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College Admission Counseling 101 ASCA 2007

College Admission Counseling 101 ASCA 2007

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College Admission Counseling 101 ASCA 2007

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  1. College Admission Counseling 101ASCA 2007 Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Roberto Garcia, Director of Admission, Colorado College

  2. Why teach college admission counseling? • 43% of counselors surveyed spend more than 20% of their time doing college admission counseling • More people going to college • Only 1/3 of HS graduates in 1960 went to college • Today - More than half do • 50% of bachelor degree students drop out • Lots of misinformation is out there • Under-represented students need help

  3. National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) • Networking with over 8000 members • Premiere organization for professional and ethical issues facing college counseling • Access to national conference and professional development opportunities • Web site (www.nacacnet.org) • E-list (Listserv@peach.ease.lsoft.com) • Newsletters/Journals

  4. Statement of Principles of Good Practices • All members must adhere to these ethical and professional policies • Reviewed annually • Two articles • Promotion and recruitment • Admission, Financial Aid & Testing policies and procedures • Mandatory practices vs. best practices

  5. The role of the secondary school counselor in college admissions • Advisor • Information provider • Researcher • Sounding board • Surrogate parent • Advocate • Financial aid expert • Teacher

  6. Working with parents, faculty and administrators • What do (some) parents expect? • You are the expert • Lots of information • Available 24/7 • You to do the work for them • Some parents are not involved at all

  7. Working with parents, faculty and administrators (continued) • What do the faculty expect? • Letters of recommendation assistance • Course placement information • Grading and test score information • Do they need my course to go to college? • Classroom guidance lessons/presentations • General college planning (ie: junior seminar) • Essay writing • College searching (internet or reference book) • Primarily serve as a resource

  8. Working with parents, faculty and administrators (continued) • What do administrators expect? • Excellent placements/Where students got in • Professionalism • High quality college admission counseling programs/activities • Satisfied students and parents • Good publicity for the school/community

  9. Setting up the College Counseling Office • Reference materials • print • search guides - Peterson’s, College Board, Chronicle • catalogs/viewbooks • non-fiction books • free materials • multimedia (Videos, DVD’s, CD-ROM’s) • online • maps/guides

  10. Setting up the College Counseling Office • Programs • grade level programs • junior prep night • senior financial aid night • junior/senior seminars • Newsletters • E-mail/e-group options

  11. Required college counseling seminar for juniors • Introduction to the college search process • Timelines • Identifying needs/self-exploration/values clarification • Testing issues • Exposure to college materials, critical thinking • Dispelling myths, creating awareness, getting kids “on board”, alleviating anxiety • Planning for junior spring & summer visits • The essay

  12. Profiles • Should accompany every transcript sent • Tell the college about your school • School & community facts • name, address and contact information • type of school (public/private) • enrollment by grade level • accreditation(s) • calendar system (quarter/semester/trimester) • description of the school community

  13. Profiles (continued) • Staff • Name of principal/headmaster • Name(s) of counseling staff w/contact information • Grading system • Grading system • Computation of class rank (if computed) policy • Grade weighting policy • Graduation requirements • Special situations (ESL or special needs students)_

  14. Profiles (continued) • Recent college admission test scores • Percent of students taking ACT/SAT • Range of scores • Further schooling of graduates • chart or table showing percent of graduates attending various types of post secondary schools • Curriculum information • All courses offered • Designation of honors, AP & IB courses • Unusual programs or opportunities

  15. Timeline for Conducting the College Search • Sophomore year • Junior year • Fall • Take PSAT’s • Winter/spring • Research schools; narrow down your list • Prepare for the SAT/ACT • Select appropriate senior year courses • Summer • Visit Schools

  16. Timeline for Conducting the College Search (continued) • Senior Year • Fall • Finalize your list of potential schools • Visit schools • Get letters of recommendation • Take SAT/ACT • APPLY • Get financial aid information/forms • Begin to apply for scholarships

