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College Counseling

The Durham Academy College Counseling team takes an individualized approach to helping Upper Schoolers identify colleges and universities where they will thrive.

Our goal is to empower students to be self-aware, self-confident students who can navigate complex systems and tolerate uncertainty. We serve each student by:

  • Celebrating the unique individual characteristics that each student brings. 

  • Elevating diverse voices and perspectives. 

  • Bringing radical empathy to each interaction with students/families. 

  • Committing time to build trust and allow students to be able to be vulnerable in showing their authentic selves. 

  • Providing resources and guidance to help students and families as they look for the right fit and right opportunities. 

  • Coaching students and families to make informed choices.

College Counseling Timeline

It starts with a focus on building relationships with students and families. We want to get to know our students as individuals, what they love to learn about, what kinds of things they love to do and most importantly, why. 

Jazmin Garcia Smith
Senior Dean of College Counseling

'The Perfect Fit'

The 117 members of DA's Class of 2023 chose colleges & universities as unique as they are:


Different Colleges/Universities


Students are Attending Women's Colleges


Students are Attending HBCUs


Seniors Elected to Study Outside N.C., 1 Internationally

Durham Academy is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), an organization of secondary school counselors and college admission officers. DA is also a member of the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC). 

DA affirms the NACAC Guide to Ethical Practice in College Admission, a code of ethical conduct that articulates the responsibilities of college members and secondary school members. In addition, DA affirms NACAC's Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admission Process.

Student Development and Career Exploration

Lori Reade serves on the DA college counseling team as student development and career exploration counselor. In this role, she gets to know each student early in their Upper School journey, helping them to take a big-picture look at what makes them happy and what gives them a sense of purpose.

After doing this exploratory work with Reade as ninth- and 10th-graders, Upper Schoolers enter their junior and senior years — when the college search kicks into gear — informed and open to college choices they might not have explored otherwise.

In addition, Reade introduces students to a range of real-life opportunities, including professional work experiences, internships and potential career paths, and she connects students with a network of parents, alumni and community members who may offer opportunities for résumé building or career exploration.

Learn More About Reade's Work

For College Reps

Welcome! We value your presence on our campus and hope you are able to include us on your rounds of the Triangle area.

Planning a Visit to DA?

To schedule a visit — either in-person or virtual — please contact Nancy Swain in the Office of College Counseling via email or at 919-287-1724. 

We are located at 3601 Ridge Road, Durham, NC 27705. Our office is located in our Learning Commons, the building that sits adjacent to the parking lot at the main entrance to the Upper School campus. If the visitor parking spots are occupied, just park in the first available.

Mailing Address

College Counseling Center 
Durham Academy 
3601 Ridge Road 
Durham, NC 27705-5599

College Counseling Staff

Jazmin Garcia Smith
Senior Dean of College Counseling
919-489-6569 (x6110)

Christopher Briggs
Dean of College Counseling

Katie McEnroe
Dean of College Counseling 

Lori Reade
Student Development & Career Exploration Counselor
919-489-6569 (x6117)

Nancy Swain
Administrative Assistant   
919-489-6569 (x6105)

CEEB: 341-049

For Current Students & Families

Resources for current students and their families are available on Veracross (login required). 

College Counseling Resources

Student Development & Career Exploration Resources

Seniors wearing shirts representing their chosen colleges