College Counseling Office (CCO)

For Faculty

List of 5 items.

  • The Teacher Recommendation Letter - What Colleges Want to Know

    The Power of Words - What Colleges Want to Know*
    What colleges want to hear:
    • A brief explanation of the course(s) you have taught the student and the standards of the class(es) (Note: PLEASE use the course title as it appears on the transcript: e.g., don't call a course Basic Precalculus if it is called Precalculus (although College Prep Precalculus is our common parlance, it does not appear on the transcript and might need explanation)
    • The student's attitude toward learning and his or her specific skills and abilities/talents as demonstrated within the context of your class as you have observed the student.  (Use anecdotes to support these statements whenever possible -- show, don't tell!)
    • Define the student's unique qualities, or reasons s/he might stand out: intellectual prowess; maturity; motivation; consistency of performance; independence; originality of thought; creativity; initiative; leadership potential/"followship" potential (i.e. knowing when to lead and when to follow); self-confidence; humility; capacity for personal growth; enthusiasm; energy; ability to communicate well either verbally or in writing; peer relationships; support for fellow students within the class; resilience/positive reactions to setbacks; ability to learn from mistakes or grow stronger in the subject over time; etc. etc. 
    What colleges DON'T want to hear:
    • Sweeping generalizations that are not supported by anecdotes or evidence
    • Information already on the transcript or application (grades, scores – in fact you shouldn’t discuss a student’s standardized scores without knowledge/permission of the student)
    • Long quotes directly from the student -- it's ok to quote a student's comments, but use them judiciously, and briefly.  Colleges want your evaluation of your student, not their own evaluation of themselves.
    • Personal idiosyncracies of the student (this is not the time to air your frustrations if they aren't directly relevant to the student's performance!)
    What you MAY NOT discuss in a letter without express written consent of the family:
    (Stay away from the following unless you have discussed this with the College Counselor first and gotten written permission from the family as well; there could be legal implications!)
    • Learning differences, including using extra time on tests
    • Personal appearance!
    • Confidential medical information (concussions, illnesses, frequent absences due to illness or emotional issues)
    • Disciplinary issues  (always talk with the Dean/College Counselor about this)
    • Suspicions about a student's behavior/integrity -- suspicions in general should not be discussed, since this information cannot be proved. (This falls under the "sweeping generalizations" category.)
    Hint: What you don't say can be as powerful as what you do say.  The old adage, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything" can speak volumes in a recommendation.  Admissions officers are trained to read between the lines.  But if you really don't have anything nice to say, PLEASE don't agree to write a recommendation for that student!

    *Excerpted and Adaped from The Power of the Word: Coaching Teachers Toward Powerful Recommendation Letters, Michele Klaus and Patricia Brubaker, Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH
  • Faculty Guidelines for Recommendation Letters

    Most colleges require recommendations from teachers who have taught the student in junior or senior year in one of the five core academic areas.
    Through the College Knowledge course students are matched with one teacher to write a recommendation. If a college requires a second letter, it is the student’s responsibility to contact another teacher. The CCO strongly urges students to request additional letters by Friday, September 19, 2014. Students are required to submit recommendation requests at least two weeks before any stated college deadline.
    Once teachers agree to write a recommendation, students must confirm through email their college application list with deadlines and follow the Naviance procedures so faculty can upload their letters electronically. If a student subsequently adds colleges to their list, they are responsible to alert faculty of this update. For colleges that do not accept electronic documents, students are required to provide each teacher with envelopes self-addressed to the college in question and the appropriate postage. Teachers should write the D-E address as the return address on the envelope.
    All faculty recommendations must be written on official D-E School letter head which is available in Google Drive. Recommendation letters must include the student’s official name at the top of the document.
    Students may seek supplemental recommendations at different points during the application process, i.e. if they are deferred from an early to regular admission pool or if they are wait-listed. If students are applying to particular programs they may seek recommendations from faculty or coaches in those areas. These letters should be kept to a minimum and do not take the place of required teacher recommendations.
    Applications will not be consider complete for review until all required credentials including recommendations are received. In order to lessen the ever present anxiety of the college application process, we respectfully request that faculty follow the stated application deadlines.
    The Class of 2015 College Counseling Directors’ breakdown is as follows:
    Tasha Toran:                       Aboodi - Hyman
    Eileen C Feikens:               Goldberg - Papay
    Joe Yung:                          Peralta-Vasquez - Zhang
  • Naviance: Uploading and Sending Recommendation Letters Instructions

    For Faculty: Naviance Teacher Recommendation Instructions
    What is Naviance ?
    Naviance is the software package used in the College Counseling Office that helps us compile
    information about students, colleges, and student applications. This system is linked with the
    Common Application; therefore, students can apply online to colleges, and the CCO can submit
    required documents online through Naviance.