  17. Timeline for Conducting the College Search (continued) • Winter • Continue to apply for admission and scholarships • Apply for financial aid • If accepted, make sure to let the admissions office know if you want an extension until May 1 • Spring • Evaluate acceptances and financial aid offers • Send non-refundable deposit by May 1 • Send final transcript after graduation

  18. Factors to consider when selecting a college • Location, location, location • Large city • Small city • Rural area • Major • Size of school • Extra large 15,000 + (University of Mass.) • Large 5000-10,000 (Boston College) • Medium 1000-5000 (Springfield College) • Small under 1000 (Elms College)

  19. Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued) • Type of school • Liberal arts (Amherst College) • Technological (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) • Health sciences (Mass. College of Pharmacy) • Business (Bryant University) • Art (Mass. College of Art) • Military (Mass. Maritime Academy)

  20. Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued) • Type • Private • Public • Religious affiliated • Lifestyle/Activities • Fraternities/sororities • Athletics • Clubs/organizations • Special programs - study abroad; co-op

  21. Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued) • Selectivity • Very selective (admits less than 30%) • Selective (admits 30-60%) • Competitive (admits 60-90%) • Open enrollment (admits 100%) • Institution selectivity vs. major selectivity • Reputation

  22. A word of caution about rankings/ratings • US News & World Report & Rugg’s Recommendations on the College are helpful, but…. • The best school for a student may not have the best program • Check the industry for programs that are accredited or endorsed

  23. Resources to search for a college • College Search Books • Peterson’s Guide • College Board Handbook • College Board Index of Majors • Chronicle Guidance Publications • Barron’s Guides • Lovejoy’s College Guide • The Fiske to the Colleges • Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges

  24. Resources to search for a college • Athletic resources • National Directory of College Athletics • Honors Programs • Peterson’s Guide to Honors Programs & Colleges • Vocational/Technical Schools • Peterson’s Guide to Vocational & Technical Schools • Religious Affiliated Schools • Peterson’s Christian College & Universities • Catholic Colleges – www.catholiccollegesonline.org

  25. Resources to search for a college • General Books • A is for Admission- Hernandez • The College Admissions Mystique - Mayer • Colleges that Change Lives - Pope • Admissions Confidential - Toor • The GateKeepers - Steinberg • The Public Ivys- Moll

  26. Resources to search for a college • Magazines/periodicals • US News & World Report • Money Magazine • The Gourman Report • Newsweek - How to Get into College • The Princeton Review • The free stuff

  27. Resources to search for a college • Placement Reports • Database (Microsoft Access) • Make your own program • Scattergrams • www.naviance.com • www.inresonance.com.

  28. College Fairs • NACAC sponsored • Almost 50 national fairs • 15 Performing & Visual Arts college fairs • State & Regional ACAC sponsored • High school sponsored • Other privately sponsored • National Hispanic College Fair

  29. College tours for counselors • Private • College Visits, 207 East Bay Street, Suite 304 Charleston, SC 29401, 800-944-2798, www.college-visits.com • College sponsored • College sponsored, usually ones situated close together • Free or inexpensive; you may pay to get there • Several days or part of the day • Overnight programs for counselors and their families • As part of conferences

  30. College Tours for Students • Commercial packages • www.college-visits.com • www.niep.com • The College Authority (949) 371.1111 • Design your own college tour • Field trip to local college • College may offset cost of transportation & meals • Field trip to local college fair

  31. The counselor cycle • College Planning begins in the middle school • Middle school early planning program for parents • Early testing programs - SSAT • Develop a 4 year plan with incoming freshmen emphasizing proper course selection and good grades • Continue in grades 10 & 11 • Taking AP/Honors courses vs. less challenging course

  32. The counselor cycle(continued) • Fall of junior year • Program to discuss calendar & resources available to search for colleges • Voluntary • Give out transcript • PSAT administration • Third Saturday or Wednesday after Columbus Day in October • Given at most high schools nationally

