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Bishop McNamara



Guidance, Academic & College Counseling

Area Leader in College Readiness and Preparation

In the classroom, teachers work to build excellent critical thinking and writing skills in each student. For nearly two decades, Bishop McNamara's average ACT score has been atop all local high schools. Our students are currently enrolled across the nation in small liberal arts schools or large state schools, and from the Ivy League to the nation's leading Catholic universities.

Each year, colleges and universities across the nation affirm and confirm what we already know, that the Bishop McNamara graduate has come to understand herself/himself and the responsibilities she/he faces in our world. The Bishop McNamara graduate is a critical thinker, open to growth, spiritual in conscience, committed to service and prepared to lead as an active citizen concerned about the world in which they live.

Innovative, Four year college counseling program

The latest distinctive forward-looking initiative by Bishop McNamara, the four-year college counseling program, has undergone generous staffing, support and state-of-the-art resource advancements during the past two years. Along with these improvements, dedicated time in school is provided to help students navigate the college search process. With this forward momentum, the school aims to provide comprehensive and effective college counseling marked by individual attention and extensive services.

The goals of the college counseling office are threefold:

To provide highly professional, proactive, hands-on counseling and guidance throughout the high school years, culminating in the college search;

To represent each student fairly and responsibly, identifying with her or his uniqueness and potential – "to meet each student where they are;"

To enable each student to find a match – fitting her or his ambitions with a college's programs, resources and style.

Bishop McNamara's mission includes readying students for success at the next level and beyond, building necessary life skills. As part of this effort, the school's unique college counseling program includes material designed to appropriately challenge students of each grade.

Naviance/Family Connection

Innovative Naviance/Family Connection Program - click here

In the 2015-16 school year, each Bishop McNamara student was introduced to the new college counseling portal, Naviance. The program is a comprehensive K-12 college and career readiness platform that enables self-discovery, career exploration, academic planning, and college preparation for each Bishop McNamara student.

This online portal, commonly referred to as Family Connection, is used by the student, teachers, parents and guidance counseling staff as a team connecting each of these parties to help the individual student's academic achievement to post-secondary goals. Its comprehensive college and career planning solutions optimize student success, maximize counselor effectiveness, and track results for school administrators. The program interfaces with thousands of colleges and universities to help make the best possible fit for each college-bound student.

Whether it's matching colleges to a student's career interests, or comparing admissions rates at a student's top college choices, our college counseling staff works with students to learn Naviance's many features. Naviance's planning tools allow students and families to make informed decisions. Students can also compare colleges and universities, explore scholarship opportunities, and track the status of supporting application documents (transcripts and letters of recommendation). Plus, all of these tools are managed from one location, improving communications between students, Bishop McNamara, and parents and reducing paperwork.

Naviance for Elementary School helps ensure equal exposure to college knowledge and career pathways for all students, helping students understand who they are, discover unique paths, and develop the skills to be successful in school and beyond.

The Naviance Family Connection program was made possible through a gift of the Bishop McNamara Class of 1990 in recognition of their 25th high school reunion.

Recent Acceptances

Year after year, Bishop McNamara's college acceptance rate demonstrates the benefits of the school's academic rigor, personal preparation and overall readiness for challenges of college and life beyond.

The 71 graduates from class of 2017 were offered places of admission to over 103 schools in 25 states from the Ivy league to the small liberal arts colleges, and from large research-based state schools to the Nation's leading Catholic school. 29 students qualified for over $4.5 Million in scholarship and awards. 96% of the graduates enrolled in a two year or four year college program.

Some of our recent college acceptances (2014-present):

  • University of Alabama
  • Ave Maria University
  • Augustana University
  • Belmont University
  • Beloit College
  • Benedictine University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Columbia College
  • Columbia University
  • Creighton University
  • University of Dayton
  • DePaul University
  • Drexel University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
  • University of Illinois – Chicago
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • Kankakee Community College
  • University of Kentucky
  • Knox College
  • Lewis University
  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • Marist College (NY)
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University (OH)
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Missouri
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Portland
  • Purdue University
  • University of Rochester
  • Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute
  • St. Ambrose College
  • Saint Mary's College
  • St. Mary's of the Woods College
  • St. Louis University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Seattle University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Valparaiso University
  • Washington University – St. Louis
  • Western Illinois University
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Citadel
  • Iowa Wesleyan
  • University of Kentucky
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Lawrence Technical Institute
  • University of St. Francis
  • Arizona State University

*Italics denotes Catholic college/university