In 1977, Canterbury School opened with 89 students in kindergarten through 6th grade. Six years later, the high school was founded with its first class graduating in June of 1987. With a mission to maximize the potential of young people by providing a challenging, enriching and supportive learning environment, Canterbury has grown into one of Indiana’s top college-preparatory schools. Since the high school’s opening, college counseling has always been part of the institution’s vision.
“While Canterbury started out small, college counseling was a very important part of the initial vision,” says Brian Estrada, director of college counseling. “From the beginning, the spirit was ‘from here to anywhere’ and the aim was for the college conversation at Canterbury to be as broad as possible.”
100% of Canterbury’s seniors graduate and are accepted into college, and the college counseling program aides greatly throughout this process that begins freshman year.
“The best thing a 9th grader can do to help themselves in the long run is their homework,” Estrada jokes. “For our freshmen and sophomores we are fostering an environment that encourages the early steps towards cultivating particular academic interests, and discovering how to share their gifts with the community; both are seeds of a successful college process later.”
When a student reaches their junior year, the college process starts in earnest. Canterbury juniors begin College Bound, one of the school’s signature programs. Most students apply for college admission the fall of senior year, which means grades from junior year are often the most recent that admissions committees will see. Juniors retake the PSAT, seek leadership positions in co-curricular activities, take the most challenging and appropriate classes, and prepare for the ACT and/or SAT, amongst other tasks.
The College Bound class meets weekly starting in fall of junior year to guide students through the college search process, and also includes a week-long college trip where students visit a variety of colleges in a selected region.
“Our five-day 2021 trip was spent in Virginia, DC and Pennsylvania. Each student saw around 10 different colleges that ranged from very large in size to very small. We visited a military institution, religious colleges and colleges ranging in selectivity,” says Estrada. “This experience prepares students for a deeper conversation about what fits their wants and needs, even if it’s not what they had initially envisioned.”
The College Counseling Program at Canterbury lays the foundation for a successful college planning process and builds upon it every year. Estrada and his team know they are instrumental in lending a guiding hand to students and are thankful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
“I feel like I have the best job in the world,” says Estrada. “Taking the students on this journey is my privilege and Canterbury’s advantage.”
Owner(s): Head of School: David Jackson
Address: 5601 Covington Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804 / 3210 Smith Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
Phone: (260) 436-8786