Elizabeth M. Dolan

Dean of College Counseling
Dean of College Counseling at Exeter Elizabeth M. Dolan


M.A. Tufts University

B.S. SUNY Brockport


Committed to the field of education for more than 30 years, Ms. Dolan has made a career of service to young people and their mentors. She began her profession as a secondary school teacher and a coach at R.L. Thomas High School in New York. She then completed her master’s degree in clinical psychological counseling at Tufts University, while earning a position on the United States Field Hockey squad. During graduate school, Ms. Dolan coached the university's field hockey and lacrosse teams and acted as an athletic liaison to the Admissions Office. At the time, her clinical research, which focused on stress management for adolescents and young adults, became her hallmark as a therapist. Combining a variety of skills, Ms. Dolan then committed herself to college admissions at Tufts, where she remained for 10 years. As one of their senior associate directors, she was responsible for the development and implementation of policy, enrollment management and financial aid for the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Now in her 26th year at Phillips Exeter Academy, Ms. Dolan directs the College Counseling Office (CCO) and is using her varied experiences to make a difference at the independent school level. Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion makes a difference for students, for her college counseling colleagues and for members across the Academy community. To that end, she recently introduced the theory of self-authorship (developed by Dr. Robert Kegan, 1994 and further developed by Dr. Baxter Magolda, 2001) into the CCO curriculum as a way for students to see the evolution of their identity. Intentional reflection on who they are today allows them to author who they want to be in the future. This is important in creating an authentic self in the college application process.

Beyond advising students, parents, faculty, alumni, and college admissions colleagues about the journey associated with the college admissions process, she is a co-founder of the national organization ACCIS, the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. In 2014, Ms. Dolan was honored by ACCIS with the Marty Elkins Award for excellence in college counseling and supporting the growth and development of her professional colleagues. In 2017, ACCIS again honored Ms. Dolan for her vision and service to the industry.

Whether conducting workshops or panels on the college admissions process at the national and local level or participating in discussions about the developmental issues associated with adolescents, Ms. Dolan has established herself as an active participant in the lives of young people and their mentors.