College Counseling

At Pioneer, as the College Counseling Department, we focus on, pay attention to, and guide each student individually.

College Counseling

Two Pioneer Academy high school students discussing with College Counselor about their college applications

At Pioneer, as the College Counseling Department, we focus on, pay attention to, and guide each student individually.

All of our students receive constant/ongoing counseling through mostly individual and occasionally general sessions.

Pioneer’s college counseling process begins in the junior year and is organized around regular individual conferences with students, with students and their parents, group counseling, and both individual and group meetings with local, regional, and national college admissions officers including campus visits. Working closely with students and their families, Pioneer’s experienced team of college counselors provide support and guidance throughout the entire admissions process lifecycle, from educational assessment to school choice, application preparation, financial aid, through acceptance.

We are a college-preparatory school where students are not only counseled and assisted with college admissions but empowered and encouraged to explore their postsecondary educational and career options with an emphasis on personal growth and individual way-finding.

Murat Yurttaser
Director of College Counseling
Some seniors visit us weekly, even daily, during their application process.
Our college counseling director and staff, beyond facilitators and educators that prepare students to present their candidacies strategically, also advocate and serve as liaisons between students and colleges, helping students better understand and realistically evaluate their credentials as they and their families assess, strategize, and scenario-plan their priorities and options.
A Pioneer Academy senior getting accepted into Johns Hopkins UniversityA Pioneer Academy senior getting accepted into Princeton University

Fundamentally, Pioneer’s college counseling department are trusted advisors and mentors to our students and an indispensable part of our scholastic community who have successfully shepherded Pioneer Academy graduates through the ever evolving college admissions landscape with impressive acceptance results at the very best public and private colleges and universities regionally, nationally, and internationally.

All students and parents should know that when guiding a student during this process, we as counselors will be straightforward and honest in our assessment of the student’s college list and chances for admission. Despite the fact that the student will eventually make the decisions about where to apply, we will honestly share our opinions about their choices.

During the application process, we are all expected to be reasonable and realistic. We should all know that unrealistic high expectations can create all kinds of psychological issues for the students. To us, students can include schools that are less likely, but applying ONLY to the schools that are most demanding or highly ranked is probably the biggest mistake that can result in rejections, disappointments, dramas, and even traumas.

Thus, the BEST FIT must be the goal for all students in deciding which colleges to apply to and what college to attend. Students must understand their abilities, wants, and needs and apply and attend schools that fit them BEST. Our students should listen to their hearts and their heads and be realistic; they should not let the college rankings mislead them.

Profile of Graduates

Pioneer Academy prides itself on nurturing well-rounded, accomplished individuals who are not only academically adept but also possess the character, leadership skills, and global perspective to make a meaningful impact. As we profile the graduates of Pioneer Academy, it becomes evident that they embody the school's mission of academic excellence, cultural diversity, and community engagement.

Academic Excellence
Pioneer Academy graduates are known for their academic success and dedication to learning. They have excelled in a rigorous curriculum emphasizing critical thinking, problem-solving, and a deep understanding of various subjects. Many Pioneer graduates have received prestigious scholarships and been accepted into top-tier universities and colleges across the United States and worldwide. They are eager to learn and embrace the diversity of life experiences and are curious, creative, and eager to explore new challenges in higher education.
Cultural Diversity
One of the distinguishing features of Pioneer Academy is its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Graduates of Pioneer Academy come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and this diversity is celebrated within the school community. Walk our halls, and you'll hear a symphony of voices from all corners of the globe. As a result, graduates have a global perspective and are well-equipped to engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds. They appreciate the value of diversity and inclusion in today's interconnected world.
Community Engagement
Pioneer Academy instills a strong sense of social responsibility in its graduates. They are encouraged to give back to their communities and positively impact society. Graduates of Pioneer Academy often participate in various local and international community service projects, volunteer opportunities, and leadership roles within and outside the school. They're not just dreamers; they're doers, and they're committed to making the world a better place.
Leadership Skills
Pioneer Academy graduates are natural leaders. They have honed their leadership skills through participation in student organizations, clubs, and extracurricular activities. They are confident, articulate, and capable of taking initiative. Whether in the classroom, on the sports field, or in community service projects, Pioneer Academy graduates exhibit leadership qualities that set them apart.
Global Perspective
Pioneer Academy graduates are well-prepared to navigate diverse cultures and perspectives in an increasingly global world. They have often participated in local and international programs and trips, global conferences, and multicultural events that have broadened their horizons. This global perspective empowers them to thrive in an interconnected world and contribute to the solutions to the challenges worldwide.
Character Development
Pioneer Academy places a strong emphasis on character development. Graduates of the Pioneer Academy are not only academically accomplished but also possess qualities such as integrity, empathy, resilience, and a strong work ethic. They are well-rounded individuals prepared to face life's challenges with grace and determination.

Meet the College Counseling Team

Profile photo of Director of College Counseling

Murat Yurttaser

Director of College Counseling
Assistant Director of College Counseling Mr. Kim

Minkyu Kim

Assistant Director of College Counseling
David Adams, Senior College Counselor

David Adams

Senior College Counselor
Profile photo of Freshmen College Counselor

Nilgun Atay

College Counselor
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