college level. If you need ideas, meet with your advisor and explore the Summer Opportunities Guide.

  • If taking AP courses, consider taking the corresponding SAT Subject Tests in June.

Junior Year


Juniors should plan to meet with college admission officers during their on campus visits to get more information about a variety of schools.


Students will take a PSAT administered on the Cardinal Gibbons campus during the school day. The College & Academic Advising Department will register you for the exam. 

Student-athletes who expected to be recruited should begin preparing for January and March standardized tests.

December & January

Students should now initiate formal preparation for the March SAT or April ACT. 

Student-athletes who expect to be recruited should take an SAT or ACT in January, February or March, or as advised. 

February & March

Students should initiate one-on-one meetings with their advisor to choose and discuss their senior schedule, as well as build a college list.

March & April

Plan potential college visits during Spring Break, in order to become familiar with different size institutions and their programs. 

Register for Cardinal Gibbons' College Application Workshop, a three-day program that details the steps of the college application process.

May & June

Participate in the final SAT and ACT administration and Bright Futures testing opportunity of the academic year.

If you are taking AP courses, and are required by universities you are planning to apply to, take SAT Subject Tests in June.

Begin asking teachers for letters of recommendation.

Complete your Junior Questionnaire. Remember, your advisor will use your answers while assembling your school recommendations. 

Senior Year

September & October

Arrange individual family meetings to discuss your applications as necessary.

​Register for SAT and ACT administration, if necessary. This will typically be the final possible administration for all early application programs.

​Seniors should plan to attend daytime sessions to meet college admissions representatives and to hear about various institutions.

​Solidify a list of colleges to which you will apply under Early Action, Early Decision, Rolling, or any other Fall deadline admissions program.

​Optional: Arrange interviews, auditions, portfolio reviews, class visits, campus visits, and overnight visits.

​Work closely with your advisor on application essays and materials.

FAFSA and CSS Profile become available. Check priority submission deadlines.


​Early/Priority applications are due November 1.

​Optional: Arrange interviews, auditions, portfolio reviews, class visits, campus visits and overnight visits.

​Check applicant portals and email accounts regularly to make sure your materials have been received.

Note when housing applications are available.

​Work closely with your advisor on application essays and materials for mid-November and early December deadlines.

​December & January

​Decisions for most early applications are released.

​Work closely with your advisor on application essays and materials.

​Regular Decision applications and Early Decision II applications are due January 1.


​Check applicant portals and email accounts regularly to make sure your materials have been received.

Keep an eye out for housing registration.

Review financial aid awards packaged by the colleges.

​Final admissions decisions will be released by early April.


​Attend admitted student programs and receptions at the colleges and universities of your choice.


Make arrangements to participate in the final SAT and ACT administrations and Bright Futures testing opportunity for the academic year. 

Make your final choice of schools and submit your enrollment deposit by May 1, the national deadline for depositing. 

Show your new school pride and participate in College T-Shirt Day!

​Focus on strong AP exam scores to receive college credit and placement.

​Graduate and celebrate!

Meet the Team

Kathleen Blyth

Advisor, 9th & 10th: A-K

Robin Koepfinger

Administrative Assistant

Michele LeMar

Advisor/Director, 11th: A-L & 12th: A-K

Nancy Ortenzo

Advisor, 11th: M-Z & 12th: L-Z

Fernando Rosero

Advisor, 9th & 10th: L-Z

Molly Scaccia

Advisor, 11th: A-L (Beginning in January)


Naviance is an online college and career planning tool and transcript provider fully funded by Cardinal Gibbons.  Underclassmen can take career interest inventories, research colleges and create their resume, while seniors and their parents will use Naviance to request official transcripts and teacher letters of recommendation, track applications and more.  

Parents and students will share a login, and all parents will use the student's credentials to access Naviance. 

Access naviance



Transcript Request

All former Cardinal Gibbons students may order transcripts through Parchment. Transcripts can be ordered for any class year and will either be sent electronically or mailed on your behalf, dependent upon the destination. The charge for an electronic transcript is $5.00. Parchment may charge an additional $2.50 for mailed transcripts; any additional charges will be noted at the time of checkout. 

If this is your first time requesting a transcript, please create an account using the "New Learner Account" option on the right hand side. Click "I do not have a registration code" and fill out the rest of the page to create a profile which you may then log into and use for any future requests.

If you have trouble creating an account, please contact Robin Koepfinger at 954-491-2900 ext. 114. 

Access Parchment

College Application Guidelines

The college application process can be daunting, but don't stress! The Advising Office has put together this lovely website to help you navigate the process. Please utilize your advisor, Naviance and this website to help get started with applying to colleges and planning your journey beyond Cardinal Gibbons.

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