Rebecca Claster
College Counselor, Templeton Academy (DC)
Founder, Claster Educational Services (DC)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I started my career as a high school social studies teacher and then took a long detour into politics and policy work, including work on education and youth development. I was looking to get back to my roots in education, but not necessarily as a classroom teacher. I had done a lot of volunteering with a tutoring and mentoring program in Washington, DC., that included some college prep and college access work, and when I was ready for my next move I realized that college admission counseling was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

What is your favorite part of the job?
I love working with high school students, helping them explore what’s out there and figure out their next steps. I also love to travel and visit colleges and I’m very excited to be doing more of that again.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
As both a school counselor and an independent counselor, I have found NACAC to be an invaluable resource for meeting colleagues on both sides of the desk. I also rely on NACAC to help stay on top of essential news, trends in the field, and the pulse of the admissions community.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
There are a few, but one I’m deeply concerned about is the loss of faith in higher education and the questioning of its value. It’s so clear to counselors how much students benefit from attending college, but it can be hard to convey that value to people who don’t start with the same set of assumptions we do.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love going to the beach in any season. I also enjoy running; reading (most of my personal reading is fiction); and film and TV, especially dramas and mysteries.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Probably a detective like Jane Marple or Dana Scully. I enjoy the process of solving a puzzle or a problem.