  33. The counselor cycle(continued) • Spring of junior year • Program for students and parents • Evening • Panel of admission representatives • SAT/ACT registration and administration • College search • College tours

  34. The counselor cycle(continued) • Fall of senior year • Large group meeting to gather information • Review calendar & responsibilities • Review letter of recommendation guidelines • Deadlines • Evening program • Small group/individual appointments • Folders • SAT/ACT test administration & registration • Letters of recommendation • Financial aid night

  35. The counselor cycle(continued) • Winter of senior year • Letters of recommendation • Reviewing applications and/or essays • Financial aid deadline reminder • Verification of transcripts sent

  36. The counselor cycle(continued) • Spring of senior year • Follow up with students who have not applied • Field trip to local community college • Assisting with financial aid award letter interpretation and decision making • Coordinate program to help plan for the transition to college for parents & seniors

  37. Parts of an application • Application • Fee • Personal statement/essay • Secondary school report • Counselor recommendation • Teacher recommendations • Standardized test scores • Personal Interview • Portfolio • Other requirements for specific majors

  38. How many applications? • 3-5 was the average; 5-10 more common now • Community standard will determine this • Sort institutions by selectivity • Reach - tend to be more competitive • Likely - a pretty good chance of getting in • Safety - pretty much a guaranteed admission • Try to put 1-2 schools in each category to ensure choices later on

  39. When to apply? • Most early admission programs have deadlines around November 1st • More selective schools have deadlines around January 1st • Most schools have February or March 1st • Less selective schools may continue accepting students up to May 1st • Financial aid award may be determined by when you were accepted (priority deadline)

  40. Counselor letter of recommendation • Should provide an overview of the applicant’s strengths and potential for success in college • Don’t repeat what is already in the application (I.e.: activities) • Reveal things that are not necessarily known to the reader • Make connections, especially with events which have shaped their goals/choices

  41. Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) • Fill in the gaps • Give insights that most people wouldn’t know • Explain problems/issues (assuming you have the permission of the student) • Respect confidentiality • Be positive, yet honest • Don’t state the obvious

  42. Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) • Three parts • Introduction - context in which you know the student • Body - provide specific examples and documentation; can include teacher comments, but…… • Conclusion - summary of recommendation • To show or not to show?

  43. Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) • Where to gather information • From student interactions & past experiences • From faculty • From records/cumulative folder • From parents • How long should it be?

  44. Teacher Letters of Recommendation • Don’t have too many; 2-3 at the most • Have different disciplines represented unless specific individuals are needed • Try to include letters from outside of the school if appropriate • Clergy • Coach • Advisor • Employer

  45. Teacher Letters of Recommendation • Ideally a student should have had the teacher for at least two classes • Choose teachers from junior or senior year courses • Student should provide information sheet • What does the teacher do with it after it is written?

  46. The Personal Statement/Essay • This is a personal experience; don’t talk about other people or if you do, how he/she impacted you • Be yourself • This may be the only subjective information that the reader has about the candidate • Should provide reflection about the individual’s strengths and weaknesses

  47. The Personal Statement/Essay • Should expand upon the application, not repeat it • Should be your best effort, not a last minute piece • Don’t write about what you think they want to hear • Answer the question(s) • Follow directions

  48. The Personal Statement/Essay • Provide concrete, vivid examples Avoid gimmicks, humor (if you’re not funny) and preaching • Avoid controversial topics • Can be used to “explain” something • Develop an outline prior to writing • Don’t use big words or thesaurus words • Make your introduction memorable

  49. The Personal Statement/Essay • Demonstrate higher level thinking; make the connection • If you are going to mention the school, make sure to send the correct one • Revise & rewrite • Have others proofread it • How long?

  50. Secondary School Report • Basic academic information • GPA • Rank • Strength of curriculum in comparison to others • Ratings/checklists • Statistics about placement rates • List of senior courses/grades • Transcript request • Letter of recommendation/counselor comments • Discipline/suspension issues