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What is Life Planning?

Life Planning is a comprehensive advising program that asks students during their high school years to consider what matters to them, what skills, talents and values they are developing, and how they would like to live and work in the future. Just as our curriculum and staffulty prepare Vistamar students for both the joys and challenges of higher education and the world, our Life Planning and College Counseling program offers advising that enhances important personal, emotional and professional growth for students.

Life Planners are assigned in the fall of 9th grade, once their Advisor has helped them adjust to life at Vistamar. Life Planners work with students across all grade levels to help them:

  • engage in self-reflection

  • plan their academic trajectory

  • investigate career paths through research

  • understand the college admission landscape

  • prepare for interviews

  • pursue life-changing experiences (jobs, volunteering, summer programs, and internships)

This exploration leads students to become self-directed and authentic candidates for post-secondary education or alternative pathways, and puts college choice into a larger context. Life Planners also provide a full range of college counseling services. The Life Planning team works extensively with parents/guardians throughout the process so they can support their own student’s efforts, and bring expertise about the world of work to our advising activities. The big question students will examine: How will their high school and post-Vistamar education support pursuit of a life that includes meaningful work, significant relationships, and commitment to community issues, local and global?

Everyone gets ready for transition differently, and Vistamar promises to honor where you are even as we encourage you to look towards creating a future that will bring you happiness, fulfillment, and success.

Signature Offerings:

  • 12th Grade Summer Application Workshop
  • 12th Grade Parent/Guardian Life Planning Night
  • 12th Grade College Application Seminar (G-Block)
  • 11th Grade Family College List Case Study Night
  • 11th Grade College Admission Seminar (G-Block)
  • 10th Grade Family Application Case Study Night
  • 9th Grade Family Life Planning Night
  • Multicultural Student College Fair
  • Student and Parent/Guardian Alumni Panels
  • Class Meetings for 9-12th Grade
  • Individual and Family College Planning Meetings
  • 1:1 Personal Statement and Essay Support
  • College Financial Planning Night
  • Standardized Testing Night
  • PSAT, Now What? by Revolution Prep
  • 75-100 College Admission Reps Visiting Vistamar
  • College Talk with College Admission Officers
  • Summer Enrichment & GAP Year Fair
  • Specialized Workshops—Insider’s Guide to HBCUs, Exploring International Universities
  • SAT and ACT Practice Testing

Academic Advising

Life Planning is multi-dimensional, and modifies as each student grows through the educational process. Vistamar’s Life Planners approach student advising sessions using relationship-based practices, and find ways to establish rapport and trust with each student. We rely heavily on developmental advising, and advising as teaching theories to help students understand processes; explore opportunities; build confidence; and continually challenge them to develop and grow as global citizens.

Appropriate to our mission, Life Planners begin working with students as early as 9th-grade through the academic advising process, grade-level programming, summer enrichment planning, and continue their partnership through graduation, and often beyond. Life Planners work as a team and collaborate regularly, so students and families benefit from our collective expertise and unique perspectives.

Life Planners are available to support you throughout your time at Vistamar School, guiding your academic experience and helping you flourish creatively as you prepare to transition to the world after graduation. They're here to help you:

  • Articulate your values and priorities
  • Select courses
  • Fulfill graduation requirements
  • Understand academic policies
  • Develop tools needed to plan productive summer experiences
  • Think about majors and potential career pathways
  • Connect substantively with staffulty in areas of interest to you

Locate the services available for first-generation-student support, services to meet academic needs, learning difference accommodations, health and wellness services, and more.

This innovative approach means students visit one office to embark on and complete their academic and college admission journey.

Students studying with guidance from Math teacher


Students meet with life planners starting second trimester of 9th grade and partner together through graduation, although we will always remain connected. Leading up to that point, students work with their advisory instructor to ensure their coursework meets their individual needs.

Our Life Planning program offers a variety of opportunities for you and your student to learn about themselves, their “why,” and how to plan a purposeful life while at Vistamar.

graduates colleges atttending