    Naviance indicates whether or not a college accepts the Common Application with a computer
    screen icon. If the college does not accept the Common Application, you will need to mail the letter
    in the stamped, addressed envelope the student is required to provide you.
    To submit a recommendation online:
    • Log in: go to
    You will receive an email with a temporary access code to Naviance Succeed.
    Enter your account = provided in the email
    Enter your user name = provided in email
    Enter your password = provided in email; you will create a password of your own choosing after initial sign-in. If you need your password reset, email
    • Update your Information
    Click Setup on the blue Naviance tool bar
    Click My Account
    Click on Edit My Profile
    Update your information. Your name, title, phone number, and D-E email address will show up on the Common Application Teacher Evaluation form, so please be sure it is current and complete.
    Click Save
    Click Home on blue Naviance tool bar
    • Recommendation Preparation
    You now be directed to the “Teacher’s Desk” screen.
    Click on “Manage and complete your college recommendations”.
    Once a student submits their recommendation request, you should see their name listed.
    We have instructed students to see you in person to request a recommendation before entering your name in Naviance. They should also give you their list of colleges with appropriate deadlines through this electronic request.
    Locate the student’s name , and click on Prepare Forms in the Action column.
    On the Prepare Forms page, ensure that the following statement (in green) is on the screen.
    Do not proceed if this statement is listed in RED as you will not be able to submit the forms. Contact the student immediately if this statement is missing so they can complete this process!Scroll down to Teacher Documents, click on Add New Document. Two options will read Common App Teacher Eval and Letter of Recommendation.
    Select Common App Teacher Evaluation to complete the Teacher Evaluation form which is sent to Common Application member schools only. Please remember to complete the required Background Information section.
    DO NOT COMPLETE THE RATING CHECK BOX LIST. (Per College Guidance Office policy.)
    When finished, click Save Form.
    Select Letter of Recommendation to upload your letter of recommendation. Remember, this letter
    will be viewed by all colleges to which the student requests.
    Click Browse and attach your letter.
    Click Upload; it may take a few minutes for the letter to load. There will be a message: “You have 1
    pending upload”.
    When you see the checkmark next to Written Evaluation in the Teacher Checklist box, you know
    the document has uploaded successfully. Once forms are uploaded a checkmark will appear in
    Teacher Checklist box.
    • Sending Forms
    Click on Send Forms on the blue Naviance toolbar.
    The first time you access this page for a student, a pink box may appear at the top of the page indicating that Naviance needs to match the student’s record with the CommonApp website.
    Click on Click Here and then Match Now to match the Naviance and Common App accounts.
    For Common Application member schools, you can only submit online to the colleges listed
    both on the student’s Common Application site and the student’s Naviance site. If the
    student did their part correctly, you should have a match and the student’s name and
    information should appear. If the correct information does not appear, you cannot submit
    online. Contact the student immediately so he/she can correct this.
    Select the colleges to which you want to submit forms by using the check box on the left side
    margin. Click Review and Confirm button at the bottom of the screen. For Common App
    schools, the Written Evaluation is automatically sent with the Teacher Evaluation Form.
    You can then click on the Submission Status link at the top of the screen to confirm that
    your documents (letter of recommendation and student evaluation form) have been sent.
    Schools with a computer screen icon accept documents through electronic submission. If
    there is a postage stamp icon next to a college, this implies that the college does not support
    electronic submission. You will need to print on official D-E letterhead, and mail a signed
    copy of the written evaluation only. DO NOT send the Common Application Teacher Eval
    When you have submitted (or mailed) all forms for a student, return to the
    Recommendations option under Home and change the Status to “Completed.” The
    student will see the status and date your recommendation documents are sent.
    Questions? Contact Tasha Toran at x3830 or at
  • Guidelines for Faculty Advisors

    In an effort to provide assistance and support, the CCO welcomes the opportunity to visit with your
    advisory or to meet with individual advisees. Key times to meet may be during course selection or
    comment review periods, but please feel free to contact us if needed.

    As students progress throughout high school, it is important for them that they develop academically
    and personally. Your advice and encouragement about their pursuit of extracurricular and community
    service efforts will support this development and their ability to successfully balance their time and
    commitments. When reviewing admission applications, colleges take a holistic approach; seeking
    students who demonstrate a high level of engagement and pursuit of interests. The more you can
    encourage your advisees to proactively involve themselves in the world around them, the better
    prepared they will be to succeed after D-E.

    Seniors are eligible to have four excuse absences throughout the academic year. Typically, students will
    take two days in the fall and save the rest in the spring. The form is available online.
  • College Application Submission Procedure

    CCO Deadlines for the Academic Year 2014-2015
    To College Counseling by:
    College Application Due Date:
    Monday, September 29
    All Priority Rolling
    Friday, October 17
    November 1
    Friday, October 31
    November 15
    Friday, November 14
    November 30
    Friday, December 12
    January 1, 10, 15
    Friday, January 16
    February 1 and later
    All online applications need to be reviewed by each student’s college advisor before submitting electronically.
    Testing Information:
    • Students are responsible for registering for all standardized tests and for requesting scores to be sent directly to each college. Test scores are not included on D-E transcripts. Our CEEB Code is 310-355.
    • Students requesting fee waivers for testing or application fee should consult with college advisor.
    • For standardized testing dates refer to attached sheet.
    • Most colleges require recommendations from teachers who have taught you in junior or senior year in one of the five core academic areas.
    • Contact the teacher with whom you were matched through College Knowledge. If the college requires a second letter, it is the student’s responsibility to contact another teacher. All requests should be made by Friday, September 19.
    • Supplemental recommendations should be kept to a minimum and do not take the place of a teacher recommendation.
    • The school sends six transcript packages free of charge.
    • For each additional packet there is a charge of $20.00.
    • Transcript requests must be officially submitted by the student electronically through Family Connection.
    Application Options:
    • Students applying under Early Decision plan are required to bring in a copy of the ED Contract to be signed by their College Guidance Director, which includes a parent signature. Students are responsible for mailing the signed contract directly to the appropriate college admission office.
    • For colleges offering Priority Rolling admission programs as Indiana University, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, St. John’s University as well as Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Quinnipiac University, and University of Wisconsin, candidates are strongly urged to submit their completed applications to College Guidance by Monday, September 29.
Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood is a greater New York City area private school with a rigorous college prep curriculum for boys and girls in preschool through grade 12.