Office of College Counseling

The Office of College Counseling and Advisement at Austin Preparatory School oversees the entire college application process throughout a student’s journey at Austin Prep. It is the goal of the office to create an environment where students are prepared, engaged, take ownership in the process, and are excited rather than overwhelmed by the college application experience.

Starting in sophomore year, students are assigned a college counselor and go through an exploratory phase of the college process that includes both one-on-one meetings and practice standardized tests. When a student begins their junior year, they begin work on their college application list, starting with a broad stroke and working through a number of meetings and programs to create a comprehensive list of schools to apply to. 

The work of the student culminates in the second semester of junior year, during the College Preparatory Course in which each student is given 4-6 weeks of test preparation curriculum for both the SAT and ACT exams. Within this course, they also work on their college essay with college representatives and within their junior english classes, begin their applications, work on mock interviews, participate in an admission case study, and more. 

Students return in their senior year feeling prepared and excited about the process, ready to tackle their final standardized exams and put the finishing touches on their college applications.

In the past three years, more than 300 unique colleges have visited Austin Prep through a multitude of events for both parents and students. Examples of some of our events are:

  • Annual College Fair Night

  • College Admissions Professional Panel

  • Financial Aid 101 Information Night

  • Admission Case Study: Be an Admissions Counselor for the Day

  • Naviance Information Night

  • Summer Planning 101: Taking Advantage of Your Summer Months

The Office is made up of four college counselors who devote themselves to each student individually and are always looking to stay up to date on current trends within college admissions. All members of our office are involved with the National Association of College Admission Counselors, New England Association of College Admission Counselors, the Catholic School Counselors Association, the Association of College Counselors of Independent Schools, and many more regional and smaller networks. Between these networks as well as personal connections created with college representatives, the office visits between 25-35 campuses on their own each year. 

Meet the Staff

Brian J. Ford, Director of College Counseling

Mr. Ford comes to Austin Prep after spending the past seven years working in college admissions, most recently as Assistant Director of Admissions at Boston University. Prior to his tenure at Boston University, he served as Assistant Director of Admissions at Bryant University, his alma mater. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a management concentration and earned his Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University.

Brian is a lifelong Massachusetts resident and currently resides in Stoneham with his wife, Amanda. A former collegiate cross country and track athlete, Brian is an avid runner and is also a season ticket holder for the New England Revolution (professional soccer). He also enjoys reading, traveling to Cape Cod and spending time with his nephew, Ian, and niece, Emma.

Mrs. Jessica Lenci, Middle School Counselor

Mrs. Lenci is new to the Austin Prep Counseling Center this year. Mrs. Lenci has a background in independent school counseling and has worked as a counselor and health educator at both the middle and upper school levels. Prior to working at Austin, Mrs. Lenci was a counselor at Thayer Academy and Beaver Country Day School. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Vermont and a master's degree in counseling psychology/school guidance from Lesley University. 
Mrs. Lenci loves spending time skiing and sailing with her family.

Mrs. Nicole Luongo, College Counselor

Mrs. Luongo has been a school counselor at Austin Prep since 2010. She has a science background with teaching experience at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels. Mrs. Luongo has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Westfield State College, a master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree in secondary teaching of biology from Simmons College and a master's degree in education (secondary school counseling) from Salem State University.

In her spare time, Mrs. Luongo enjoys reading, volunteering with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and camping with her family.

Mrs. Cynthia Pitta, College Counselor

Mrs. Pitta earned a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College and a master's degree in school counseling from Northeastern University. She also completed graduate coursework through Boston University and is certified as an assistant principal/principal grades 5-12. Prior to coming to Austin, she was a school counselor at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School and Dedham High School.

A former college All-American in soccer, Mrs. Pitta has coached college and high school soccer and enjoys playing golf and reading.

Mrs. My Doan, College Counselor

Mrs. Doan earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s in educational studies from Tufts University. She has worked in college admissions at Bentley University and Emmanuel College, as well as at the middle and secondary level at Boston College High School. Additionally, she spent seven years working in career counseling at Tufts University and is excited to bring her experiences to the Austin Prep community to help students and their families navigate the college search and application process. 

She lives in Reading with her husband and two young daughters. In her spare time, she loves spending time outdoors with family, traveling, and practicing yoga.

101 Willow Street  •  Reading, MA 01867
Phone: (781) 944 - 4900  •  Fax: (781) 944 - 7530

Austin Preparatory School is a Catholic private school in Reading, MA for Middle School and High School students in grades 6-12. We seek to cultivate the hearts and minds of our young students and provide an environment in which our students can successfully learn, grow, and develop beyond the classroom.

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