about us

We Do College Counseling Differently

Portfolio College Counseling is an established, personalized educational consulting service for U.S. and international students who are focused on standing out from the crowd, by advancing their education in creative fields.

We nurture and strengthen our students’ academic and artistic development by offering practical information, creative mentorship, and innovative counseling that enables them to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to launch themselves successfully in college and beyond.

We specialize in college counseling for the next generation of visual and critical thinkers: artists, designers, architects and other students with talent and keen intellectual curiosity.
Founded in 2008 as PortfolioPrep, our goal was simple: to offer high school artists the college guidance that we would have liked at their age. Since then, our expertise, experience and services have helped hundreds of students excel in visual art and design programs, leading to rewarding careers.

Since 2008, our offerings have expanded. In addition, we now offer academic counseling for undergraduate, graduate, and transfer art and design school admissions; as well as counseling for gap year, career change and summer programs.

Our approach to creative and educational counseling encourages students to clarify and commit to their goals and participate fully in the decision-making process. We emphasize students search for right fit choices, rather than depending on ranking and brand names to inform the university search. In collaboration with our network of visual art and design professionals, Portfolio College Counseling demystifies the process of preparing for art and design programs that require portfolios and specialized supplements.

college acceptances
  • Academy of Art University
  • American University
  • Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
  • Arizona State University
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Art Institute of Boston
  • Bard CollegeBarry University
  • Baylor University
  • Bartlett School of ArchitectureBelmont University
  • Bennington College
  • Boston Architectural College
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brooklyn College
  • Brunel University, UK
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • California College of Art & Design
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Pomona
  • California State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cazenovia College
  • Central St. Martin’s College, University of the Arts London
  • Chapman University
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • City University London
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • Colby College
  • College for Creative Studies
  • College of Charleston
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Columbia University
  • Cooper Union
  • Cornell University
  • Courtauld Institute London
  • Dickinson College
  • Drexel UniversityEmily Carr University of Art & Design
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Fordham University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Goldsmiths College LondonHarvard University
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • James Madison UniversityJohn Jay College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kent State University
  • King’s College London
  • Kingston University London
  • Laguna College of Art & Design
  • Lasell College
  • Lesley University College of Art & Design
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • LIM College
  • London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • Manhattanville College
  • Marist College
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Merrimack College
  • Miami University Ohio
  • Monmouth University
  • Montserrat College of Art
  • Moore College of Art & Design
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Ohio State University
  • Otis College of Art & Design
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art & Design
  • Parsons The New School for Design
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Philadelphia University
  • Pomona College
  • Pratt Institute
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Queen Mary College, University of London
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Richmond, the American University in London
  • Ringling College of Art & Design
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Roger Williams University
  • Royal Holloway College, University of London
  • Rutgers University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Scripps College
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Sotheby’s Graduate Institute
  • Springfield College
  • SUNY Albany
  • SUNY Binghamton University
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • SUNY Purchase College
  • SUNY Stony Brook University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • The Cooper Union
  • Tufts University
  • UMass Amherst
  • UMass Dartmouth
  • Union College
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Arizona
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of California at Santa Cruz
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Hawaii Manoa
  • University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • University of Indiana Bloomington
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Southampton, UK
  • University of Tampa
  • University of Texas Austin
  • University of the Arts
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington Seattle
  • University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Ursinus College
  • Utica College
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University
  • West Virginia University
  • Whitman College
  • Willamette University
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Yale University

Lorraine Serra

Lorraine Serra is the Founder and Director of Portfolio College Counseling (PCC). The services offered by PCC are informed by three decades of experience as a design professional, business owner and educator. Lorraine balances her dedication to mentoring young people with an innovative approach to helping students bring their artistic, academic and career goals in focus.

Holding a certificate in College Counseling with Distinction from UCLA, an MA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art & Design, and a BS in Visual Arts from Purchase College our leader is a demonstrated expert in her field. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including IECA, HECA, and NACAC.

Lorraine founded Chiaro Design in 1983, as a multidisciplinary creative services firm specializing in packaging, type and print design. She taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and continues to lecture, publishes articles and presents workshops for college-bound creative students and their parents. Lorraine also judges student portfolios for organizations including the National Scholastic Art Awards and is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation Grant. PCC has offices in Guilford, CT and Port Townsend, WA.

Contact Lorraine.

“My students always bring me fresh ideas and stretch my thinking and abilities as a counselor and designer,” says Lorraine. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the many young artists and designers with whom I’ve worked.”

Let's Connect

Finding the right college counselor is the key step in a successful college planning process. To help decide whether our services are the best path forward for students, we offer a 30-minute, complimentary phone meeting to introduce ourselves, get to know you and explain our process. Afterward, we’ll prepare a written proposal to outline our plan for working with you, that includes a suggested timeline and associated fees. Each plan for counseling is customized, based on the student’s abilities, skills and educational objectives.