Michael Flanagan’s Role in the College Search


Sean Cahill

Mr. Flanagan works at his desk to write recommendation letters for students. “we look at things holistically to really try to add some color to the students application” Michael Flanagan said. Photo by Sean Cahill.

Guidance counselor Michael Flanagan works hard in order to help seniors have the best college experience they could possibly have.

Flanagan first always tries to understand what each student wants to get out of their college experience.

“Typically, we just start with a conversation about how they envision their college experience,” Flanagan said. “And then I collect information about their preferences in regards to, what they might want to major in, and where they would want to be located and so forth.”

From here Flanagan works with the student to find different schools that could be good to apply to. This list will change and only be a starting point to work through making the process easier.

So it’s really all about collecting information. And we always go back to that right fit goal” Flanagan said.

The more information that gets collected, the better fit of a college can be found, ultimately increasing the chance of being accepted and liking the college that is eventually gotten into.

Another key part for Flanagan’s job with the seniors are recommendation letters. A lot of information from students is also needed for this in order to get the best possible outcome.

During junior year, students complete an autobiographical sketch for their counselors. This was done as a way to collect some amount of information on each student to make a recommendation letter.

“So we do talk about the student’s personality and work ethics and academic performance, and extracurriculars. And then we kind of talk about some things that kind of puts it all together for them” Flanagan said. “It could be an anecdote about like a certain event and how they kind of were resilient, and you know, jumped over the hurdle. It could be anything.”

In the recommendation letter, everything is put together in order to give a holistic impression for each student.

Ultimately, Flanagan hopes that the school each student attends is where they can be happy and healthy.