St. Patrick School Counseling Program Vision

The vision of the St. Patrick Counseling program is for students to develop a growth mindset that is based on the willingness to learn new ideas and develop resiliency to overcome challenges.

St. Patrick School Counseling Program Mission

The mission of the St. Patrick Counseling Department is to provide support and services for all students as well as reduce any issues or barriers to learning in order for students to reach their fullest potential. I also advocate for a school environment that embodies unconditional regard and a diverse set of opportunities for students to become effective learners.

What do school counselors do?

School counselors are educators with a school counseling certification. They focus on the social/emotional, academic, and career development of students by implementing a program that promotes success within the school setting for all students, regardless of their needs. To learn more about the role of school counselors, please visit the following link: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/parents-public


Counseling Resources

Are you concerned about your student and think they might need an appointment with Mrs. Garcia?

Professional Counseling and Mental Health Resources


  • Be Well Counseling and Consulting – (517) 526-3787
  • Ionia County Community Mental Health (The Right Door) – (616) 517-1790
  • Bess Starkweather (Four Health Family Resource Center) – (616) 642-6466
  • Catholic Charities of West Michigan in Ionia – (616) 522-0836 or (866) 271-6796
  • Inner Access Therapy Center – (616) 527-2619
  • Journey’s Counseling Center – (616) 523-9031
  • Viewpointe Counseling – (616) 523-6537
  • Clinton County Counseling Center – (989) 224-6729 or (888) 800-1559
  • Ele’s Place Bereavement Support – (517) 482-1315 or (616) 301-1605
  • Grand Ledge Counseling Center – (517) 627-8357

Mental Health:

  • Forest View Hospital – (616) 942-9610
  • Pine Rest Crisis Unit – (616) 455-9200

Child Abuse/Neglect:

  • Children’s & Adult Protective Services – (855) 444-3911

Suicide Prevention:

  • The National Hopeline Network – (800) 784-2433
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255



High School Planning by Year


  • Take the PreACT
  • Participate in extracurricular activities, sports, and community service
  • Create your 4 year plan


  • Take the PreACT
  • Tour the Heartlands Career Center programs
  • Continue participation in extracurricular activities, sports, and community service


  • Prep for the ACT
    • (https://pages.act.org/free-practice-act-test.html?_ga=2.63300399.1268442066.1568038384-422231711.1560271409)
  • Take the ACT
  • SAT prep (optional)
  • Take the SAT (optional)
  • If you are not happy with your ACT or SAT scores, you are able to retake. See Mrs. Garcia for options.
  • Go on college visits (2 are allowed during school during junior year)
  • Attend job shadows (2 are allowed during school during junior year)
  • Attend the College Fair in Belding
  • Find your best fit major
  • Research colleges, trade schools, and military options
  • Research careers


  • Apply to college or trade school (by Halloween)
    • commonapp.org
  • Keep track of your accomplishments, awards, and extracurricular activities
  • Ask teachers, counselor, or coaches for letters of recommendation
  • Go on college visits (2 are allowed during the first semester of senior year)
  • Attend job shadows (2 are allowed during the first semester of senior year)
  • Fill out your FAFSA (October 1st to March 1st)
  • Apply for scholarships (all year…fill out as many as possible!)

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment is an opportunity for qualifying St. Patrick High School juniors and seniors to take classes at a post-secondary educational institution while attending St. Patrick School.  Students who dual enroll may receive both college and high school credit for satisfactorily meeting the requirements of the class.  The credit will apply toward high school graduation and be counted as a regular class in every respect unless the student specifically requests that the credit count only toward high school graduation or only toward college credit.  The class grade will be computed as a weighted grade at SPS.  Students interested in dual enrollment opportunities must make provisions through the counselor.

The following process must be followed to dual enroll in college classes:

  • Receive approval to dual enroll by the school counselor.
  • Follow the application and admission policies to become fully enrolled in the post-secondary institution. All admission and application fees are the responsibility of the student.
  • Take any placement tests required by the post-secondary institution. Placement tests and any associated fees are the responsibility of the student.
  • Receive approval of selected course by the school counselor before registering for the class. Please note:
    1. College classes must meet SPS graduation requirements, and students may not enroll in college classes which are equivalent to those offered by St. Patrick School.
    2. A course may not be a hobby, craft, theology, or recreation course.
    3. Courses must carry a credit weight of 3 credit hours or more. Classes of two credit hours or less do not meet criteria and will not be accepted.


Please note the following: 

  • Any fees associated with the class not covered by the dual enrollment bill, such as books and/or other academic materials, are assumed by the student and student’s family.
  • Summer classes do not fall under the dual enrollment bill and therefore will not be paid for, nor will they count toward SPS graduation requirements unless specific permission is granted by the school administration.
  • If a student fails to complete a dual enrollment postsecondary course he or she may responsible for the fees/tuition not refunded by the postsecondary institution. Failing to complete a dual enrollment course may affect a student’s eligibility to graduate on time.

College Application Checklist

  1. Introduce yourself to Common App at https://www.commonapp.org/ and use it as a resource for college applications. Some applications may be directly through their school website.
  2. Request recommendation letters from teachers, counselor, or coaches.
  3. Apply to your colleges of choice by Halloween.
  4. Request transcripts through parchment.com
  5. Send your ACT scores using actstudent.org
  6. Send your SAT scores (if you have them) using collegeboard.org
  7. Complete the FAFSA at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa by March 1st.
  8. College decision deadline: May 1st



Financial Aid and Scholarships


Many scholarships are available through the specific college you are applying to. Please conduct a thorough online search of possible scholarships as there are numerous out there. There will also be scholarship applications available through our school. Those will be posted here when information becomes available.






Link to local scholarships


Elementary and Middle School


Freshmen and Sophomores

  • PreACT (date TBA)



  • ACT: February 25, 2020

College Athletic Eligibility

Are you interested in playing college sports?


Division I or Division II

Per the NCAA Eligibility Center, “you need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school.” Use the link below for a Division I or II school.



Division III or Undecided

If you are interested in competing in a Division III school or are unsure of your college decision and know you want to compete, you can create an account at the link below.




NAIA School

If your college of choice is a NAIA school rather than a Division I, II, or III school, you can create an account at the link below.



Please use parchment.com for any transcript ordering.